Yesterday I made myself take a break. I’d worked the amount of hours I’d set aside to work, and there were no pressing issues that couldn’t wait until the next time I clocked in.
I cleaned the kitchen, pitched some clutter, and managed to keep five kids happy and entertained.
At 4:30 I finished a task and considered what to do next. There is always a long list – sometimes mental, sometimes actually written down, sometimes stashed away on my computer – ALWAYS taunting.
I looked at my dining room table (cluttered with Legos and markers), I looked at my piano (dusty), I looked at my bathroom (swimsuits on the floor and toothpaste spit in the sink), and I decided to…. take a break.
It felt absurd to take a break in the midst of so much left to do, but my day started at 6am with a call to Montreal and I hadn’t stopped moving or thinking since then.
So I opened my Google Reader and stretched out on the couch.
Thirty seconds later the kids were milling about in the room.
Seriously? They’d been playing happily for several hours. I have a big house with a basement playroom and a back yard. I hadn’t seen these guys for more than a thirty second pass-through, and the moment I sit down for a break they hover.
I felt like a half-chewed carcass in the desert, fighting for my life as five three-foot vultures circled around me, waiting for me to breath my last. They weren’t even doing anything – they literally were standing around in the living room while I laid (layed?) there reading.
It was an interesting sociological phenomenon, watching their obvious discomfort and perplexation at my doing nothing. Was I the battery that energized the entire household? Was I the monkey winding the box? Apparently my lack of bustling shut the entire operation down.
Until I said “FRUIT SNACKS!” and they all went racing into the kitchen to raid the snack basket. They never returned, and I finished my break.