For the last decade or so, I’ve worked pretty much nonstop. One show rolls into the next, a gig ending on Friday with another starting Monday, sometimes with a few weeks of overlapping responsibility between the two. It’s a blessing to be at the top of my game and to know that there’s always somewhere to go, a “whatever’s next” in the wings just drumming its fingers waiting for me to finish what I’m working on.
Last April, I took ten days off to go to a wedding in Barbados. It’s the first vacation I’d ever really taken as an adult. Surprisingly, neither the show I was working on nor the world at large collapsed while I was out of town. This May, I took my mother to London for nearly the same stretch of time. Once again, they show I had been working on survived without me.
Here I am in June, enjoying a short stretch of working from home on personal projects that have lingered for what seems like forever, waiting for the attention that I was always too tired to give them in the late evenings or on Sunday afternoons. Sure, I’m looking for work… but there’s no sense of urgency or emergency to it, and if I feel like giving my cats some attention (note: feather toy on a stick = failure / feather toy on a string = woohoo), I can do it without worrying when I run out the door.
It’s great to have a work ethic. You have to. And it’s important (not just financially) that you not vanish off the map for too long. But when it comes to general health and well-being, I hope you learn the value of play and rest. It took me 42 years to catch on. Treasure the rare time between gigs, and make the most of it.