I tend to be a driver…stretching out from one thing to another, keeping on until the work is finished, not letting up. And, I think I am not alone. Excuses defend my unceasing activity such as:

  • not enough time in a day to get all this done
  • it won’t be finished on its own
  • company’s coming
  • it’ll get worse if I don’t do it now
  • if I do this now, I’ll have time to…

… you get the idea!


ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin relaxare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + laxus ‘lax, loose.’


Americans are lousy about taking vacations, and it’s not only because the U.S. is the sole industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee paid days off.

“Fear is still motivating people to not be away from the workplace,” even though concerns about layoffs have mitigated since the recession, said Rusty Rueff, a career and workplace expert at employment site Glassdoor.

American workers only used half of their eligible vacation time during the past 12 months, a Glassdoor survey found. The top reason for not taking vacation time was the concern that no other employee could do the job, followed by a fear of getting behind. Seventeen percent of respondents said they were afraid of losing their job.

“There’s a lot of motivation that says, ‘I’m afraid of being away for too long,'” Rueff noted.

But even people who take vacation are often still working, thanks to always-connected devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and laptops. ~ CBS News, Why Americans take only half their vacation time, April 4, 2014

I have seen this to be true among my graduate business students. Some of them work for companies that require them to remain in contact on vacation. This pace of life will come back to bite us someday. So, what can be done?


To be at leisure, enjoy pleasant surroundings and associates, live in comfort and ease, enjoy oneself, relax, be content.

The very last word is the one that grabs my attention. Could the core issue of this imbalance be contentment? Could it be that I have been caught in the trap that says, “If I can accomplish this, then I will be content.” What steps should I take? I think I will try to be creative with my answer by using the first letter of this beautiful word.

L – Learn to live more simply, finding joy and contentment in what I already have.

U – Understand the stresses of life and position them carefully.

A – Accept limitations. I cannot do it all. In fact, no one has asked me to do it all.

N – Never move forward without careful thought and planning. Just doing is not necessarily accomplishment.

A – Allow the joy of “now” to fill my heart. Wherever I am, I want to be all there.

I think there is more to come – but, as this is much too long already, let’s return to this later.

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