This I Believe

Stacey - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Everything is blue. The sky is blue; the water is blue. The blazing white dunes are soaked with the smell of salt, and I shake off my sandals and start to run. I am conscious of nothing but the sun that makes my damp skin shimmer. There are no responsibilities. There are no fights. I travel there every afternoon; I take naps. I believe in breaks.

I grew up in two different societies; I spent ten years of my life in Korea and five years in the United States. As different as they may be, I found one thing in common; we are slave-driven by our hectic schedules. Because time literally is money and twenty four hours a day are not enough, people of all ages struggle to fit in their daily activities. My circle of friends and I, who are only teenagers without all the burdens of the world, get very little time for ourselves. The little time we get off from those responsibilities is spent out socializing, trying to keep up with the fellow teenagers who have just as hectic lives.

One afternoon, I came home from school, craving nothing but some sleep. But I also had two tests awaiting me the next day. I could either cram some history into my brain or crawl into bed. I didn’t want to risk the second option because I had much to do for the night; I resorted to studying the ancient Chinese dynasties. After attempting to read the same page over and over, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I took a nap for three hours straight, and I got exactly three hours’ worth of rest. I enjoyed every moment that my body and mind were refueled. If I had tried to work with my tired brain for three hours, I would have accomplished less than two minutes’ worth.

I’m not saying that we should be lazy or unproductive. I’m saying that we need breaks, so we should get breaks, away from responsibilities and interpersonal conflicts. When I woke up from my nap and started studying, I was able to absorb information much more efficiently. Why not make a better use of time? Be it a small assignment or a lifelong project, breaks can make you accomplish tasks better and faster. Step away from the packed routine once in a while. Drive to a park. Take a walk. Meditate. Nap. The options are limitless. Do not sacrifice leisure time for endless work; take some time on your own to enjoy life. Take yourself on a mental vacation, and plunge yourself into that blue water. It is worth the time.