Balancing Work, Rest and Play
The world is changing rapidly. Technology is advancing at an ever increasing rate. People are working longer hours than they have in history before.
They are having less time with their families and friends. And most importantly, they want to spend all those precious moments enjoying themselves rather than doing something else!
But what do people actually mean when they say “work”? What does it really mean? Is it just sitting around doing nothing or is there more to it? Are these activities even necessary? How much time should one spend on them and how often?
These questions are not only relevant to the average person but also to business owners.
Do you need employees that will work hard for your company or do you have enough money to hire someone who doesn’t mind coming in late every now and then?
It’s no secret that many people today don’t enjoy going out anymore. Instead, they prefer to stay home and watch TV or go online instead. While some may argue that it’s because of technology, others believe that it’s due to the fact that society has become too materialistic. If you’re reading this article, chances are good that you’ve been guilty of indulging in such behavior at least once in your life. However, if you truly want to change your lifestyle and live a simpler life without any regrets then you’ll need to start making changes soon.
Ever since you got out of college, your friends have been telling you that it’s time to stop living like a kid. They’re right. Sure, in the beginning your lack of responsibilities allowed you to pursue some exciting endeavors such as traveling the world or climbing mountains.
Unfortunately, now that you finally have a good job with an excellent salary, you don’t really have a good excuse anymore. How you’ve managed to get this far in your life is still a mystery.
But what does all of this have to do with work, rest and play?
Well, you see, it’s time to start balancing the three. If you want to be successful then you’re going to need to learn how to manage your time effectively. This means saying no to friends now and then (even though they won’t understand) and getting used to waking up early in the morning.
Even though you haven’t gotten a promotion yet, you have already managed to improve your skills by taking on additional responsibilities at work. While your boss may think that you’re ready, it would be unfair of you to think that way. Instead of jumping the gun, it might be best if you took things slowly and focused on doing your job right.
That way, if you ever do get promoted it won’t be because you’re filling in for someone. It will be because you’ve earned it.
But what about everything else in your life?
It’s true, there are still many things that you’d like to do and see but don’t worry; you won’t be doing them alone. The people you care about are an important part of your life and shouldn’t be neglected.
One day, you will meet the right person but until then why not have some fun?
So what’s it going to be?
You have many life experiences behind you and more to come, the main thing is not to regret the choices you make.
The alarm on your phone goes off and you wake up. After taking a quick look at the time, you shut if off and go back to sleep.
The sun is shining through your window and warming your face; it’s going to be a beautiful day. You get out of bed and yawn. Looks like you’re going to have to start getting up earlier if you want to get enough sleep.
As you’re about to brush your teeth, something occurs to you. It’s Sunday! You don’t have to go to work today.
Instead of rushing through your routine, you take your time and enjoy every second of it. It’s been a long time since you did that.
After taking care of your most important biological need, you head back to bed and turn on the TV you keep in your room. Flipping through the channels, you land on a show where some couples are arguing in a jungle. That sounds interesting so you watch it for a bit.
When it’s over, you turn off the TV and pick up a book you’ve been reading called “Walden”.
You’re on chapter three when you decide to get up. After eating something quick, you head out the door. You’re going to the same spot by the lake that you went to yesterday.
Seems like it’s become your personal place. You could go somewhere else if you wanted to though since it isn’t very crowded this time of day.
As you’re walking there, you pass by a flower shop. It would be nice to bring a bouquet to the lake and surprise whoever may end up going with you. You’ve never been big on holding flowers but they do look nice.
Maybe you should get some for your mom while you’re thinking about it. She’s been working hard lately so maybe it would make her day.
After buying a small bundle of flowers, you resume your journey to the lake. Upon arriving, you’re happy to find that it’s not crowded at all. You sit down near the water’s edge and soak in the scenery.
A few birds are flying overhead while fish are passing through the water right in front of you. It almost seems like they’re not in a lake but rather in an ocean. They would probably think the same thing if they were in your shoes.
You pull out your book and begin reading where you left off. As time passes, you become so absorbed in the book that you lose track of everything else. You don’t know how long you spend here but eventually a police officer comes by and tells you that the park is closing and everyone needs to leave.
You got to school a little late today and already feel guilty about it. This just adds to it.
You stand up and walk back to your apartment, thinking about what you should tell your mom. You don’t think she needs to know that you nearly got arrested.
When you get home, the only person there is your mom. That’s a relief at least; it would have been akward if she was around when you were told you had to leave.
“I’m home.” You say.
“Welcome back hun.
How was school?”
Your mom responds while stirring something on the stove. It *whooshes* as the boiling liquid splashes against the sides of the pot.
“It was fine.” You say, not wanting to get into how you got detention on your first day. Your mom turns around and her eyes immediately focus in on the flowers behind you.
Who are those for?”
I thought you’d like them so I picked some for you.” You answer truthfully.
Your mom smiles and walks over to you, taking the bundle from behind your back.
“That’s so sweet.
What’s the occasion?”
You think real hard.
What day is it?
“It’s uh, Tuesday.” You say, stating the obvious.
“That it is. It’s also our anniversary! I completely forgot!” Your mom says.
“Here, let me put these in a vase.”
She walks over to the kitchen counter and grabs a purple vase. She begins separating the flowers and placing them in the vase. You lean against the wall and watch.
“You didn’t have to get me anything.” Your mom says while working.
“I know.” You reply.
You’re out of excuses so you might as well come clean, or dirty in this case. You walk into the kitchen and sit down at the table. Your mom comes over and sits with you.
Is everything okay honey?
You can tell me if something’s wrong.” She says.
You’re silent for a moment before speaking.
“I was nearly arrested today.” You say, deciding to give her the short version.
Your mom’s eyes widen.
Was it those thugs that hang around in the alley by school?”
Your mom asks in a panicked voice.
“No, nothing like that. It was at the lake actually.”
Your mom’s tone becomes a little less worried.
Did you hurt someone?
! I know you can get a little aggressive when you’re playing fighting games with your friends…”
“Relax, I didn’t hurt anyone. Well, at least not on purpose.”
You explain to her that you fell off of a cliff and miraculously survived. Your mom’s facial expression becomes less anxious and more confused.
Why would the police be after you?
I understand if they were trying to save your life, which I’m very thankful for by the way, but what I don’t understand is why they would think you did it on purpose.”
You take a deep breath. Here it goes.
“Because I was smoking weed at the time.”
Your mom’s face shows a mix of emotions. Disbelief, anger, disgust, disappointment, sadness. She nearly bursts into tears.
Why? Why would you do such a thing?
What could have possibly been so bad that you’d turn to such a disgusting drug?”
You think back to earlier today and remember the girl tied up in the abandoned house, screaming while that man ripped her head off. Not a fun memory.
“It was to escape the reality of my life.” You say solemnly.
Your mom doesn’t seem to know how to respond. Instead of pushing the issue, she hugs you and exhales deeply.
How did you survive?
It must have been a miracle.”
You explain to her what happened. At first, she doesn’t believe you. The drug theory is much more believable to her than your explanation.
She doesn’t know how to react to the news of the other monster and you can see it scares her. This is something you’re going to have to deal with yourself. You aren’t going to worry her with your nightmares, at least not right now.
“I’m…I’m proud of you.” Your mom says with tears in her eyes.
“You should have told me sooner, but I’m very proud of you.”
Your mom stays by your side for the next couple of days. You have a few minor scares with your stalker, but as long as you stay near your mom you aren’t too worried. When it’s time for you to go back to school, she drives you to school and says she’ll be here to pick you up afterwards.
As usual, a few girls stare at you as you walk inside. You look back at them and they immediately stop. You notice a few boys starring at you as well. At first you think it’s because of your near death experience, but after a bit of observation you realize it’s because of Dasha. They had heard about her having an older boyfriend and were hoping to catch a glimpse of her. When they see you instead, their interest goes from mild to 0 instantly. You’ve probably intimidated them too much now.
You walk to your first class with Eliza and Dasha. Again, a few people stare at you. They’re a bit more shy about it than the younger kids were, but they’re obviously staring.
“Dude, you’re famous.” Eliza says after noticing the stares.
Why wouldn’t they be staring?
I’m a celebrity.” You reply proudly.
After school, your mom pulls up to the curb in front of the school. The second you step out of the school, you can sense something is wrong. You can feel someone watching you.
You mom drives you home and makes small talk on the way which you barely contribute to. Your eyes continually look out the car windows, desperately searching for the stalker. You reach your street, and spot the stalker almost immediately.
It’s the man you saw killing the girl in your hallucination. He’s just sitting on your porch, watching.
“Mom, there’s someone on our porch.”
Your mom says nothing and quickly looks in the direction you’re pointing in.
“Call the police! I’ll see what he wants!” You say opening the car door.
“Be careful honey.”
You walk up the path to your house and approach the man sitting on your porch. He still hasn’t noticed you, instead looking down at his phone. You realize it’s the same man you saw abducting the girl in the forest.
Your heart begins to race as you imagine punching him in the face.
Who is he and why is he here? To abduct you again and send you through some inter-dimensional monster infested tunnel?
No, that can’t be right. If that was the plan, he would have done it right away. Besides, this isn’t the same house.
When you reach within arm’s reach of him, he looks up from his phone and stares directly through you. You feel a cold chill run down your spine as you feel his gaze slide off of you and towards the street.
“She’s here,” he says, not looking at you.
“I know,” a second voice replies coming from inside the house.
You look back towards your house to see a man dressed in a suit stepping out of your back door. You’ve never seen him before, but he looks vaguely familiar. He smiles at you, revealing a set of bright white teeth.
“I bet you’re surprised to see me,” he says still smiling.
Before you can reply he steps forward and hugs you. His grip is as tight as a vice. You struggle to break free but find it impossible.
You feel his breath in your ear.
“It’s OK, it’s OK, I’m not here to hurt you.”
You feel the pressure ease up and he releases you from the hug. You stand their panting, trying to regain your composure while the two strange men look at you with concern. Tears stream down your face, both out of fear and relief.
The two men don’t seem offended by your tears and continue to eye you with curiosity.
“So, it’s true,” the man says. “The boy can see us.
How is that possible?
He’s not even magic.”
The other man shrugs his shoulders, still staring at you. You realize how quiet it is and that the entire street is empty. It’s as if everyone just disappeared.
Where is everyone?”
You ask, breaking the silence.
Both men look at each other before the one that was hugging you steps forward.
“It’s OK, you can trust me. I’m an agent with the government.”
You snort with laughter.
“Uh huh, and I’m Santa Clause,” You retort.
The man frowns and holds out his hand.
“FBI Agent William’s, but you can call me Bill.”
You look at his hand, then back at his face before shaking his hand. His firm grip reassures you.
Do you have any identification?
,” You ask, knowing that not everyone who says they are the FBI are actually with the FBI.
Bill nods and pulls out his wallet, handing you his FBI identification. Your eyes widen as you read it:
William’s, William D
Employee ID: 1034319
You hand the identification back and Bill puts it back in his pocket.
“I’m here to help you,” he says. “
And you are Harry, right?
We have been watching you for a while now.”
“We knew the other man would abduct you, and we knew that you would be strong enough to survive the journey. Unfortunately, when you arrived in our world, you were still unconscious. We were debating whether to wake you up or not.”
Bill pauses and stares at his shoe for a second before looking back up at you.
“Anyway, I know you have many questions, but we have very little time. We need your help to stop a dangerous man from taking over the world.”
You stare at Bill in disbelief.
“I don’t….I mean…that’s crazy.
How can I help?”
Bill looks around and sees another man step out of your house and wave at him. He is dressed in street clothes with sun-glasses on. Bill nods back and the man comes over to you, extending his hand.
“Hello Harry, my name is Frank and I’m with the CIA. We’ve been keeping an eye on Graham and we need your help to stop him.”
“Oh many things, such as alien technology for one,” Frank says smiling. “Come with us, and we’ll explain everything.”
You look at both men and after seeing no deception within them, you nod your head in agreement.
“OK, I’m in.”
You arrive at a large, empty warehouse that looks run down from the outside. Once inside, however, you see that the inside is much more modern. There’s a large conference room with several chairs, a television, printer and paper deputy sitting next to it.
You sit down in one of the chairs as Bill and Frank take their seat.
Bill presses a button on the side of the deputy and papers start printing out of the printer.
“These are the blueprints to Graham’s underground base in Antartica,” he explains. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fly to Antartica and enter the base.”
“Once inside, we want you to place this wiretap here,” Frank says as he points at a small black dot on the blueprint. “We have reason to believe that it will allow us to listen in on their conversations.”
You don’t trust Graham and co. And you don’t trust Bill and Frank either, but you need to decide for yourself whether or not they are telling the truth.
The printed pages are piling up on the deputy’s printer. The writing is a bit small, so you get closer to get a better view.
“Once you place the wiretap, we’d like you to try to find as much information as possible on Graham’s plans. The wireless in the room should allow the wiretap to send it’s findings directly here. We’ll be able to listen in on their conversations and find out what they’re planning.”
You lean forward a bit more, but a sharp pain runs through your forehead sending you falling out of your chair.
What the heck?
“I’m sorry, Harry,” Bill says in a sympathetic tone. “We needed to ensure you’d help us, and this was the only way to guarantee it.”
You try to get up, but you feel quite dizzy. In fact, everything seems quite blurry. You reach up to touch your forehead and feel a large bulge underneath your skin.
What’d you do to me?”
“We injected you with a benign growth hormone and stretched your skin to make it appear as if you had a tumor. Thankfully, most people will overlook a minor growth in someone’s forehead.”
“You did this without my permission!” you exclaim.
“We had to, Harry. We needed your help and we couldn’t risk having you turn us down.”
“I still might….I…I need to go to the doct…”
“I’m sorry, but you don’t have time for that, Harry. You need to get to Graham’s base before he leaves for the island.”
You grab your head in pain as you try to think through the haze of medicine they injected you with. The growth doesn’t seem to be hurting you at all though, it just seems to be there.
“If I don’t go, you’ll be stuck like that,” Bill says. “If you do go, you’ll help us greatly in stopping Graham.
Which will it be, Harry?”
You have a decision to make.
The quick & easy path…
You’re not going to help these bastards if you don’t have to, and you’re definitely not going to risk your life for them.
“Uh…no, I can’t help you,” you say.
Bill sighs in exasperation.
“Fine. I understand.”
Frank turns off the projector and the lights turn back on. He then walks over to the door of the warehouse and opens it.
“Those are the terms. Take it or leave it,” he says in an emotionless tone.
You have no words, you’re just too shocked by the fact that he was willing to sacrifice you.
“Well, come on. Let’s go,” Bill says, nodding towards the door.
You stand up and walk over to him, though you’re still a bit wobbly from being dizzy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Triadic game design: Balancing reality, meaning and play by C Harteveld – 2011 – books.google.com
Balancing work and family life during the life course by AL Bovenberg – De economist, 2005 – Springer
Balancing work and childcare–the legacy of a gender equality experiment by R Holden, B Renshaw – 2002 – Dorling Kindersley Ltd
Constitutional law in the age of balancing by TS Wetlesen – Community, Work & Family, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Balancing work & love: Jewish women facing the family-career challenge by B Butterworth – 2006 – WaterBrook Press
Balancing work and life: training for supervisors by TA Aleinikoff – Yale lj, 1986 – HeinOnline
Developing compelling repetitive-motion exergames by balancing player agency with the constraints of exercise by E Denholtz – 2000 – books.google.com
Self-buffering, self-balancing, self-flushing production lines by S Toppinen-Tanner, M Laine, N Olin, K Törnroos… – 2018 – julkari.fi