Until relatively recently, a “Day of Rest” has been a focal point in our culture. Many religions follow the pattern of having one day to reflect, pray and worship their religion at a place of worship. Yet in this high tech, 24/7 world, the day of rest is disappearing.
Yesterday I decided to take a full day’s break from working. It is so easy when you are running your business, to be constantly thinking about the business, and picking up emails on your phone, but I made a point of doing NO WORK. Of course the day was still action packed: taking my son to orchestra, shopping for the week’s food, picking up son from orchestra, taking him to a school barbecue where I volunteered to help, going for a swim with my husband, preparing dinner, and watching The Last Night of the Proms. BUT I SWITCHED OFF FROM WORK, and had the chance to reflect on my week. It was lovely.
I was worried when the Sunday trade laws came into place in UK; Sunday became a day like any other; we could still go shopping and it didn’t have a special characteristic where we were forced as families to do different things together. I remember from my child friends of my grandparents preparing everything on Saturday so they did no cooking or work on Sunday. They walked to church and spent the day reflecting. Many other religions still maintain this ‘shutdown’ of a day to focus on worship and it is so healthy.
Yet now everything is available seven days a week. For people that work in the retail and some service industries, they might have their ‘weekend’ on a Monday and Tuesday – when their friends are working, and for families that have parents working weekend hours, how do they do things together? One of my interns was Muslim; he said he stuggled to get some jobs because he took Fridays off to pray and Ramadan. Many employers he approached did not want to employ someone that was so ‘inflexible’ with workdays….
What concerns me is that we are losing the luxury of having a day off, when we can be with our families and friends; enjoying their company and doing something different. Whether it is a walk in the woods, going to see a football match, having a lovely roast dinner together as a family, these are invaluable activities, and make you feel great. So take the plunge, have a Day of Rest; switch off your phone (I shall next time), talk to your family and ENJOY!