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Downtime is the 'Real You'

Last weekend, I laid down in the middle of a big, sunlit field.

I watched the clouds pass overhead, as Bob Dylan’s defeated voice murmured into my headphones…

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night

And the diamonds from the deepest ocean

I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss

For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’

It was at that moment that I realized it had been years – many years – since I had truly listened to music. No distractions. No interruptions. Nothing to do.

It’s often said the world is moving at a frantic, uncontrollable pace. We’re encouraged to work harder, faster, smarter. They seem like commandments. Thou must be vigilant and productive, or else be left behind. If you find a down moment, fill it.

But I’m happy to report that the crows still waddle slowly through the field before nightfall, picking worms from the dirt (they must have missed that podcast on optimization).

What am I trying to say? Just this: your downtime is sacred. Whether you choose to listen to music, read, clean, or stare off into space and dream – this may be the most important thing you can do for yourself. You are nurturing the “real you” – the one no one else has access to.

We need to stop marginalizing Free Time as a “Nice-To-Have” and restore it to its rightful post of “Must-Have.”

How do you unwind? What did you love to do when you had the time? Remember. Then take time to be careless today. It may be just what you’re “wishin’ to be ownin.’”

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