I was in a brainstorming session trying to come up with a topic for my blog post when a message landed on my phone from my cousin Lona. She shared Doris Day’s version of the popular number “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)” and suggested it could give me some idea for a write-up. The song centers around the theme of looking for relaxation and enjoyment which often take a back seat as we are immersed in our work and worries. The lyrics are so forceful that it’s worthwhile to give a few moments to consider the gravity of the simple truth we often ignore. Penned by Herb Magidson, the message conveyed is that we need to celebrate life while we are “still in the pink”. Time flies faster than we imagine, and can we do much when we are old and wrinkled in the “rockin chair”?
We work our fingers to the bone and never pause to think that taking a break occasionally would make our lives better. We are defined by what we do, how much we work. A piece by James Surowiecki in The New Yorker titled “The Cult of Overwork” made references to professionals at Wall Street firms who far exceeded the 40 hour work limit hence deviating from a normal life. To quote him: “Overwork has become a credential of prosperity.” Why is the world always on a rat race? Not that I’m an advocate for laziness, but I believe there ought to be a balance on the scale between work and leisure.
Be it the individual in the workplace or the homemaker taking care of the family, it’s the tendency to go over and beyond a reasonable limit that contributes to all the stress. Rarely does the person working like a machine think that operating in that manner has a counter effect on his or her productivity and takes a toll on health too. Not to disown the fact that when the brain is jammed, creativity suffers!
Much to the entertainment of those listening, a young wife once shared how her husband’s sulking behavior could be well attributed to the proverb: “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”! In her words, he apparently works “around the clock” and in the process has lost his sense of humor and has forgotten what it takes to have fun.
As we work our lives away, there is something following closely on the heels: the worrying syndrome. Most of the things we worry about are unfounded and never really happen. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati conducted a study that yielded very interesting results. Subjects were asked to write down their worries over an extended period of time and were later asked how many of those imagined misfortunes really occurred. It was found that 85% of the things that the people worried about never happened. Also out of the 15% that did happen, 79% of the subjects were able to turn the situation around and handle it in a way better than what they had expected.
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch writer and clocksmith who facilitated the escape of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. She had faced imprisonment for her actions, and from the fingertips of someone who braved such predicaments comes an inspiring quote: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength”
I might sound something like a therapist or a counselor giving life lessons. Surely I do not have the credentials to do so. But I am definitely not saying something totally ludicrous when I say that we ought to live in the moment and enjoy life’s blessings while we can. Let us take a few minutes off from that busy schedule and do something like spending quality time with family and friends, watching a movie, or maybe even enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. Worrying unnecessarily without any valid reason obviously does not get us anywhere. So why don’t we wash away our woes and fall back once again on the popular melody sung by Dorris Day and abide by the motto “Que será será”? For it’s nothing but the truth that we cannot control the future, that it’s not ours to see, and that whatever will be, will be!
Excellent post, Rashmi! I am only just now, at 66, beginning to realize how much time was wasted in my youth by needless worry and perfectionism. We all need to remember these wise words!
Absolutely I agree that overwork robs us of the simple pleasures of life… What is life if full of care…no time to stand and stare?
I couldn’t agree more with the lyrics of this beautiful song. The future is uncertain and beyond our knowledge. Only the present is our’s and we have to make the best use of it 🙂 Yet another interesting and thought-provoking piece!
Well said! Need to make more time to stop and smell the roses😊