Hello there, reader! If you have ever thought I have any ounce of work ethic in my frail, hyper-aged bones, please know it’s because of my dad. He knows how to do EVERYTHING. Makes bank, helps those in need, plans cool events, has all the connection with all the people, knows how to cook, clean, fix stuff around the house, dresses like a Man Who Knows Whats Up. Not only does he KNOW how to do all that, he actually does everything. All the time. He doesn’t really have an ‘off’ mode.
He very much exemplifies the American work culture, a 24/7 go-getter, work yourself to the bone lifestyle. For many Americans like my dad, that’s the norm. The more you are doing, the more you are respected.
People who choose to take things a little slower, or schedule, god forbid, down time are frowned upon for being lazy or unproductive. It’s just not the American way.
My dad is actually a really funny example of this, because besides being American, he’s also 100% Pakistani. And if you know anything about Pakistan, or any South-Asian countries for that matter, you know they’re the Royalty of taking it nice and easy. My dad, and family friends who have visited Pakistan, all describe a typical day in Pakistan the same way. A family will get up, maybe do a few little chores around the house, eat a casual breakfast, then make some tea and go sit on the back porch for a few hours to admire the scenery and talk. For a few hours. Every day. Even when events do start happening, they happen very s l o w l y.
He tells me this with a kind of dismissive air, like they’re crazy. Thinking about that lifestyle even makes me, the Duchess of Laziness, a little restless.
HOWEVER, I do… kind of.. Feel like my foreign fam are onto something? Our lives are full of compromise, and we’re constantly having to make choices on how we spend our time. For those who work constantly, what do they sacrifice? Their physical and mental well being, family togetherness, time for self-reflection and improvement, the list goes on. Such things easily slip through the cracks when you’re always on the run. I know people work hard for different reasons. They need the money, the cause they serve is a selfless one, they need to stay busy so they don’t have to deal with their own thoughts. I understand the reasons, but I just can’t see how they are more important than taking care of your own, personal well being.
I would challenge anyone who can relate to my dad to schedule some time in their day (maybe an hour max, nothing crazy!) and cut yourself off from whatever work you’ve been throwing yourself into. Take a chance to be alone with your thoughts, think about how you want to improve, make yourself a proper meal, perhaps drink chai on your porch *wink wonk*, but don’t do anything ‘productive.’ Just use it as time for yourself.
I’m sure that might sound like a waste of time to some of you, but just remember: If you REALLY want to be efficient in your work and help those around you, you first have to be at your own peak health and mindset, and that definitely won’t come if you’re always on your feet without a chance to revitalize.