I worked for years on the adolescent ward of a public psychiatric hospital, where one of my unassigned jobs was listening to the tribulations of medical students & psychiatric residents. They were all SO busy, they worked SO hard! I used to suggest they consider some work arrangement where they could have a bit more time off after their training was over. "What's the use of all that training & that high intelligence & income if you never get to play?" This was my mantra. I was, in the long run, glad that my much lower-level position allowed me to play after (& at!) work & on weekends. These residents & students hardly had any free time, and I think they had accepted that as normal from about the time they decided they wanted to go to medical school. I used to wonder how present they would be able to be for their patients, not to mention their families, after a couple of decades of 60-80-hour weeks. I hope they eventually figured it out.
I myself was reared in a family that played--we sat around the dinner table talking, laughing, considering completely improbable ideas, settling questions by consulting the atlas or the dictionary or Shakespeare or the Concordance. We didn't have fully-programmed summers & after-school programs. (Being semi-rural and of very modest income, those were opportunities the lack of which I often felt.) But, for example, when my brother & I helped my father pick up several hundred nails someone had lost from a truck on the road, those were OUR nails, too. We could pound them into anything that wouldn't suffer as a result. The crate supporting the trailer tongue looked like it had stalactites inside... And I'm the only woman I know who doesn't have to choke up on a hammer.
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