Permission to have fun

I was told this week that we’re only meant to be doing work that is essential. Now, if this is true, then I know that it’s being said for good reasons – that our senior management are saying this out of a concern for staff – out of a wish to give people permission only to do what is needed and not to worry that they are not doing enough.

But the person who told me about this had understood it in another way. in their interpretation, we are not allowed to do anything that is not essential work – and they were feeling guilty for doing something that they enjoyed, but that was not considered essential.

I might have forgotten about this, but a couple of other conversations this week have got me thinking about it, and realising how important it is, especially right now, that we give ourselves permission to do things that are not essential – that we give ourselves permission to enjoy our work and our leisure time.

I know this – I write about it in my PhD and I practice it every day. CLMOOC and DS106 are good for me – they are serious fun. I laugh a lot, and learn a lot. But I still find it hard to give myself permission to spend time at work on things that are not visibly, immediately useful. This week, thanks to conversations with friends, I realised that I have been feeling guilty about any time I spent doing things I enjoy. If I’m not constantly working on things that I can show to others, then I’ve been worrying that others will think that I am not pulling my weight. And, of course, I am not the only one feeling like this.

So this weekend, as I chip away at my thesis, I want to remind everyone that it’s ok to enjoy your work, its absolutely fine to do some things that are not essential but that are enjoyable, and that we all need to give ourselves permission to have fun, serious or not.

This entry was posted in #CLMOOC, Love, PhD and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Permission to have fun

  1. Simon Ensor says:

    There is a very fine line between seriousness and absurdity between tears of laughter or tears of distress.

    Particularly in this morose moment of social distancing, I consider it an even more essential part of my work to model seizing a few minutes/hours/days/weeks to be free to converse, play, laugh, to distance ourselves from this grim grindstone of what is called by some « essential work ».

    I was marked by student graffiti in an amphitheatre:

    « La vie est trop courte pour trouver le temps long. »

    This is no laughing matter…MDR

    PS I admire your determination and look forward to reading your thesis.

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