Blog: The Chicks Uncorked
Trie Walks The Walk, Well, Shops The Shop on National Goof Off Day
When The Chicks decided to write about our favorite ways to goof off, I started by Googling “how people goof off” to help me set the scene for discussing my personal chosen ways to squander time.
The top results all center on the crafty ways people waste time at the office – from taking bathroom trips far more frequently than nature actually calls to gossiping or making a Starbuck’s run instead of grabbing the possibly weak or stale coffee at work. And if you think of any episode of one of the all-time best shows ever made – “The Office” – you can pick up hundreds of other classic, goofing-off gems.
Of course, maybe the witty antics of Jim, Dwight, Michael and crew or our own preferred time sucks marked the good ol’ days before COVID kept most office folk at home. But it’s human nature to be pulled to things we enjoy doing more than those that are boring, stifling, challenging or mind numbingly tedious.
I’ve worked from home the majority of the last 7 years so I mastered at-home goofing off techniques years ago. Needing a snack every two hours to “keep up my energy.” Checking my email – initially to see how a project was progressing before morphing the experience into seeing exactly which candles Bath and Body Works had available for $10 that day only. Taking my dog for a third walk because it was so pretty out.
Now, sure my dog was happy and more walks are healthy for us both. And if you freelance or are otherwise your own boss, thankfully you can work things like that into your schedule. And we know that taking regular, intentional breaks during our workday (depending on the nature of the break) helps us focus more, problem solve better, get some blood flowing and actually help our productivity. But, deep down if you thought about it, you’d know precisely if you’re choosing such activities because you want a refresher or because they are more fun than tackling the next work thing on your to-do list.
I’ve ~largely~ overcome those long-standing, time-zapping habits because now I run my own business, love it and can’t wait to dive into most of the tasks it entails. If I watch TV it’s usually a familiar fave I’ve seen 97 times so it’s on a low hum in the background, and I meditate daily so I’m so much more aware of how I’m spending my time.
Now, I do love what I do and work long hours but naturally I relax at night, with a little Jeopardy, a book, a glass or two of wine and some yada yada. But to me that’s earned chill time, and relaxing activities are restoring and well deserved.
But what has revealed itself to be my slacking sweet spot is shopping! Sure I over-Amazoned this past year but as soon as stores near me reopened, it was “TJ Maxx, mama’s missed you!” To top it off, right now I live within walking distance of this paradise (and many other boutiquey wonders), and they see me far more than they should. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve left a TJ Maxx with no purchase, and that’s over a period of 20 years. I could also rate the stores I’ve been to and write a separate, lengthy exposition on the pure joy I feel when I’ve discovered exactly what I never knew I had to have. And when I’m through, I’m refreshed, happy and ready to resume business.
Ruby & The Fine Art of Goofing Off
National Goof Off Day — some Ruby history. My childhood didn’t engender diligent attendance at school. My mother was an easy mark when I wanted a day off. That continued through high school where my goal was to never have a solid month of school without an absence.
In freshman year, speech class was mandatory. I begged my parents to no avail to let me quit school so I took a week off claiming the flu. Somehow I squeaked by in that nightmare class.
I cringe when I remember the time when I was working at my hamburger joint job and a teacher came in and said, “I hope you’re feeling better, Ruby.” It had been one of my days off. All the days I spent at home were just goof off days. A lot of TV and record playing.
A goof off day now consists of a long list of must-see TV; working on the list of fun books I’m enjoying and trying to construct a crossword puzzle for the New York Times. These activities are accompanied by a generous glass of wine, maybe potato chips plus some form of chocolate.
Poppy Would Like To Buy a Vowel
One of my favorite ways to goof off during the winter is playing word games on the iPad. There’s nothing more fun than the total squandering of minutes, if not an hour, trying to create words from six random letters and fitting them into a crossword puzzle. OK, now that I’m describing the game in detail, I realize my pseudo-obsession is kind of lame and doesn’t sound much fun at all.
Yet, the time continues to be wasted; and the only thing I have to show for it is the occasional 10 bonus points awarded by the game maker for coming in 74th in some tournament I never actively joined in the first place. And the pathetic part is that if I get stuck on a word that I just can’t figure out for the life of me, I cheat and plug the letters into a word unscrambler website. How pitiful is that?
Yet, I persist in my cold-weather fixation and continue to waste precious seconds I’ll never get back. Thank goodness the weather is getting warmer, and my word games will take their annual backseat to the great outdoors. But you know where I’ll be on a rainy day …