‘Let’s go for a break,’ I’d say and together, we would leave whatever it was we were doing – attending a lecture, working, dancing in a club – and huddle in a quiet corner to light up. I remember the stairwells, the sidewalk curbs, the petrol kiosk barrier, the coffee-shops… places that to me signaled a ‘time out’.
It didn’t matter if what we were doing before that was fun, intense or boring, the breaks were just a necessary way to take a breather, pause and refocus.
Since leaving behind my teenage years (and of course, quitting the smokes), the momentum of living has sped up: work, children, husband, family, friends, community…
My question today is: how do you take a break from life? And how often?
Our coffee/smoke breaks used to occur every hour or two. Sometimes, we did it alone. Sometimes, we did it with the gang – it didn’t matter. I loved the moment of staring out into blankness, disengaging myself from the moment and drifting off.
I want that. The thing is, at work, I rarely walk off mid-way to stand and stare at a wall. There is no reason to. So what can make me disengage myself from the moment to walk off for a bit, to take that necessary breather to simply… think?
More importantly though, how do I do that without feeling that sense of guilt, which comes with the knowledge that I should be doing work in that ten minutes I’m doing nothing?
“What I like doing best is Nothing.”
“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, Nothing,’ and then you go and do it… It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
– A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)
We’ve finally got our first break in the year 2010. Although there is a mini-launch to be held next month, it will hopefully, be less intense than the months that have rolled on by.
In January – we were reeling from the December event and trying to pull together a musical/concert. We also had to come up with a concept that would capture what 2010 is all about for the people. This was a multi-pronged reach and it befuddled the team as we’d never done something like this before.
In February – we handled a mini-event. And officially began our new department, which involved days of discussions regarding roles, responsibilities, budgets, work flow…
In March – the musical/concert took place. Sheer madness. The week after, we took a corporate break and returned with two weeks before…
April – the Easter musical. I think at this time, we pretty much lived on caffeine. This was also when we moved offices into our new premises.
May – the biggest event of the year thus far. And it’s finally over.
So what now?
I’m looking at the remnants of the months lying cluttered around my table. It looks like a construction work site. And maybe… just maybe, that’s what it is.
Now, please excuse me while I take my break. It’s a ‘thinking’ break people. I need it.