• Nathan Riley, MD

Feed the Fun Junky

A few weeks ago, I spent a Thursday evening with my friends on the beach.

We started by setting up a blanket near the Santa Monica pier in anticipation of a twilight concert. My wife and I proceeded south to the beach at Ocean Park where friends of ours met up for a game of volleyball. We played until the sun set beyond the the Santa Monica mountains. Just as the sun was dipping beyond the horizon, we took off for the waves, refreshing our souls in the crisp Pacific. Stephanie and I then casually strolled back towards the pier where we sprawled on our blanket just in time to see Wild Belle take the stage.

On that particular day, I had hit the proverbial wall we hear so much about. My job, which currently demands an average workload of 80+ hours weekly, is exhausting in every sense of the word. I have become a success junky over the past several decades. I have slogged through the years of medical training carried only by the promise of things being “worth it in the end”. These platitudes only last so long, and while my career choice has its rewards, at some point it has made me a dull boy.

What if, instead of fixating on the appeasing the success junky, I fed the fun junky within? What if every dollar I spent and moment that passed was dedicated to enjoyment today as opposed some fantastical enjoyment in the future? If Monday through Friday is spent hoping for Saturday and Sunday, perhaps you need to rethink your priorities?

Whether it’s at work or on the beach: Don’t be afraid to feed the fun junky. Your sanity and relationships depend on it.

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