During the past week as I have been on vacation, I’ve realized something interesting about myself: I don’t like too much leisure.
I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but for some reason, the idea of sitting on a beach relaxing, or being on a perpetual holiday doesn’t seem appealing.
The idea of taking more than two days off to do nothing feels like a form of punishment for me. I’d much rather be doing something that helps me grow, and to seek new horizons.
It seems like a lot of our focus as a society is to work so that we can earn enough more to enjoy as much leisure as possible.
If you look at a lot of Instagram posts today, they are focused around this sort of lifestyle/wealth mantra. First, you work hard, then get rewarded, then you go on vacation, forever.
To me, this somehow feels wrong.
I love to work on creating, and finding ways to keep challenging myself, both in my career and personal life. When I have too many days of not creating, I begin to feel like I am wasting my life.
Does this mean that I am somehow addicted to work? Am I a Type-A personality who needs to impress everyone with my non-stop hustle?
No, I don’t think so.
The same as I crave sleep or water, I crave the chance to create, to try new things, to learn new ways to live.
Maybe I am addicted to creating?
I am reminded of the book ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. Toward the end of the story, the two main characters – Bernard and Helmholtz – are exiled from the ‘normal’ society. Helmholtz, instead of choosing a sunny, tropical location, asks to be sent to the Falkland Islands where the weather is rainy and miserable. He says that he feels that this better suits his personality and will inspire his writing.
In a way, I get where he is coming from.
I’d rather face times of challenge, and struggle and uncertainty that help me grow than to have a smooth, stress-free perfect life just handed to me. To me, having a leisurely life without any worries seems somehow boring.
I understand that I am writing this from a privileged point of view. I have enough money to survive, and I am not living in a time of war or civil unrest. There is no direct danger to my life, or to those I love.
But maybe that is the point: for much of our existence, humans have been forced to struggle to better themselves. Only now, as technology makes our lives much easier, are we reaching the point where we can ‘chill’ as much as we want. This cultural desire to embrace leisure seems to make us passive. It whittles away our potential.
For this reason, the ability to live an easy, relaxed, stress-free life doesn’t seem appealing to me.
I want the challenge. I want the growth.
I want to ‘take it uneasy.’