I have only been at home one day on vacation, not on sick leave, not on paternity leave, for the first time in about a year and half, and it occurred to me how that it almost seems easier to go to work than to stay at home. Usually, we get to stay at home for special reasons, sometimes paternity reasons, sometimes because we have to travel on vacation with the family, so we have things engrossing us, feeding our addiction to continue to work. Never do we allow time for some quietness, to reflect about life, our life, our journey, our hopes, our aspirations, how and if all the things we do tie up to create happiness for us and our children, and help our service to God. We all need time out of this our busy schedule to prayerfully reflect on our lives. It is self-indulging to have a retreat where we can sit back and like the eagle take a decent look at ourselves, our lives and spend time decalcifying our beaks.
In simple terms, we are addicted, addicted to work, addicted to pressure, addicted to our adrenaline. It is as though the world would come to an end if we ever stepped out of the activities for a private personal time alone. Our friends and work environment fuel this addiction, they tell us that the work will stop without us, they say no one else can do the things we do, they boost our ego when they recount how so indispensable we are. Some other ones may try to prey on our fears, how the world would turn against us if we ever get a break, how the system will collapse without us, how hell will break loose if we ever decide to ensure we take some time off.
I have worked enough years to see how quickly everything moves on when someone dies on duty. I have seen a couple of people die at work and things progressed as if they never even were anybody beyond just tools or numbers. I had a colleague, infact two, who were heads of key teams and they passed on. I will tell you what happened on both cases. The first case, people came to work, heard that the guy had died in an accident over the weekend, everyone was sad and sorry for the first 5 minutes of coming to the department, then everyone went ahead to ask for update on the job they had passed to the guy at the close of the week before he died. Infact a much junior officer took over his job and that was it, a couple of days or so after, he was completely forgotten. The story of the other guy wasn't much different.
The other day, a prominent CEO passed on. Before he passed it was as if the world would collapse without him, but after he passed, others simply took over his job and everyone moved on. His chapter was closed more or less.
The moral of the story, don't be deceived into believing that anyone is indispensable at work. No matter the motivation, whether it is to boost our ego or to prey on our fears, do not let both keep you from taking out time for yourself. Come to think of it, two reasons why people will never take a break are: one, it is either they have an overtly exaggerated image of their importance, or they are preyed by fear. Either motivation is not positive. It is a poor judgement to think the world would stop without us, it is even worse for anyone to be ruled and plagued by fear, whatever fear. And to talk about it, a lot of people are letting fear run their careers and ruin their lives – fear of people, fear of events, pressure from troubles. In my opinion, a relationship with God is vital in our pursuit of career. He can balance what we can’t balance; He can change what we can’t change; He can salvage what we can’t salvage. Every life is in the hand of God, the heart of kings is in the hand of God, and he turns it wheresoever he wills.
So my advice is that we should think moderately about ourselves and our capabilities. You are not omniscient or omnipotent, the world can go on without you, and the world will go on without you, so make out time to look yourself over and re-evaluate your life.
Well, for me, the second day of my vacation is just beginning, and I am enjoying the fact that for the next 21 days, I can forget time and just enjoy the beautiful life, family and hobbies that God has given me. I look forward to a blessed and beautiful vacation.