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Every hard working person should take time to refresh themselves. We can become so richly involved in what we are doing, that we forget to refresh ourselves by taking time away from our work. We sometimes get caught up in the myth that if we work hard for the boss he or she will be more pleased with our work habit. In reality, it’s the opposite. Caring and compassionate managers would much rather you have a balanced life between work, rest and recreation.

Recreation is a means to re-create. It is a time that allows you to “recharge your batteries” emotionally, spiritually and physically. Rest and recreation restore your creativity, refuel your vision and bring balance to your world.

In the military there is nothing about the word “work” that gives someone a sense of rest and relaxation. As a combat engineer in Vietnam, I knew that if I could survive for six months, I would be rewarded with “R&R.” That acronym was music to my ears. It meant that I could enjoy doing whatever I wanted to do for four days–away from combat duty sitting behind an M-60 waiting on the enemy—and that I could recharge by resting and recuperating.

Recently my manager asked me when I was going to take time off from work. She noticed that I had been working for a year and a half without any time off. My response to her was that I didn’t feel that the work I was doing was really “work.” I spend my days at work caring and showing compassion for people by listening to and counseling them…this is my work. The notion of enjoying my work to the point of not taking time off was my way of expressing love for what I do.

Later, my manager sent over a list of topics for discussion. One really caught my eye. In bold letters it said “Walter’s PTO.”  We talked and she explained that no matter how much I enjoy what I am doing, I need to take time off to rest and relax.

She also asked me to write a Chaplain’s Corner message about the importance of taking time off to refresh because of how important it is in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. So here it is…for all LHP employees to read. I thank my manager, and all managers who encourage their employees to take time away from work to refresh themselves because as much as we enjoy what we do, time off is necessary so we don’t become dysfunctional.

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten