Have you ever noticed something?
People seem to be most happy ... or at least not totally unhappy ... when they're not at work.
Here's what I mean. I'm sitting here on a bench in Central Park at 86th Street and Central Park West. It's a sunny Sunday, the sky is blue following rainstorms we got here yesterday and I'm peering out over an almost idyllic scene.
Over to my right, there's what appears to be a grandparent couple teaching who I assume to be their toddler grandson how to play baseball. The kid is actually hitting the ball with his yellow plastic bat and running around fake bases.
Over to my left are two young women and a young guy playing frisbee while farther to the left are yet more people playing catch and even farthest away, across a small pond is a family including three kids throwing things into the pond.
As I'm typing these words, various people are sitting on either side of me engaged in eclectic conversations about this or that and lots of people with sunny dispositions are strolling by, some of whom are smiling at me as they pass.
Straight ahead, way off in the distance are dozens of people, some in lawn chairs, perched on the grassy knoll, also called a hill, basking in the lovely sun. And ... behind them are literally hundreds of bicyclists and runners zooming by along the reservoir.
The wind is doing its gentle breeze thing and the trees, finally in full bloom, appear to be swaying in unison to this gift of a great day.
Oh, also, way out in the distance, I see a group of kids playing volleyball and every fourth person who strolls by has a teetering toy dog on a happy leash.
This is all happening as the "BANG!" "BOOM!" "POW!" "HONK! HONK!" and "SWISH!" sounds of traffic rush by on Central Park West.
Here's my point. We're not in paradise, nor are we in utopia. Hell, we're FAR from even Hawaii and yet this seems to be an island oasis. It's almost as charming a scene as George Seurat himself could paint on any sunny Sunday.
Everyone here appears to be in their natural state of being. They're chatting and smiling and yelling and being natural people enjoying their free time. Have you noticed that people are NEVER like this at work?
People are never really themselves under the deadlines and demands of the workplace. You almost have to be someone else when you're on someone else's dime. That's if you want to keep the cash coming in so that you can relax and actually take part in this particular scene and moment.
As I've been writing this, I've been interrupted twice by people who want to chat about either my iPad or what I'm writing. Interesting isn't it? Strangers striking up a conversation with a stranger, just to be social. Who has time for that at work?
Everywhere I hear the sounds of laughter, delight and engaged conversation. People are relaxed and being beautifully human. It's a lovely sight to see ... especially in these stressful times. Here's the real thing ... no one here is being "productive" by workplace standards and yet, they're doing what often seems to matter most ... they’re LIVING their lives.
The next time I'm facing a deadline or dealing with yet another idiot at work, I'll try to recall this scene and how I'm feeling right now. I'll try my best to wipe away the stress. Of course, we both know it won't work, don't we?
I'm sure this is why God created sunny Sunday ... or whatever you consider your day of rest. It's a time to take stock, get real, experience a siesta, have a Zen moment, get a grip, live a fantasy, throw caution to the wind, escape from reality or do whatever YOU choose to regain that lost joy.
Ah, Sunny Sunday.