I remember my Grampa David and my Dad working to come to fair agreements betweenThe Men’s Clothing Association and  The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (which no longer exists is the same form) and The Hotel Association and The Hotel Trades Council. The goal was to come up with fair pay, hours and working conditions for employees in those industries. My family’s firm represented management, but in those industries both labor and management knew they needed each other and, except for one big hotel strike I remember, I think things were fairly peaceful.

Today I can sense young people thinking, The unions were demanding what? “A day off?  Hmmm….what does that really mean?” I think many people today have forgotten what a day off is.

I notice that people who have their own businesses, as well as those who work for others, often think they’re taking a day off when they go to a networking event or an industry party.  So many people now appear to be “addicted” to working. I know people, involved in theater as producers, who will often use whichever day they’ve labeled as their day off to attend presentations of new plays to which they’ve been invited as a possible investor or co-producer. Theatrical press agents or agents for actors, casting directors, etc. will check shows out to see how their business might fit in or to show those involved with the shows that they’re there to support them – so that when they may need support from the people presenting the shows, they’ll be remembered as “good guys”.  Can these activities be enjoyable and exciting? You bet!  However, can they always truly serve as the Day Off for that week?

I wrote a column a while ago advising you to allow yourself to be free from “playing” – when the playing was really entertaining others. This is fine if it’s pure relaxation for you to do this. Playing to make other people like you or want to play (work) with you didn’t count when I said “put yourself on your To Do list”.  That kind of playing is not taking time off for you. That kind of playing is pushing yourself to do the playing you think you should do in order to get other people on your side.

Until fairly recently I’d find myself filling my “days off” with activities that friends wanted to join them in.  They generally had some business benefit for my friend.  I’ve supported lots of other people by going to their functions.  Do you ever find yourself doing that?  This can all be healthy if the activities are activities you would have chosen even if your friends weren’t involved or wouldn’t benefit from your being there. Of course, it’s wonderful to support friends, but there’s something about that one day a week just for you or if you’re married or “seriously seeing” someone, for you and your husband or boy/girlfriend.

I find going to a spiritual gathering or service wonderful. It’s wonderful for me. I know I enjoy going to Unity on Sunday mornings.  Whatever group you like to pray with I great. Now I’m really going to sound like a mad woman.  Going to Services and also classes either on Sunday afternoon or on another cay can serve as an excuse not to go to functions just to please other people. Every once in a while I feel like I “should” be there, but I truthfully love it when I’m there.  I almost always get taken to different place.  I must say, that now that I’ve been going for a long time, over twenty two years,  I find it easier to get into that “different place” when I’m alone too.   I also get a kick out of going to Synagogue on the holidays and also one some other Saturdays.

I’m finally learning that I deserve to have a day in which I don’t have to “be on” for the Universe. I can flip off that switch.  I just want to be “on” for me. We’re so used to being “on” that it’s hard for many of us to get off the road we travel all week and truly do for ourselves. We don’t even realize that we are “on”.  Again,  “being on” can include caring about people, which delights us – not because we think we should be caring – but because we’re truly delighted by it, even if no one else knows we’re doing it.  Our “Ego” likes to be “on” to get recognition.   I’m learning that at least for about one day per week, my “real self” needs to get off the “commercial (or ego based) success track.”  That’s a true Day Off.

Guess what? I’ve actually signed a short Labor Contract with myself and I’m finding that my “True Days Off” have been paying off in many ways. Not only am I renewed and feeling even younger than I’ve been feeling, but I’m also finding that Serendipity is coming into play and the very things I would have been going after by pleasing others working away, are “accidentally” happening to come my way – just because I said YES to me!!!