When did I last take a break?

May 07, 2020

A few months ago, before this whole pandemic debacle began and still in the middle of an almost snowless winter, I was forced to take a break. I don't mean I was forced to stop working, or that I am overworked. I just had to waste 50 minutes with minimal phone battery or a laptop nearby. With no tools to work, play or socialize.

This all happened after a little workshop with some wonderful students, before my late Monday Krav Maga class. There's more to talk about those, but that's what we have here right? 100 Days To Offload and it's only day 2, but I digress...

I confusingly opened my backpack to discover what I had on me besides my kimono and a few small notebooks I carry everyday. There's the usual pens, my D&D dice,  (which for some reason I still keep in there), and luckily... my Kindle! I had downloaded 20 ebooks from this wonderful website called Standard Ebooks. I didn't expect to read them, I had hoped it might motivate me or something... and after having been downloaded and ignored for 2 weeks it was finally the right time to pick them apart.

Where to go? Easy. There was a new place I had discovered, a very small and cozy library/tea/coffee house hidden at the edge of downtown. A place seen in the header of this post. I had spent a wonderful Sunday working on this blog actually, writing one of the earlier posts, and it was time to revisit.

I grabbed my tea, took my book and started reading. Enjoyable as it was, it was not the act of reading, or the surroundings, or the wonderful music, or the few charming people around that grabbed my attention most. Rather, it was the feeling of consciously taking a break.

For not one second did I worry about work there, nor did I think about Toastmasters, nor this blog, nor the workshop that had passed, nor the workout that would follow. Somehow, not being able to do anything else for these 50 minutes made me pause. Made me enjoy a bit of life I'd not normally make time for. At that moment, I could not remember when the last time I felt at peace and disconnected during a break was. And I can't say I've taken enough breaks afterwards.

I now know how they should feel. I now know when a 50 or 5 minute break feels right, and I wish you make time for a 50 minute break where you can do nothing but relax, and truly remember that time exists purely for you.

Well, I guess it's time to finish that book...