“When you’re deep in the middle of prepping 2 posts due tonight & you get a call asking if you want to go on a helicopter ride, you say yes”
This was my Twitter
post at 3:30pm last Tuesday. I was exhausted from a week of non stop busy, had two posts due by midnight, plus a pile of marking and report card prepping. But when I got the call I did not hesitate one bit (and only felt the slightest bit guilty when forced to do all the work that night).
My uncle is logging hours for his helicopter license and offered to take my sis, bro and I along. We all jumped at the chance. It’s not every day you get to ride in a helicopter after all.
It was my second time. The first was a prize I won in Japan. It was a pretty cool experience but choppy and scary as hell. The fear was either due to the choppy ride or because of the wide eyed children staring at the fat white girl sitting beside them (in Japan you’re automatically fat if you weigh over 125lb).
Even though I didn’t have the best helicopter flying experience the first time around, I had to go again. Why? To spend time with my family of course, that was #1, but also to escape.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken on far more tasks and responsibilities than you can handle, often resulting in a puddle of tears and self pity.
…I’m raising both hands.
Now raise your hand if, despite your insane schedule, you decided to jump ship – completely abandon all your work on a whim to do something spontaneous, fun, and totally unnecessary.
I can only count this one time.
But isn’t occasionally abandoning responsibility just as important as taking it on? (I’m not talking about picking up your children from school or feeding your dog. You’re a bad person if you don’t do those on purpose. Just sayin’).
We spend a huge chunk of our lives working so hard to pay off debt, bills, a mortgage, (a ticket to Alt). In a world where money and the things it buys equates power and worth, it is so easy to lose sight of what matters – you and your happiness.
I’ve always said happiness trumps how much money I make, and that’s why I don’t teach full time, and why I don’t have all my debt squared off or have a healthy savings account. But I have traveled and taken risks. I’ve learned to say no to work I know would make me miserable, because in the end my happiness is worth it. Sure I often take on far more than I can manage in a short time because, if it’s work I love, I will always do more than I can. I don’t think I will ever escape that need to do and create more.
But life needs balance, and I am learning that, every once in a while, it’s okay to shirk that mountain of responsibilities when it gets to be too much. And in the end stepping back away from it all is what makes you a better worker. It allows you to escape, see the world a different way, and return fresh and renewed.
Shirking responsibilities makes you appreciate them that much more.
Besides, who else gets to fly in a helicopter over their childhood home and wave to their parents down below?
When was the last time you abandoned all good judgement and responsibilities just to have fun?
All photos by my sibs – Jo & Bill de Frias