Naturally, that vision of “keeping the Sabbath” has worked about as well as a dead battery. Sundays now may feature not one but two sports practices—even for my nine-year old! We all work if we need to. The kids study. And the dream has become to simply sit for Sunday Supper. But that often morphs into Subway Supper, while my kids still can’t competently chop a carrot.
In his new book, “24/6: A Prescription for a Happier, Healthier Life,” one Dr. Matthew Sleeth makes a compelling plea for people to slow down. One day a week. Like our forbears did for 2,000 years—until we got so dang busy during the last 30 years. We weren’t meant to work this hard—or to be so wired, literally and metaphorically.
In this CNN interview, he calls America “the most depressed country in the world,” while observing that “I don’t have enough time” has become the mantra of our era. It’s making us sick, he asserts. And he ought to know; he’s a physician with much emergency-room experience. Yet he notes that doctors rarely ask about your work, stress, or rest.
Dr. Sleeth maintains that, for those who somehow swing it,
you actually get more things done on the six days that you are working,” and “keeping one day of rest a week has been the single best thing they’ve done for their marriage, their family and their spiritual relationship.”
Imagine that! Greater productivity, less stress, more zen.
The career-break movement lobbies for the right to take grand, faraway getaways. Yet in a world of workaholism, prescribing taking Sundays off or keeping your hand off your devices is akin to fighting to take bottles away from a party of addicted drunks.
Still, it’s worth a shot (so to speak). The accelerated lifestyle that we’ve bought into is careening out of control. And at the end of the day, or should we say week?, wouldn’t we all, deep down, love to lighten our load and unwind a little?