I’m aware that many of us, especially those of us who work for ourselves, find ourselves in the position working and working and working and…  and forgetting or not allowing ourselves to dare to take a vacation – usually a very much-needed vacation from work. We get scared that we won’t be industrious enough to deserve to make money and that if we stop we won’t be pleasing the world. Have you ever found yourself working overtime at tasks that were really being done to please other people? Most of us do.

But – here’s a related thought that came into my mind, that I don’t think most people consciously think about. It came into my mind because I saw it happening to me.  I’ve had this thought a couple of times before in my life and it really hit me this week.

Have you ever been on vacation with friends and felt that you had to see “everything” – and when you did see everything you had to go on the next place and its “everything” and keep running and running to see more and more and more – when you would have been more than happy to take a rest from playing for awhile?

I don’t know about you, but I find that I have to watch my subconscious sense of feeling that I need to “please people” every moment of the day including my rest time!

I may have mentioned, in a previous column that I read a book on organizing, by a woman named Julie Morgenstern. I don’ t always remember to follow her words, which have great merit.   The concept she espouses is to never check emails in the morning. The reason for not reading them first thing is that it pulls you into answering people and, often, into helping them achieve their goals, before paying attention to your own goals.  Helping people is a good thing. However, as they always announce in a plane: put your oxygen mask on first, before trying to help someone else.

Look at your playtime as well as your work time. Think of the time you spend doing things you don’t really have to do. By the way, if you love doing these things, take a look and see if these things could be incorporated into your work life too.  When you’re doing the things you love to do it’s amazing how you get less tired. That said – even when you’re doing things you love to do, taking a break makes sense. Any faith I can think of has a day of rest, a day to go within and be with yourself.

I know many people who are afraid to indulge in “Break Time” even when they’re playing – in some cases, especially when they’re playing.  They’re addicted to saying yes to everyone else. Believe me, I can be this way and I focus on being aware of this when I’m asked to go out to “whatever”.  They can’t bring themselves to say “no” to their friends. I bring this up this week because I noticed how pressured I felt to make every moment count. My birthday was this past Tuesday.  Here’s the list of what I did during the evenings of this past week.

1-   Tuesday, my birthday evening was spent with my wonderful son at a fab tribute to Donald Smith, who recently passed on. He’d headed the Mabel Mercer Foundation and began The Cabaret Convention in New York City. The event was held at Town Hall and the performers included Michael Feinstein, Andrea Marcovicci, Ronny Whyte, Karen Akers, Marilyn Maye, etc. etc. Then my son took me to dinner.  The evening ended past 11:30 PM

2-   On Wednesday night I could feel the love from all the people I knew who brilliantly entertained at the night Dana Lorge honored my birthday at her production of Wednesday Night at the Iguana.  (Okay I’m bragging!) I performed, as did Terese Genecco, Shaynee Rainbolt, Shawn Harkness, Barb Mally, Champaign Pam, Marieann Meringolo, The Great Dubini, Daryl Glenn, Richard Skipper, my incredible son, David F Slone, Esq. and the great Marilyn Maye! (There were many more.)  Several others, of the top spheres of cabaret entertainment, were there to give me a hug. I was honored, touched and blown away by the incredible attention. I got home at about12:40 AM.

3-   Then Thursday night I performed some songs in The Taffy Jaffe Comedy Show at the Cornelia Street Café.   That was a fairly early show, so I washed and set my hair when I got home to make certain I’d be available should someone want to see me on an evening during the next week that was presently free!

4-   Friday I was exhausted. I knew I had this column and a blog post to write as well as a first draft on an introduction to the book I’m co-writing.  When my friend called and asked what I was planning to do on the first night of Memorial Day weekend. I said, “Sleeping!” Of course, within minutes I found myself calling her back and saying I’d go to dinner with her. I knew she couldn’t play much this past week. It turned out to be great – and today, I swore I’d stay home at last!!!!

Okay, I know it sounds like I’m showing off – AND – I want to point out that after all this running and activity and preparation, I’d planned to take, Friday, to keep my foot doctor appointment, etc. etc …BREATH! My Friday didn’t happen – so yesterday, Saturday, I was finally working on what I needed to for me… and……I found myself looking at the discounted cabaret performances available on Play By Play (a seat filling program), in case a friend whom I “should’ see would be listed on it.  I’m glad I caught myself or my weekly column for Here Women Talk would have never gotten written. I had to say YES to me!!! Please remember to Say YES to YOU!!!!