Monday, January 15, 2018

Enjoying the Downtime

While remaining focused on our goals, it is equally important how we spend our downtime.  I have always been a fan of developing hobbies, something that we enjoy and do to relax, something we enjoy to stimulate our minds, and something that if we had more time, we could delve more into.  Developing appropriate goals and being focused on accomplishing them take time, effort, diligence and concentration.  If we spent all of our time within that bubble, we would miss everything else that goes on around us.  We do need a chance, as Darren Hardy uses the phrase, a time to rinse and recharge.  A chance to take some time away from our goals, creates some space for our mind, body and soul to refresh themselves. This downtime inevitable can lead to a fresh prospective on the tasks in front of us.

For me, that would mean something related to music.  I started playing music right before I turned 9.  I went for an introduction class to learn…the accordion!  I did not know any better at the time.  However, it was a great instrument to learn, and one I took lessons on through High School.  The instrument was portable and I could play any type of music.  It also provided a starting point to learn other instruments over the years.  With playing music, also comes listening to music.  Going to concerts is a chance to enjoy someone else creating, plying their craft and listening to learn what they are doing. 

Case in point – last night we went to see Billy Joel at his monthly gig at Madison Square Garden.  As a fan, it was great to hear all the songs (that we know) being played lived.  As a musician, it was great to see a musician on stage, still having the “chops” and enjoying himself.  I have been to concerts where some musicians do not enjoy themselves; because they get tired of playing the same “hits” over and over again (Mr. Joel was one of them many years ago).  Last night was a relaxed man, doing what he loves (“I have the best job”), and engaging the audience.  It was a late school night for us, but well worth it.  As the musicians that we grew up with are thinning out, it is important to still catch them while we can (case in point – Tom Petty).

While the old adage is work hard, play hard; the rest of the world does not stay in a state of suspended animation during our relaxation time.  While engaging in our downtime activities, there are still opportunities to learn, engage and better ourselves.  Some hobbies actually help to keep one’s mind active, develop skills and, potentially, provide insight to be used elsewhere.  Working hard and staying focused to achieve our goals is important, but it is equally important to value our downtime, spending the time with your family, doing things with your friends, and enjoying hobbies.  Together, they make for a balanced lifestyle and the opportunity to get to where you want to be.

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