"It's only by having some distance from the world that you can see it whole."
- Pico Iyer
I recently took a couple of weeks at work to travel around Spain. A lot of people have told me that it was a much needed break from work and they'd like to do something similar as well. I myself have told some people that it was a much needed break when I haven't had the patience to explain that it wasn't a break from work at all. It wasn't a break from anything now that I think about it. It was something I wanted to do. It's something that I want to be part of my life.
When I have to make a decision on whether to do something or not, it is rarely made on impulse. People who know me will tell you I'm not very impulsive. But, that doesn't mean every action is planned either. Instead, my decision to do something or not simply depends on whether I can incorporate that into my lifestyle.
For example, I love playing football, but all through this year, I have not played football because I don't see that fitting into my lifestyle when I want to run and cycle as well. So, it has taken a backseat.
I picked up the Pico Iyer quote from a blog post by Cal Newport on why he doesn't really agree with the idea of a sabbatical. He compares it to an overweight person taking two weeks a year to eat healthy food while continuing to eat junk the rest of the year, and I must say I agree.
The Tao way is to not take scheduled breaks from one thing or another, but to build a lifestyle that doesn't call for a break. If you feel the need for a break, you re-design your lifestyle to not end up in that situation again.
The next time you feel like you need a break from your routine, remember the analogy of the overweight person eating healthy two weeks a year.