My friend Tony Miller used to say to me: “We are not human doings — we are human beings.”
Timely words for us in the Christmas/New Year season.
We all need time off just to learn ‘how to be again’. It is amazing how quickly we can forget the need to have some Holy-days. Days for rest, days to have fun and days just to do nothing.
Dr Mike’s Seven Benefits of Holidays
- Better heart health
- Depression fighter
- Stronger families and better marriages
- Stress buster
- Productivity booster
- Better sleep
- Longer life
All the studies and experts would agree with Dr. Mikhail “Mike” Varshavski. Holidays and rest are very good for your health.
Doing nothing is a novel concept in our 24/7 media-driven world. Certainly, for me, with a tendency to Type A driven-ness, doing nothing can be a difficult but much-needed past-time.
Yesterday I spent a good bit of the day helping expand my wife’s worm farm, in between re-reading Jim Collins masterful exposition on management called ‘Good to Great”. For me, this was akin to doing nothing. Did I mention I had a catnap on the lounge? Ah, the joys of doing nothing.
We all need these sorts of days to preserve our sanity and also our ability to just ‘be’.
The danger we face as men is that we identify so much with what we do, that we forget who we are and whose we are.
Christmas holidays remind us that we are born from above with eternity in our heart. The Christmas season and the presence of our loved ones at family gatherings remind us that we are husbands, fathers and uncles. We can even be grandfathers, fathers-in-law and great grandfathers. These are the relationships we must value, and these are the relationships that really matter.
Nevertheless, our work is important. It’s just about balance in our lives and acknowledging who we are as a human being. The Bible talks about body, soul and spirit. Ruth has more.
Ruth Limkin, CEO of The Banyans, a wellness and therapy service, argues that humanity has six core facets of well-being: occupational, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and physical. The diagram below depicts it well —
Work, or occupation, is important, especially for men. The need for a man to enjoy and succeed in his work is the reality of our masculinity.
But if, as men, we neglect our emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and physical needs in the pursuit of our work, we become hollowed out and prone to burnout.
In late November I took my wife to Vanuatu to celebrate 44 years of being in love, for an eight-day break. I had promised to take her to the South Pacific 4 years ago, but I was much delayed. My wife was gracious with the delay, but joyful in the delivery.
Thankfully we spent time at the beach and the place where the famous book and subsequent musical, South Pacific, was born and took its inspiration. The island of Espiritu Santo covered all the facets of well-being, except for the work one, which was great.
Even God had the seventh day off from his busy work of creation. Surely this should be an encouragement to us mere mortals. If the perfect one had a restful holy-day, how much more should we?
Grab those moments of rest with your family.
Don’t belittle them but use them to become a happy and healthy human being as my mate Tony used to say.
The side benefit is you will live a lot longer!
Yours for learning ‘how to be’,