I’m fighting hard not to work… It’s a strange thing to say – especially since I don’t have an “off” button. Or at least I haven’t found it just yet. I’ve been really focused on being a good husband and a family member for the past few days.
I spent most of my time reading, praying, and helping Grace with her hospital visits and being present… Sometimes I do miss being in the office but… moments like these make me realize that sometimes I was too busy for the sake of being busy.
When you start to distill down to what you TRULY need to do, you’ll actually recoup more energy, sense of clarity, and sense of freedom.
Now, you might be asking… ‘Why are you doing this?’
Well, for multiple reason.
The first reason is that I’m expecting my first child. My wife, Grace, wished to return to our home country (South Korea) to give birth to our first child here. Grace isn’t quite perfect with English yet so she feels more comfortable with the idea of giving birth to our first child where she can communicate with the doctors and nurses. That being said, I want to be with Grace and be present in the moment in making.
The second reason is that I haven’t celebrated Christmas at Korea in over 20 years. I was 7 years old the last time I celebrated Christmas in Korea. So it was a much needed time with my extended family during the Holidays.
The third reason is that I needed this. I needed the time to peel back from the “trenches” and survey the battlefield; so to speak. I needed a time where I can step back to see where I’m at now so that I can see the vision ahead. It’s hard to see the full picture when your heads in the sand. When you’re too busy being busy, it’s nearly impossible to realize that you’ve been working on the wrong things even when you feel like you’re doing it right.
Many months ago, I read a book that suggested that I take “Mini Retirements”. The idea of working till 65 and 70 just to retire is a sham. People can’t simply work past 7 years straight and expect to create the same amount of output and creativity. People need breaks and unfortunately, our society, somehow, made it NOT okay to do this. We’re always told to do more, be more, and have more. I believe this leads to a constant feeling of inadequacy and lack of clarity that leads to energy drained and full of stress – all the time.
The ancient Jewish people had this figured out. Rather, God instructed them to do it. The Jewish people understood that every 7 years came to a mini-retirement where they were forbidden to work the fields. But this was done on purpose. It allowed time for the fields to be replenished with minerals and nutrients for the crop. It allowed for MORE output.
Life is full of counterintuitiveness. Sometimes, you have to stop to be able to advance. Sometimes, you have to take a break to be able to have more productivity and creativity. And sometimes, you have to stop and survey the “battlefield” to know that you’re fighting the right battle.
I hope my journey is an inspiration to follow suit. It’s painful to NOT work now but I know as days go by, I will thank myself for doing this. Because as soon as I return from this “mini-retirement”, I’m going to be filled with MORE energy, MORE creativity, MORE clarity, and MORE ideas to take my business to the next level.