What do you think of playing before working?

Life is short, eat desert first. I don’t know who said this and I actually don’t care. If the world can be divided into those who never eat their desert first and those who sometimes eat their desert first, I am definitely in the “never” group. I have always identified with the ants in the Aesop tale about the “Ants and the Grasshopper.” It is funny because I am almost compulsive about having to do my work before I can play. It does become compulsive when you are a workaholic and you cannot even play after you have worked, since of course, your work never ceases. Do you know anyone like that?

My younger sister Sheri (one year younger than I) died several years ago. She died of cancer most likely induced through her three packs a day smoking habit. I am sure that Sherry was a compulsive worker and in the “never” group when she was younger and healthy. However, once her prognosis was a certainty and she began the countdown to her death, she changed many of her lifelong habits. She would actually go to a restaurant and start with desert. This was appalling and unthinkable! Regardless of the fact that she had less than a year to live, how could she possibly start with desert first. However, the more I thought about it, the more I could see the logic. Why save room for desert, when you don’t have to worry about saving anything?

To be honest, I have never started at a restaurant with desert first. Maybe I am too worried about chucking it all and joining the grasshopper by spending my days in frivolity and play. I go on vacation and even continue my daily routines of exercise and diet. In my mind, I am thinking “why throw out all of my daily work for a week of debauchery?”

Nevertheless, we all need to eat desert first at least occasionally. If there is a time for everything, then there is certainly a time for letting go and just having fun. Putting desert first is symbolic of letting go and throwing conventions to the wind. How often do you eat desert first? When was the last time you just let go and threw out your daily compulsions? How compulsive are you? What would happen if you were less compulsive? Would your life be happier or better balanced?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 11:20:41

    John,
    Have you seen the revised version of the Ant and Grasshopper?

    http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2006/10/the_ant_and_the.html

    Reply

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