When Play Is Deserved

Hey Reader 👋,

This week’s song of the week is: Running – Gaho

This song is part of the Start Up OST, a Netflix original korean drama that I’ve been heavily enjoying this past week. My favorite “sad song” from the OST is One Day – Kim Feel.

Wednesday Night

At around the same time I re-started my cold showers, I also re-started writing in my journal. Again, not because I wanted something from it, but because it actually helps clear my thoughts and it’s a practice I enjoy doing.

On this particular night, it was almost time for me to sleep and as I was writing page 4/4 (I usually write 1 or 2 pages), I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want to go sleep. Not because I didn’t feel sleepy – I was actually pretty beat. I didn’t want to sleep simply because I didn’t want this feeling to end. This feeling of being on top of the world like everything finally fell into place. But I knew that as soon as I woke up the next day, all my fears, doubts, etc. would come flooding right back in. That is why I tried staying in that moment for as long as possible. At the end of my journal entry, I remember writing “Love this day, 10/10.” Which translates to “this was a perfect day to me”.

Now, there are multiple elements that make a perfect day and you might argue that because we have covid around, I can’t possibly have a perfect day. You might be right, but giving a 9 or 9.5 to that day did not feel right. I’d like to compare this to a movie. You know, sometimes we watch a movie or a show that just feels like a 10/10 even though we know it isn’t. It might have a few plot holes or the characters might not be fully developed or the acting wasn’t at 100%. But nevertheless, at the end of the movie / show, you can’t help but think “wow, this was a masterpiece”. And usually, if you look close enough into it, it’s because there are a few key elements that were so strong, that shined so bright that everything else seemed irrelevant (music, romance, story, etc.). THAT is how I felt about my day. In my case, there were only 2 key elements.

Work and Play.

Wednesday Day

This day was the definition of the expression “Work Hard, Play Hard”. I took a day off that day because I had a doctor’s appointment, but as soon as I came back at around 1:30pm, I had my list of everything I needed to do.

Finish off my code at work (even though I took the day off). Bang. Done.

Read. Bang. Done.

Record my video. Bang. Done.

Exercise. Bang. Done.

Design a landing page. Bang. Done.

After eating supper, I was finally done with everything I had to do. All that was left was for me to go in my bed, turn on my brand new 50″ 4K TV and watch 2 episodes of Start Up (total of ~3hrs).

While watching those 2 episodes, I remember being fully committed to the show. I was laughing, crying, getting excited, etc. I felt all these emotions because for once in my life I could simply enjoy my play time. I had done everything I needed to do for that day. I also knew that by completing these small little tasks every day, I was aligning myself to become the best version of myself in a direction that I wanted to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I make it sound like it was the first time I was able to watch 3 straight hours of a show, which is not the case. I’ve binged my fair share of shows and anime during these past few years, but how many times was I able to binge without thinking something along the lines of “I should be working right now instead of binging this show, but it’s just too good !”? I can probably count them on my two hands.

That’s why on that Wednesday night, knowing that I had put in the required work, I was able to be fully present while watching those 2 episodes of Start Up and it was just so satisfying.

Ultimately, I think as with everything in life, you need a balance.

You’ve probably heard that extremes aren’t good. Too much work, you might burn out. Too much play and well, you’re life goes nowhere.

But what I’ve discovered this week is that, when balanced, both these elements actually enhance each other. Having a reason behind your work, gives it a purpose and makes it more enjoyable (even if in this case, the purpose was to watch a show at the end of it haha) and giving yourself play time when you deserve it – not when you want it – actually makes it much more satisfying.

To finish off, I’m not boasting about the fact that I “worked so hard” by doing 3 hours of work that day and I understand that you can’t really reward yourself with play time every single time you do the tiniest ounce of work. All I’m saying is that, that Wednesday, the combination of working hard during the day and fully enjoying my 2 episodes made it a perfect day for me. 10/10.

I hope you will also be lucky enough to experience perfect days 🙂