Thursday, March 7, 2013

Playing Hooky

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. 

Douglas Pagels, 'These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You'

It's going to be nasty out there today. Not as nasty as they originally thought, but nasty enough for me to play hooky. Actually, as I look out the window I see it's not really bad at all, but they've been fooling me for two days now.  Yesterday I thought the weather would be bad, and I would be off...and there was nothing.  Now I wake on another planned day off, and there is nothing. They say now that overnight tonight is going to be the worst.  Well, no one ever said I couldn't take off two days, did they?  Whatever guilty feelings I may have, they are are all mine. No one cries and bemoans when I call in.  It's all in my mind.  

All kinds of worries race through my mind... such as who was going to cover my group, what about my intake, or so and so is coming for their individual session, and I don't want them to make the trip for nothing. Of course, when they wanted to take off, they didn't care that I might be sitting around waiting. And, on more than one occasion, I went to work sick to meet with a client who didn't even show..  I felt like I was letting everyone down when, the truth is, I was letting myself down when I didn't take a day that I really 'needed' so much.  As a result, I felt overworked, stressed out, and disenchanted with a career that once meant so much to me. 

I don't like to talk about regrets, but I am sorry it took me so long to realize that playing hooky from work is really necessary, and I shouldn't feel guilty about taking 'my time'. I earned it, and if I don't use it, I will lose it. Learned that one the hard way when 156 sick hours went down the drain when I left my last job. And the place is not going to fall apart because I am not there. So what if I have paperwork to catch up on?  It will still be there when I go back...and, besides, is there any such thing as catching up?  Not anymore there isn't. I've also learned that completing all of your work can actually be detrimental for you. In fact, the more you do, the more they expect.  That's another one I learned the hard way...and the main reason my caseload is larger than anyone else's caseload.  Oh, I could sit back and play the 'blame game' that I am singled out and expected to work harder than the others, but whose fault is that?  I'm the one who had to do it all.  Now I pay the price.

So, take a lesson from someone who knows.   If you need that day, whether it's to catch up on some much needed rest or to recharge our batteries with some alone time,  and you have the time coming, take it. Don't work yourself silly, and then look back in your elder years and wonder why you missed out on so much. As hubby always used to say to me when I crawled out of bed feeling as if I'd been run over by a steamroller..."When you drop dead, they'll only find someone to take your place." And you know what?  He's right. There WILL always be someone to take my place because that's just the way it. is.

Thanks for letting me share.


  1. And thank you for sharing this wisdom.

    When I see the weather reports, I think of you...
    And your to/from/work trek...

    But you are home today, so I don't have to worry! Hugs......

  2. I really believe there are times a person must do what's important for their self regardless of what others might think.

  3. Good morning Mary.....just checking in to see how you are doing.....Never be sorry for ANY TIME SPENT PAPERING YOURSELF....if we don' one else will.
    Have a wonderful day of rest.



  4. In so many other cultures taking wellness days are just as important as showing up to work, because you can't have one without the other. Good for you to play hooky@ I love that rainbow quote.

  5. You have a very emotionally draining job, in which you help people and they expect you to solve their problems! Our jobs are similar in that way, and i would n't be able to handle mine if i did n't play hooky once and again! There are some days that i am so burned out that i can not speak to one person. But still, i do know the guilt very well! Too well!
    I hope you will get to enjoy the rest of your off day and have lots and lots of fun. RTemember, cgores are not allowed on hooky days!

  6. You don't need a reason to take a day off. Just do it. LOL Those days are there for you to use not to lose them. You have earned everyone of them. I am proud that you took the days off, bad weather or not. Your job is a very demanding one and no matter what you want to think, you are never off work. You are always thinking about someone or someones situation. My aunt use to say "screw guilt" and she is right. Wishing you an energizing day!


  7. I understand what you are saying completely Mary. If I need to take time off I always feel I am causing more stress for my team leader and my fellow workers. I guess I feel guilty if I try and identify it with one word.

    I am off because of health reasons the next couple of days too.

    Your readers above are telling you it is okay to take some time for yourself when you need it.

    I think women are the worst for this. We want to be all things to all people, and that is the impossible dream. Maybe that should be my handle, the Impossible Dreamer. lol

    Enjoy your day off.

    hugs and love Sharon