Every Sunday morning Gerry would be waiting
for my brother and me.
There’d be a glass of lemonade, 5¢ and a chocolate Freddo Frog.
It was always the same routine.
We’d walk to Auntie Elsie’s, the Milk Bar lady.
I could buy whatever I wanted with my 5¢.
It was always a small Kit Kat for me.
Gerry would take us the long way home.
Showing us his favorite gardens in the neighbourhood.
He taught me to love nature.
To love flowers.
He’d point out the camellias, daffodils,
jasmine, poppies, snapdragons
and occasional garden gnomes.
The pleasure in small things.
Gerry knew how to take the time
to stop and smell the roses.
I still love it.
Walking around the neighborhood, any neighborhood,
sneaking a peek into gardens.
Seeing how many flowers I can actually name.
But what if you don’t have time because you’re working too much?
It’s easy for your ambition to get in the way of your wellbeing.
You can end up working too much.
Running yourself ragged and burning out.
Even when you know you’ll be no good to anyone.
Sometimes it’s not even your choice.
The work demands it.
Your boss demands it.
It’s just what’s expected.
It’s not smart.
If you truly want to excel at work, then down time is essential.
However you take it.
Going for a ride.
Having a beer.
So, at the risk of sounding a bit mischievous,
if you need a mental health day…
I say take it!
It’s not for life admin (shopping, housework, medical appointments)
where you’re running around and catching up on things.
I mean a real day off.
It’ll help you be more creative and productive back on the job.
And I bet much nicer to be around.
Isn’t a day worth that?
With that kind of result
your boss and your co-workers will be thankful.
Especially if you choose a day when it won’t make it
too hard for them (or your clients).
And on your day off,
why not go for a walk around your neighborhood?
Sneak a peek into those gardens you normally walk right by.