October resolution wrap up and introduction of November’s goal

October’s resolution was focused on improving my posture. After reading the book Willpower and learning that something as simple as reminding yourself to stand up straight can increase self-control and resolve in other areas of life, I decided to try it. My posture was awful and my willpower could have used a boost.

Willpower is an essential component of living an uncluttered life. You have to be able to avoid the distractions so you can focus on what matters most to you.

I started the month by implementing some simple strategies to help improve my posture (seeSimple strategies for changing a bad habit“). I’m glad to report that my posture has significantly improved and I’m fairly certain I’ll be standing up straighter in the future.

However, I’m disappointed to report that I didn’t notice much of a change in my willpower levels. To be fair, I started the month with a good amount of willpower already in my skill set. On a scale of 1 to 10, I was probably looking for an improvement from an 8 to a 9. The posture trick might be better suited to helping people who want to move from a 2 or a 3 up to a 5 or a 6. I’m interested in hearing from others who also worked on their posture this month to see if they experienced a boost in willpower.

In the end, I have better posture, and that is okay with me. Still a decent resolution, as far as I’m concerned.

For November my goal is to take one complete day off from work. I have not taken a day off from work since August 2008. I even worked for about two hours the day my son joined our family. Whether I’ve been writing, editing, jumping on a conference call, consulting with a client, deleting spam comments from the forum, checking load times, invoicing, responding to reader emails, or whatever it is that needs to get done, I’ve done at least some work every day for the past three years.

My friend Patrick Rhone so aptly tweeted yesterday: “The danger of being able to work from any where at any time is that we will always work every place all the time.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I haven’t yet decided when my day away from work will be, but I’m committed to making it happen. Honestly, I think the hardest part will be not thinking about work on my day off from work. Uncluttering my mind is going to be a struggle. As simple as this resolution appears on the surface, I’m extremely fearful that this may be the one resolution this year I do not achieve. I’m not sure I can actually “log off” from my career for an entire day. Do you need a day off from work? If so, join me on my November resolution adventure. If you don’t need a day off from work, what resolution are you working on in November?


Erin’s 2011 monthly resolutions: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.

45 Comments for “October resolution wrap up and introduction of November’s goal”

  1. posted by Renee on

    I think you need to know what you are going to do for your day off. Will you be with your family, just your son or alone? Will you have to isolate yourself from the things that “tempt” you to work? Looking forward to your day off will make it more exciting and enjoyable (anticipation!)
    I’m thinking that a family thing might be to go to Disney World – is your son old enough for that? I find it so escapist that I can easily forget everything but my family. Alone I regularly get a day off – I spend it in bed away from my desktop and my phone (which usually lives downstairs.) My husband deals with children and meals. I usually read 1 and 1/2 books. It’s a perfect day.
    I think you should allow yourself to take notes, on paper if a phone is too tempting. Not working will give you ideas to write or people to call or gifts to buy (Christmas or whatever holiday is next month, no stress.) Write it down to deal with tomorrow and enjoy your day. If you go to Disney World, remember your camera so you can remember this perfect day.

  2. posted by writing all the time on

    What a great resolution as we slide into the Holiday Madness.

    Erin, I recently had a shoulder injury that is needing regular physical therapy. I’ve discovered that the exercises I do to strengthen my shoulder are making amazing differences in my posture. You might consider working w/a physical therapist or very good trainer.

    My resolution for November is to exercise 6 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time.

  3. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Renee — I like the idea of having something planned. Will start with that. However, I probably won’t be heading to Disney World. My son is terrified of people in costumes that obstruct their faces. Halloween was, um, special. I wonder if there is any way to get kids to not be afraid of costumed characters??

  4. posted by Northmoon on

    I’m doubly appalled by this resolution – first that you haven’t had a day off in three years, and second that you think you might not be able to resist working for one day!

    Last year my work place gave everyone a Blackberry. The first weekend I made the mistake of checking it on Saturday. I spent the rest of the weekend worrying about one of the emails I read. Couldn’t get in touch with the party to resolve it until Monday but I still fretted. What a total waste of mental energy!!

    Now I turn it off at 5 on Friday and on at 8 on Monday. We are too used to getting instant solutions, instant contact etc. Humans need down time, not constant speed.

  5. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Northmoon — I fully would have agreed with you back in the day when I worked for a law firm and wasn’t a partner in that firm. I could shut off from work because I was still going to get paid and my family would still be able to eat if I disconnected from my job.

    Now, working for a family business, it’s completely different. If a book deadline isn’t met, if a client conference is missed, if a single ball drops … the repercussions directly impact my family’s livelihood. I only get paid if there is money to pay me.

    That being said, I LOVE my job and all of the glorious flexibility of it. It wasn’t until I stopped to look at the calendar that I even knew it had been more than three years since I had taken a day off from work. I can work anywhere — I’ve sat in Parisian cafes, swung in hammocks on Hawaiian beaches — and I wouldn’t trade that for a traditional office job. Not at this point in my life, anyway. I got to see my son’s first steps, hear his first words … I haven’t missed a thing … well, except for a day of not thinking about work at all :)

  6. Profile photo of

    posted by BreakingFree on

    I think this is a wonderful resolution and your work will ultimately prosper because of your taking time to care for yourself. I recently had a job that required a lot of my time and mental energy and ultimately had a breakdown and ended up quitting. Though it’s doubtful that would happen to you since you actually love your job (I liked WHAT I did, just not the environment I was in, and did not recognize the distinction until it was too late) I am now a huge advocate of being balanced. I am actually working on starting my own blog as a way to give myself some flexibility in how I work- to be able to work just about anywhere when I travel sounds divine, though I know the downsides you speak of will need to be dealt with too.

    My favorite way to take a day off is to just stay in my pajamas all day and “putter”- a little reading here and there, some decluttering if I want to, work on a fun project- sometimes I find that I have “accomplished” more by doing what I feel like all day than by trying so darned hard.

  7. posted by Chloe on

    My resolution for November is easy as I’ve joined NaNoWriMo.org and am trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m not actually writing a novel but rather content for my blog. I’m hanging in there for the first 3 days of the challenge but will need that day off from work in December I think!

    I love that sentence ” Willpower is an essential component of living an uncluttered life.” by the way. It’s funny that a person can have great willpower in certain areas of their life but none in others. I’ve been trying the whole ‘reminding myself’ thing about taking some exercise for months but every day it pops up in my calendar, I just click ‘Dismiss’ and that’s that! Did the book have any other tips?

  8. posted by Ash on

    I understand the point of this is to exercise willpower but I wonder if you’re tackling the wrong obstacle. For example, you might be more successful leaving your cell off and hiking, camping, or traveling with your family for the day. The challenge in this scenario would then be walking out the door (a huge exercise in willpower in itself) one time rather than staying away from technologies repeatedly throughout the day.

  9. posted by Alix on

    I think @Ash makes a great point. It’s much more difficult to work toward a “negative” goal that’s based on avoidance (“I won’t snack today.”) than a “positive” goal that’s geared toward behaviors you DO want to embrace (“I’m leaving my Blackberry at home and will start reading my new novel at Starbucks.”)

  10. posted by Gemmond on

    When you are self-employed, there really is no “day” off. This is especially true in any business that is involved with time-sensitive issues, products, services.

    However, one can, as others suggested, plan specific activities for a specific day and then allow perhaps an hour or two at the beginning or end to do some routine tasks.

    As for not taking a day off at all, well, I totally understand that if you are “absent” from the business, it doesn’t run. But I have several friends who also have their own businesses. Even they, admitted workaholics, with no children and family living far away–so no distractions, take vacations.

    Yes, they do allot time during the day or before or after to address email and keep up with news. But they do all sorts of activities where they are out of pocket.

    You may, respectfully, have scheduling issues in that you take on more work than you should given the time available (this is something folks in their own business ALWAYS do if they don’t force themselves to say no).

    You seem like a highly organized person and as such, you would build a timeline that included the possibility of interruptions, delays, etc. If you are constantly on deadline, you may want to rethink your professional commitments (and I know how hard that is, as I’m an independent contractor. But I’ve learned that you cannot physically and mentally sustain your best working self if you don’t have downtime. We won’t even talk about the price on a personal level.

    Sometimes it’s a matter of re-assessing goals and re-prioritizing. As organized as one is, you really can’t do it all, all the time.

    A friend who had a health scare had to find ways to get downtime. She basically considered the time (a half day here, a full day there) as an appointment that she made with herself and honored as she would any professional appointment.

    When you love your work and it feels like a part of you, the hardest thing to do is to let go and take some time off. But if you look at the history of some very successful and creative types, you will find that they give themselves time to just BE.

    Some of the most creative leaps and developments came when folks were off-hours doing something else entirely (one friend who struggled for years with what she wanted to do took a two-week “sabbatical” and while hiking in the hills had an Ah-Ha moment that led to major changes in her life and lifestyle. All the time in her office had led to nothing, but time off was a catalyst.)

    Good luck with the November resolution. You owe it to yourself to “separate” from your other “child”, that is your work!

  11. Profile photo of

    posted by BreakingFree on

    @Ash and @Alix, well said. I only started eating healthier when I told myself I could eat whatever I wanted, but set increasing personal goals like “I will eat 4 oz. of greens per day” or “I will select whole grain bread instead of white”. Now I can drive by McDonalds and honestly say “I CAN have that, but I do not want it.”

  12. posted by claire on

    @ Erin, an aside re: people in costumes.
    I can empathise with your son.
    I think I first learned to be calm around dogs, then applied the same strategies to the dressed up people. I am going through the same process with my son now. So with dogs, I point out any we are approaching (if he hasn’t already noticed), and I include details about size, behaviour, and the presence of a leash. I remind him to walk calmly, and I let him walk with me between him and the dog. We are making progress – he rarely asks me to carry him past the dog, or refuses to walk near them now.

    We work the same way with isolated dressed up people. And I am still doing the talk for my own benefit (sometimes I even have to do it with women dressed in religious veils – I apologise for forgetting the correct term – remind myself that there is a person in there). It doesn’t help that there are movies or even television programs (some rated PG) in which a person in a costume perpetrates some crime.

    And I know how horrible halloween would have been for your son (so for you too). I took my son to our city centre on the Sunday, to cheer him up with a visit to his favourite cafe, just to find the two main streets had been overtaken by people dressed up as zombies – they would not have been out of place on the set of The Sixth Sense (I closed my eyes for a fair bit of that movie when it was on television – that is the level of wimp I am!). I was shocked by the people who thought we had been lucky to see it – my son is only four, how could that be appropriate?

    Enough of me. I hope some of my thoughts are helpful. And maybe your son will grow out of the fear better than I have. I hope mine does ;-)

  13. posted by kathy on

    erin,

    my freinds and i went to a spa day, hot tub, massage
    facial. it was great, really got us felling good.
    no work–

    do it- itmakes you a better mom.
    kf

  14. posted by Kelly on

    Since it’s November, I would humbly suggest you use Thanksgiving as your day off. Obviously you can take which ever day you prefer, but it seems appropriate to me to spend a day of thanks away from work. Where I work it’s not a given that I have Thanksgiving off, so I know how special it can be when I do. Just a suggestion.

  15. posted by Sue G. on

    Excellent goal, Erin. Be sure to plan your day (as others mention), so you don’t let work creep in with a “I’ll just check one…” But, I dare you to try and make it 3 or 4 days off in Nov. Crazy? Maybe, but start with one and see if you can make it happen more than once. Good luck!

  16. posted by Leslie on

    This is an easy one for me. Ok, I can say that NOW.

    In college, I became so tied to a watch (I had 2 jobs and was taking needed courses at 3 college campuses) that I was constantly staring at it. I made the conscious decision to remove it and while it took a couple months to stop asking what time it is all the time (no there weren’t clocks on every wall), I got used to it and appreciated the change.

    As someone who is self-employed, I was constantly checking email/texts/phone messages when I was out and I would stress over everything. I had to take baby steps and started with setting aside a few hours on a weekend where I wasn’t checking emails/texts/msgs. It was really hard. And I would swear I had nothing to do. I started finding things to do (planned activities is much easier this way). Slowly over many months/years I became comfortable with taking time away and even go completely away from work for an entire weekend/holiday. I keep an editorial calendar so I know where I am with projects and it took a long time to get comfortable letting go. I didn’t try to stop my brain from actively thinking about work. In fact, I found myself thinking about projects from different and sometimes better perspectives. Eventually, my brain was less cluttered with work ideas. But it took a long time.

    For me, it was a lot like trying to overcome a major vice/addiction. And it changed my view of others currently struggling with this same problem as well.

    Enjoy your time off.

  17. posted by Kate on

    One possibility is, could you work your way up to a full day off? November just started, after all.

    Maybe tell yourself you’re checking out of anything work-related and doing something just for yourself for a couple of hours one afternoon, schedule that time off in your planner no matter what’s going on at work. Then the week after, schedule a few more hours. Then a half-day. Then the full day.

    That way you won’t have all this pressure on yourself to spend an entire day work-free when you’re not used to it.

  18. posted by DawnF on

    What about scheduling something special for you, your son and your husband? Three fun activities spread out over the course of the day! Perhaps you would love breakfast out followed by a spa treatment, then maybe next a trip to the children’s museum for special time with your son and then dinner and a movie with your husband?

    Fill the day with happy, joyous events ~ surely soaking up good times with your favorite people will make it very easy to put down the cell phone and close up the laptop.

    Plus, do you honestly think your business will really suffer that badly over one day off? I seriously doubt it ~ especially if you prepare and plan for it in advance. Take your day and enjoy it! None of us are guaranteed another one ~ would you rather work on your email In Box or laugh with and hug your boys?

  19. posted by Jodi on

    It might not* exactly* help with your resolution, but I have a simalar mental uncluttering goal right now, and your goal reminded me of a story.

    When I was in high school, a friend of a friend’s mom homeschooled. I remember calling her one day and her answering machine had changed:

    “Hi you have reached the Smiths. We home school from 9 to 2 and will return your call after that.”

    Initially, she turned the ringer off on her phone, but could still hear the calls coming because the cassette answering machine clicked. After a month or so, she was able to turn her phone back on and (guess what) her phone didn’t ring between 9 and 2 anymore.

    I used the train by voice mail concept a few years ago with very simalar results. I don’t lnow how effective it would be for just one day, but perhaps adding a line to your email signature and voice mail (“I will be out of the office beginning on _ and will return on _”) will help keep the workload down.

    If you do that and take a Friday off you could stretch your message to three days, and you might find come Saturday that nothing much is waiting for you anyway. I know for me it takes a full day to defuse before I can truly relax; that might help set you up for success if you have multiple days over a weekend to make a run at it!

    Just a thought from someone trying to get a better handle on mental clutter!

  20. Profile photo of

    posted by Ella on

    Unplug and seize your day off, Erin. And don’t worry – everything will still be there to pick up again. Pausing for one day just might give you a fresh outlook on it all.

  21. posted by eccoyle on

    I definitely understand the difficulty of stepping away from work. I am an hourly admin with no responsibility to the business beyond the hours of Mon-Fri 9am-5pm yet I still find myself thinking about work, talking about work at night or on the weekend! It’s crazy because there is really no incentive for me to do so.

    So, I can imagine how difficult it would be to step away from your own business. That said, I think that it is really important and this seems like a great time to start with the holidays coming up. What kind of person would get mad at you for not returning an email on Thanksgiving??? I remember Holly from decor8 talking about this issue… she might have some good suggestions as someone in a similar position.

  22. posted by Esther on

    In a way you can “cheat” yourself into taking this day off my scheduling as a resolution.. When you get the urge to go “do” something work related you can remind yourself that by doing nothing, or taking the day off you actually are.. If that makes sense? I often schedule a weekend day in amongst a hectic month that will have no plans and when I get the urge to think, Oh I could go and see so and so or get x done on that day because “I dont have plans” I remind my self that I do have a plan, the plan is to do nothing…. :)

  23. posted by Karen (Scotland) on

    Re your son – play “peekaboo” with masks. My eldest son used to freak at costumed people (Don’t love it myself. I once ducked into an empty classroom to avoid some pupils who were walking towards me in full furry animal outfits. I was the librarian, not a pupil, at the time!)

    Anyway, back to my eldest son. We got a couple of cute masks (butterfly, owl, frog) and played peekaboo, having showed the face first. Let him play with mask too and let him see that he can “hide” too but that he is still HIM. “Oh, it’s a frog! Peekaboo! Oh, it’s my Luka!”

    Worked for us but it’s just an idea.
    Karen (Scotland).

    PS For your day off – get away. If you can’t get away and actually just want a day off in the house (which is the best kid of day, I reckon) , remove the technology for the day or lock the door to your office and give your husband the key. Sounds extreme but you sound like the type of personality who will have a quick check at some point.

  24. posted by henave on

    My younger son, now 11, was terrified of costumed people around the ages of 18 months to 3 years. He just grew out of it. We didn’t make a big deal of it, tried to avoid the scary people (especially Santa) and it resolved by itself.

    Being a stay-at-home parent with 2 sons with autism, I remember the moment of realization after I started staying home that I now was on duty 24/7! I have not had a day off from work in 14 years and do not expect to have one for at least another decade or so. My husband is the income-earner and I do absolutely everything else so there is a never-ending cycle of household duties/volunteer work/overseeing the care of my sons. We also do not have family backup or babysitters- it’s just us. To combat feeling overwhelmed, I schedule regular daily time where I can just sit and do nothing- this does require having discipline and a regular schedule. I also schedule regular family outings and other bits of time for myself (15 mins of jogging twice a day). I think knowing what you personally perceive as time off is critical and then work toward adjusting your schedule to accommodate your time off so you can really enjoy it- and not spend the time off feeling guilty. Good luck!

  25. posted by Jill Malleck on

    Erin, I too am self-employed and my office is in my home – and I LOVE my work. So I understand the siren call of client needs and interesting stuff (web related) to do.
    My take is that once you understand the purpose of “doing nothing” RESTORATIVE time, you will be more apt to do it for your clients, your family and to serve your larger purpose. Certainly, helping others to UNCLUTTER is such a noble cause, and you need to be able to model it with integrity. I get that you are wanting that badly this month.
    Two suggestions: Get the book “Do Nothing & Do Everything” by Qiguang Zhao and read that on your “day off”. Not for work – for you. Like reading a novel.
    Secondly, there is a great restorative pose in yoga that works on you while you do nothing. I don’t know what its called but you put your legs up the wall, butt on the floor, arms out and just lie there. This is a way to have mini-rests.
    I hope this helps and I’m rooting for you.

  26. posted by Jill Malleck on

    P.S. Here’s a poem by Margaret Wheatley.

    The True Professional
    Illusion

    Too much of our action is really reaction. Such doing does not flow from
    free and independent hearts
    but depends on external provocation.

    Such doing does not flow
    it depends on external provocation.

    It does not come from our sense of
    who we are and what we want to do, but from

    our anxious reading of how others define us
    our anxious reading of how others define us
    our anxious reading of how others define us

    and of what the world demands.

    When we react in this way we do not act humanly.

    The true professional is one
    who does not obscure grace
    with illusions of technical prowess,
    the true professional is one
    who strips away all illusions to reveal

    a reliable truth,
    a reliable truth in which
    the human heart can rest.

    Can rest.

    Unveil the illusions
    unveil the illusions that masquerade
    the illusions that masquerade
    as reality and reveal
    the reality
    behind the masks.

    Catch the magician
    deceiving us
    get a glimpse
    a glimpse of the
    truth behind the trick.
    A glimpse.

    Contemplation happens anytime we get a glimpse of the truth.

    Written by Margaret Wheatley , in Finding Our Way, 2005

  27. posted by Marjoryt on

    I think this comes under “give myself permission to focus.” Our society promotes multi-tasking; as a consequence concentration on one thing is often seen as an impediment to accomplishing all our work. I’ve caught myself trying to grade essays while trying to listen to my husband talk about his latest gig and watch my favorite tv show. It never works well – I miss the best moments of the show, the camradarie with my husband, and really didn’t get many essays graded.

  28. posted by GayleRN on

    Take that day off. I have never once seen an employer sitting at the hospital bedside of an ill employee. Even when the job was the direct cause ie work injury. As a self employed person rest assured that your customers always have a back up plan. In the work world you are so replaceable.

    To your family you are irreplaceable. Don’t let all of your family pictures feature you interacting with electronic gadgets.

  29. posted by Liz on

    Try disconnecting from ALL your electronics for 24 hours. Plan soemthing outside of your living space, have someone hide your phone, just be still.

  30. posted by Keri on

    There’s already a day off built into the work week: it’s called the Sabbath. Jews have been observing it for 3,500 years. Until fairly recently, Christians observed it as well (albeit on a different day of the week).

    There are 39 different types of work which are biblically prohibited on the Sabbath (http://www.ou.org/chagim/shabbat/thirtynine.htm). The one thing that ties them all together is the concept of altering the world–be that through creativity or destruction. That is the defintion of work in the Bible.

    Many non-observant Jews and Christians (and people of other faiths, or none at all!) are rediscovering the idea of a sabbath from work and are taking steps towards reclaiming one personal day a week. Common vows are: turning off the cell phone and taking the landline off the hook (no phone calls at all for 24 hours!) and turning off the computer and/or disconnecting the internet.

    If you’ve set the expectation among others that you are available 24/7, you need to change that by telling people, “I will not be available on Saturdays/Sundays/whenever.” All over the world, every week, religious people say this and the world and their careers don’t come crashing down. You can say it too. You can also put an out-of-office message on your e-mails warning people that you will not respond for a certain 24-hour period, and you can likewise say the same on your voicemail.

    What do people do with all that newly-discovered time? They play with their kids, have sex with their spouses, go out with friends, read a book, take up a crafting hobby or work puzzles.

    What constitutes work for you and work for someone else may vary. Someone who works on a factory floor may think having 24 hours to work on their Great American Novel is a real joy; people who write for a living, though, need to spend a day NOT writing.

    In short, the Sabbath is a day for letting go of ALL the exepectations you and others put on yourself. It is a day for not feeling guilty about not accomplishing anything. Indeed, you are NOT supposed to accomplish anything on the Sabbath. It is a day for not setting a schedule. Don’t make plans you have to keep; don’t make yourself a chore list. Just exist.

    P.S. You have to learn to let go; expect it will take you some time and practice to become truly detached on the Sabbath.

  31. posted by Christyn@StrivingforSimple on

    I like this November Resolution..I will be planning my day off soon! As for posture..I find that practicing yoga helps me with my posture. I actually sit up and stand straighter without having to put much thought. But as soon as I fall out of practice the bad posture returns!!

  32. posted by Nana on

    When I worked at a school, and Santa came to visit, I walked past a child who was hiding. He said to me, quite earnestly, “When I’m 4, I won’t be afraid of people in costumes any more.” I quite admired the way he’d given himself to be afraid, while making plans for a different future.

  33. posted by Renee on

    Hi Erin,
    See how many people are rooting for you!!!!
    I like Keri’s answer best. Our bodies need a day off once a week. That’s four days a month. But maybe you have to work up to that!
    Looking forward to hearing how your day off works!

  34. posted by Jannie on

    Wow. Its inconceivable to me. I need my days off to unclutter my mind! I find that I’m only able to see my work life clearly when I can step back from it for a time.

    Good luck! I hope that when you do it, you see benefits and you schedule full days (or even weeks!) off more regularly.

  35. posted by Harrie on

    I think that when everyone can take a day off, the world will be a better place ~ so when you take a day off, you’re doing it for yourself, the the people close to you, and for all of us!

    Same deal when we take care of our health, even when exercising and appointments are a drag ~ it’s not just for us but for our loved ones. And a day off is healthy!

    Good luck, thank you for all you do ~ and enjoy!

  36. posted by Another Deb on

    My husband and I are both teachers who need a LOT of prep time to set up labs,shop for supplies, create new and custom lessons for each group of kids, each learning challenge, and assess the results of our student’s learning yada yada… We always remark that we get on a ship in August (not a luxury liner, either!) and we are rowing constantly until the end of May.

    We used to go hiking all day on Saturdays, just 6 or 7 years ago. Somehow the job has expanded to fill all of our time and I convince myself that sitting here typing on a blog counts as “R & R”.

    In my crystal ball I am seeing the cost of this spiral. At some point very soon, another layer of resoponsibility will be added when one or more parents begins a severe decline, or, even worse, when one of us does. The added stresses, and lack of organization and balance are going to make for an epic disaster.

    Time for some change!

  37. posted by Shawn Tuttle on

    Ditto Kathy’s remark about hot water. The most complete and thorough (i.e. technological, physical, and emotional) unplugging I’ve ever done was spending a day at the hot springs in the hills where we could walk when we got tired of being in the water. What lovely bliss came over me!

  38. posted by Mary in TN on

    Jannie scooped me, but I’ll rephrase it myself. To help you stay away from work, consider your time off as de-cluttering your mind. It’s just another de-cluttering project!

  39. posted by Jeffrey W on

    My dream is to find a job that I can take a day off FROM! I haven’t had a day off in almost three years. I’ve been searching for a job all that time. Finding a job is a full time job, with no time off. *heavy sigh*

  40. posted by Jan Horwood on

    I was surprised to read how long it’s been since you took a day off work. Mainly because I can’t understand the idea of an uncluttered life, i.e. doing and having the things that matter, and not being able to go deeply into intentional leisure time mode. You need this for yourself and for your family. They need you to be able to do this. I would actually say that until this is a normal thing you can do, say once a week or so, you won’t truly have an uncluttered life.

    Normally I don’t spout my opinions on other people’s blogs, it just made me worry about you!

  41. posted by Joy on

    This post – your goal to take a day off – reminded me of a novel I just read called Joy for Beginners. Each character is challenged by their friend to do something that for them is a big challenge! For one with small kids it was to go on a vacation by herself. You might enjoy it. :)

  42. posted by Kerri on

    I second the Sabbath notion! My husband doesn’t work on Sundays, but admittedly he has a fairly 9-5 weekday job. I, however, am a stay at home mom, and don’t really get many days where I’m not working. I do more prepping on Saturday so I can rest as much as I can on Sundays, like make sure we have clean dishes the night before, make sure we have clean church clothes, have an easy crockpot meal or even leftovers and cereal for meals, and so on. We also try not to do thugs we normally do on other days to give our eyes and brains rest as well (like cutting out set TV time and video games) and we spend a lot more quality time together as a family. We spend time with family and friends, and personally don’t treat it like another Saturday (we don’t go out to movies, out to eat, shopping, etc)

  43. posted by Thrift Store Mama on

    I definitely work all the time. Even though I don’t have a demanding career, I have my real part-time day job, another part-time gig, and then even though I don’t get paid for it, I do several things in my community that I consider to be work.

    I’m totally not “into” my career, but I definitely work every single day.

  44. posted by bryan on

    I found out that insecurity is a great motivator for willpower!! It is a secret for many overachievers. For those that do not have any insecurities, sometimes tricking your mind into thinking your not good enough to d something, sometimes does the trick to helping you succeed.

    Its like that Michael Jordan commercial — tell me I’m slower, tell me I’m getting older, tell me I can no longer stand up straight! — I want YOU to!!

  45. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    I third Keri’s & Kerri’s Sabbath posts. I’m not hard and fast about it but I try to NOT do any shopping (groceries, those odd things I forgot during the week, take-aways…) on a Sunday. I don’t do this so much for myself as for trying to allow others to have a day off / week. As a secondary benefit, I’ve found that it helps make me less materialistic – I CAN live without X, Y or Z for another day, can I do without it for longer?

    A good employer will train his / her / its employees. If you work for yourself, you need to budget to allow this. That budget includes TIME, not just $. You could try thinking of your day off as training – you’re training your body and mind to relax and to find new ways of doing things.

    And then of course, you could remember that your catch-cry is to “live a remarkable life”. Working 7 / days a week just ends up with the remark of, “Foolish person; worked themselves into an early grave.” We’d like to have you around for a fair while yet, Erin; so please don’t work yourself into the early grave. :-)

    And I’ll try to follow my own advice by stopping procrastinating on blog comments for the day and get some things done so I can enjoy my weekend away. :-)

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