Taking time for yourself is important


Last weekend I did something I hadn’t done for a long time; I threw a fishing rod in the car and drove to Betsie Bay to do a few casts before I was even sure the ice was out of the water.

I didn’t expect to catch anything, but catching fish was not the point. It was something I did every spring when fishing was one of my favorite ways to take time out. As winter gave way to spring in late March, I would get out and familiarize myself with the places I liked to fish, noting the changes in the environment and soaking up the promise of spring and the fishing season at to come.

It was all part of a springtime ritual; I would go and check out the places I was fishing, clean my rods and reels, organize my gear, then go around to the shops that sold fishing gear to buy a few items I needed and many more which I didn’t need.

I’ve had an on-and-off relationship throughout my life, but found that when I was fishing, that was the only time I ‘turned off’. Most of the time, I’m still going through things in my head every minute of the day, unless I’m concentrating on work. It could be something related to today’s news, an answer to something I regret doing, what I planned to do for dinner, and everyone’s favorite, “what the hell I do with my life”.

When I fish, my mind is pretty calm. Especially if I’m actually on the water, in a boat. It’s just me, the water and my fish.


About 10 years ago, something changed; I took a job as a reporter for the Benzie County Record Patriot. Thus, I entered a phase of stopping for fishing. In fact, I stopped making time for many of my personal hobbies. It might surprise some of my co-workers to learn that my investigators told me it would probably be a 60-hour-a-week job at first while I acclimated. They weren’t kidding.

Things have changed in the corporate culture since then. I’m actively encouraged to take time off and often reminded that I shouldn’t work late or pick up extra stuff on my days off if possible.

However, I don’t think I took a single day off in the first few years. I didn’t notice any negative effects at first. I felt that I was doing something necessary and important. It wasn’t just work either. Other things changed for me too, and I felt my time was needed elsewhere. On top of that, I’ve always found it hard to openly enjoy some of my other hobbies, like getting lost in a good video game and making goofy videos for fun, things considered a “waste of time. “.

I generally stopped taking time for myself.

There is a big difference between having free time and taking time for yourself. You can have a lot of free time, but not take it for yourself, doing something you love. I’ve had a lot of free time over the past 10 years. I’ve taken a vacation and plan to reconnect with my hobbies, but usually they end up being week-long chores lists where I just hang around the house doing things to do. home and maybe taking some time off to do a few things I wanted to do like discovering a new restaurant.

It seems like the only thing I do now, especially in the last few years, is work, making excuses to work when I’ve been told I shouldn’t (it’s 9:35 p.m. on a Sunday as I write this), minding house business and commuting to and from grocery store.

Of course, every day I tell myself that I’m going to take a few hours for myself and work to find hobbies that help me relax and recharge, but inertia and habits are difficult obstacles. It almost seems like too much work to take time for me. Just putting a kayak on my car and driving to the lake seems like a lot of work when I could drive around the house and watch people eat themselves alive in the comment sections of Twitter.

This takes an obvious toll after a while. Most of the time I’m grumpy. It doesn’t take much to get angry or feel overwhelmed. I find it hard to concentrate on anything. I was recently diagnosed with ‘Encroachment on Terminal Burnout’.

I think it’s important, now more than ever, that people take time for themselves. There’s a lot going on in the world these days. It is more difficult to avoid conflicts. People need time to die out. Plenty of evidence shows that people aren’t at their best if they don’t take the time to actively engage in the things they love. It’s easy to say, but hard to do. Especially people who have a lot going on in their lives. It is easy to get carried away by circumstances.

So I’m going to make an effort to get back to activities that I enjoy, not just in front of the TV or my phone (although that can be fun sometimes). So far, I’m off to a good start. I already have about $100 worth of fishing gear sitting in my Tackle Warehouse cart.

Colin Merry is the reporter for the Benzie County Record Patriot. He can be reached at [email protected] or 231-408-3537.

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