Starting Now

My name is Wray Ardan and I am a workaholic working at being a writer. How about you? Can you relate?

I come by it naturally: I grew up in a workaholic family and never learned how to relax and have fun playing. Even in elementary school, I’d try to get out of recess; how sick is that?

So here I am making a commitment, blogging, blabbing to the world that for the next year I am going to force myself to “take five” and play at least one day a week—and then post it right here for all those wondering if a workaholic can learn the art of playing. I mean, it shouldn’t be that hard: I live on Maui, the perfect place for a “sandbox” mentality. Still, I work 24/7, one reason being that my office is at home, so I never actually leave my work behind. The other reason? I love what I do!

Recess, play, relax, take five…just the thought is making my stomach tighten up in a knot. Don’t get me wrong: my life is filled with happiness. I love my partner Steven, and we have an amazing life. I love what we do: our art business is a joy, and writing is my passion. Work is fun. Joy and fun are practically oozing from my pores, but for me, actually going out and playing is work. I know that leaving my office and not thinking about the story I’m working on, or the gallery that needs photos, is a lot to ask of me.

I looked at the official Workaholics Anonymous website for meetings near me (, but silly me, I forgot Hawaii is rated number one for happiness in the United States, so no meeting locations are posted here. The majority of the population is out having fun. The site does offer a Starter Kit with all the information I’d need to set up my own meetings in Hawaii, but come on; I’m a workaholic with no time to play and too much work to do. Where would I find the time to set up meetings (that and the fact that it would put a crimp in my hermit-type lifestyle)?

This whole take five idea isn’t new to me. I’ve been thinking about it for some time. I don’t want to wake up when I’m old and regret that I never took the time to swim with the turtles at La Perouse Bay when I was younger.

I can hear you now thinking, quit whining and go out and jump in the ocean. And I am. As soon as I finish writing this. No, no, forget it, it’s time for me to change! I’m not going to worry about finishing this. I’m going to the beach and jumping in the ocean right now! This is the new me!

1 Hour later

Yep, that’s me in the ocean. I did just what I said I was going to do and had someone take my photo to prove that I’d really done it. And by the way, I feel great. While bobbing around in the clear blue water I thought about the year of playing that lies ahead of me. There are so many things I’ve wanted to do on Maui, and have just never taken the time. But I also flashed on how the art of playing isn’t necessarily always about doing something; it’s also about being able to take a day to relax (yes, I said relax) and do nothing. I know that taking time to play will make me a better writer. Just spending the last hour at the beach has already inspired me to start working on my book again.

As a final note, don’t worry: my rantings and babblings won’t always be this long. I’ve never blogged before, and apparently, I had a lot to say.

So, I’ll meet you next Thursday, same time and place, with a posting about my first real excursion into the realm of playing. Remember to take five when you need it, or better yet, an entire day. Hah, that reminds me of the old joke about what the blind man said to his deaf wife.

Till next Thursday,