21 Things I Didn’t Do On My Day Off

I’ve decided that every year I’ll take a day off for my birthday. Not on the day of my birth – that’s for friends and family … and Facebook – but the next day so I have it entirely to myself. Try it. Treat yourself to a birthday day off. It’s pure bliss.

But first, make a list of things you DON’T want to do. Like this one.

1. I didn’t tell anyone I was taking the day off.

day off walking

The High Line

This is key, though I’ll have some explaining to do to my friends who read this.

2. I didn’t set the alarm.

This was tough because I wanted to maximize the pleasure of the day by waking up early but I love staying up late so I did. And got up late.

3. I didn’t do laundry.

This can wait for the next day. Or the next. And when I get to it, I now know how to fold my shirts.

4. Or clean the apartment.

Heavens, no.

5. I didn’t eat breakfast at home.


6. Or lunch.

day off patio

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

There are lovely nooks in every town.

7. Or dinner.


Liquids. Solids too. By the time dinner rolled around, it was time to re-engage.

8. I didn’t stay home.

See numbers 3 though 7. Limiting time at home is critical, or else none of this will work.

9. I didn’t go to the library.

day off museum

I love to write but sometimes I work in libraries around the city. Separation from work environment is important, so instead I wrote this post in bits and pieces from museums, parks and the waterfront. (Tip: I used Evernote on my phone.)

10. I didn’t take my laptop with me when I left the apartment.

Not even my iPad. Or anything else except the phone in my pocket.

11. I didn’t check my RSS Feeds.

day off read

Madison Square Park

I scan articles for work every day. I read a fun book instead. Well, a few chapters. On my phone. In the park.

12. I didn’t check email.

‘Nuff said.

13. I didn’t receive push notifications.

day off notifications

Tip: I put my phone in airplane mode. The silence was deafening.

14. I didn’t check in to places on Foursquare.

The whole anonymous-for-a-day thing.

15. I didn’t log in to Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus or…

ping pong

This was, surprisingly, not difficult. Table tennis in the park, anyone?

16. I didn’t shave.


17. I didn’t turn on the TV during pit stops to my apartment.

SONY-JUOS-01_Onesheet_Layout 1

But I did catch a movie at the theater that none of my friends were interested in seeing.

18. I didn’t fix my bike.

day off bike

Instead, I walked. For miles. Next time: Citi Bike.

19. I didn’t go to the gym.

day off park

Central Park

But I did a Qigong routine in the park. And of course, all that walking!

20. I didn’t think about my primary focus.

Your Primary Focus is what you work on day-to-day – your job, your main hobbies, and the main areas that you place your attention on. Your Purpose in Life is the mission, vision and endgame for what you want to do in your life.

Though I did ponder my purpose. See more here.

21. And I didn’t miss a beautiful sunset.

day off sunset

Pier 63 – Hudson River Park

These are the things I didn’t do on my latest birthday day off. What about you?


  1. Great list and pictures. I like New York

  2. Happy, happy birthday, Tim! And how was Blue Jasmine?

  3. Alli asked my question!

    I’m sending this post to my friend who felt like she wasted her last day off and, with new corporate policies, has to take many more days off before the end of the year.

    I’m sure she’ll find inspiration!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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