I was at a conference a few months ago and a friend stopped to talk to me. He said, "So, Remy, what are you doing for fun these days?" It was like a shot to the heart. I felt sad and embarrassed all at once. I said, "Tom, I don't do fun. I haven't figured out how to pursue excellence and fun at the same time."
My answer has haunted me ever since. I should be able to make time for fun but it seems like there is always one more person to see or another e-mail to return and my sermon can always use more work. So, just this week I made a big decision; I'm taking Mondays off - the whole day. I've always worked "just a few hours" on Monday mornings but one thing leads to another and I inevitably work the whole day. The only true time off I take is Friday mornings to be with Lisa. That's our "date" time together. That means that I'm not taking any personal time and I'm not getting any jobs done around the house. Not good. [Update; after more thought, I've made Monday a work day and I'm taking all of Friday off. If I don't work on Monday I'm buried by Tuesday!]
I don't say this to complain or beg sympathy or impress you with my hard work. I reveal this weakness of mine in case there are others out there doing the same thing. We've got to knock it off! We need to be asking each other the same question asked of me, "What are you doing for fun these days?" And then we have to go have some fun, even if it kills us!
It's taken a few months but I actually did something fun last night. I went skiing for the first time in about 20 years. I almost backed out at the last minute but I forced myself to go. On the first trip down I almost cried. It was so good to do something that I loved but couldn't seem to justify the time or expense. Plus I had a good time getting to know the friend who brought me. Skiing is a very relational time because you spend half the time talking on the chair lift. It was a great affirmation that I was doing the right thing. And I believe it will ultimately add excellence to my work because I will be more balanced in life and refreshed.
So, do me a favor, stop me every now and then and ask me what I'm doing for fun!