Joel’s Journal – The Weekend – 11/14/2015 – – 11/15/2015

This past week I’ve been writing  a lot about the balancing act that is work and relaxation.

I’ve come to accept that it takes a serious amount of work, a serious amount of time spent at the computer or reading or researching to make me feel accomplished, to make me feel like I’ve done something with my day.

It’s not always easy. I wish I could write 2,000 words, give myself a pat on the back and have my brain accept that we’ve done enough for the day. It doesn’t though.

There’s always more words that could be written, always more research that could be done, always more planning that could be set.

The constant need to have my foot on the gas pedal is both a blessing and a curse I guess.

If you’re like me, there is a bright side to it, you just have to accept that that’s the way you are. I know, simple right?

Once that happens you can make it a part of your life and then learn to work with it, and only when it’s fully integrated into whatever you’re doing, can you really be happy. Only then can you really relax without that voice inside your head whispering that you should be working.

But, if are able to slash out long sets of hours where you can work, divided by a little bit of a break, you should be able to run the engine pretty steadily without a breakdown.

However, weekends are generally a sacred time, as anyone can understand.

Being able to wake up without the incessant beep of an alarm, settle down with a coffee and a book and just let the morning melt away into the afternoon as you drift between the world of your book and the satisfying periods of sleep as you nap on and off. The biggest thing for me is only working when I feel like it.

There’s nothing forcing you to put the hours in at the keyboard, only the willing desire to actually be there.

But, the sad thing is, it can’t be like this every weekend.

As I mentioned, I was covering the big curling tournament that was happening here in Oshawa this past weekend and I was putting hours in each day snapping photos and trying to understand the sport I really have never played.

Now I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to my weekends.

When I don’t get that necessary time to relax and reset, come Monday morning…look out.

This weekend was a little different.

Saturday morning I was able to meet up with some friends for brunch. Yeah, Oshawa has a brunch place, who knew? If you’ve never been to the Berry Hill Food Company, I highly recommend checking it out.

Working that afternoon wasn’t so bad after having a few laughs and some good conversation over coffee and eggs Benedict. Seriously though, what isn’t improved by a little coffee and eggs Benedict?

After finishing up my afternoon assignments I made the spontaneous decision to drive down to Kitchener and see the family for the night.

When living in Alberta, I hated the fact that my parents and brothers were three provinces away. I always told myself if I was back in Ontario I would take every opportunity I could to visit them, and now, being only an hour and half down the road, the quick drive is nothing compared to the distance between us before.

It was nothing special, just a typical night at the homestead having a few beers and shooting some pool.

Then, another spontaneous decision led to grabbing some beers with an old friend, beers that lasted until nearly 6 a.m.

Despite the overindulgence and the fatigue, waking up for a morning drive back to Oshawa (a couple hours after hitting the sheets) it was all made easier by the fact that I was able to squeeze in some quality time despite having to work on both of the most sacred days of the weekend.

It’s something I think we (myself included) take for granted too often, how blessed we really are.

Now, I don’t mean blessed in any sort of religious sense, I just use the word because I prefer it to saying how lucky we are. Luck implies theres some kind of chance involved and I don’t think that’s what I’m going for.

Blessed. There’s so many small things in life that we take for granted that are actually the things that give our lives flavour. The most important things in a well-cooked meal are the spices, even though they are generally the smallest of portions.

I’m talking that warm feeling of the sun on your face and the cool breeze, fresh with the smell of changing seasons. I’m talking the smell of coffee rising from your french press. I’m talking the cold bite of beer after a long day. Time with family. Time with friends.

I think these are things that people lose sight of sometimes when things get busy at work or when complacency sets in.

That’s where that balancing act comes in because too much work, or too much relaxation and you can forget what’s really important.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.