by Cathleen Elise Rossiter
“After all, most writing is done away from the typewriter, away from the desk. I’d say it occurs in the quiet, silent moments, while you’re walking or shaving or playing a game, or whatever, or even talking to someone you’re not vitally interested in.”
It has always struck me as curious that, in spite of our knowledge that a particular behavior or practice is either good for us – body, mind, and soul – or bad for us, we invariably court the opposite behavior. In America, having a rich heritage in working hard to provide the best from nothing for ourselves and our families, of working our way up the ladder from the mail room to the board room, we feel guilty if we slow down, take time away from our jobs, or even take a few minutes to go to the cafeteria to eat.
A friend of mine in France was dumbfounded when he learned that, in my days formerly in the corporate world, I used to eat breakfast in my car on the way into the office and that I ate my lunch and dinner at my desk.
“When do you breathe?”, he inquired. “Surely you have the time to take a break, to clear your mind and refresh yourself by connecting with your co-workers over lunch? Surely you are not chained to your desk?”
I admit, his question had me stumped. No, I was not actually chained to my desk. I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased. There was nothing physically restraining me in my chair. I finally answered,
“It’s conditioning. From an early age, we are told to work hard, give it your all, and be better than the rest if we want to succeed. If we take a break, we are made to feel inferior, as though we do not have what it takes to succeed. So we just never stop. Even now, it feels strange to be away from the office, on vacation, lingering over lunch in the open air and chatting about something other than the projects piled on my desk.”
My previous experiences in business have taught me the value of stepping back and taking time away to refresh myself, clear my head, and spend time looking at the ways my business also needs rejuvenation and refreshing. Study after study shows the damage that over-training does to an athlete’s body and performance. Other studies show that by increasing periods of rest, the body has the time and space it needs to repair damage and allow the body and mind to perform at their best.
In other areas of my business, I take time away at the end of every year from the rigorous schedule to step back and view things with a fresh perspective in order to be certain that I am bringing my best to my clients and readers. Therefore, although it is my intention to post to Art Life Connection weekly as always, bear with me if I miss a random posting. Know that you are my inspiration and impetus for paying attention to all that we can learn from one another through our forms of creative expression.
In the meantime, please share your stories with me via e-mail (ArtLifeConnection.gmail.com) about why you are attracted to your favorite form of art or any experiences with art that made a great impression on you. You will find them on the Setting Sail Readers Page. As more readers share their stories, I will add them so keep checking.
Have a wonderful weekend. Do your best to make it a restful one.