Everyone used to ask when I was going to quit skateboarding (or any other activity really) and get on with my responsibilities. After all I was a Dad now and skateboarding was just too dangerous, and took away from the more important things… I see it a little differently. Skateboarding to me always was one of the important things. My responsibilities certainly are different than when I was 15, or 20 or even 30; but in many ways they remained the same.
We have a responsibility to ourselves that trumps slaving away for a buck, running in the rat race, and working ourselves into a grave.
For far too long it’s been championed to give ourselves to everyone around us until their is almost nothing left, and never give anything to ourselves. We sacrifice a lot for our families, and it’s an honor to do it, but it’s very important to remember that we need time to decompress, to have a release, to be free.
For our own mental health and well being this is important, but sometimes it’s hard to not feel guilty about taking an afternoon off when there is work to be done. If we change our view to realize that “play” is also an integral part of our work, we just might find that life doesn’t always have to be a grind, but can be filled with awesome grinds. (On a skateboard…see what I did there?!) Also, our children learn by example. It’s no example to show our kids the way to live life is frazzled, depressed, worked to the bone and running around like a chicken with its head cut off… Take a break. Take them often, you deserve it and so does your family.
I value working hard, I value putting everything on the line for our families, I value sacrifice and dedication, but I also understand the value in living our one life, playing hard and enjoying the gifts that life brings.