My dearly loved brother is an economics professor at a university, and has an enormous workload, even though he's been tenured for years. Much of this workload is self-assigned; he does considerably more preparation for his courses than many other professors, who urge him to use materials from previous years, rather than start anew each year, trying to make his teaching fresh and interesting.
But he and I are much alike in that we both have trouble relaxing and doing nothing - we were raised with "Protestant work ethic" (hard work and effort are praised above almost all else.)
I'm 56, he's 57, yet neither of us is fully comfortable with the idea that we are allowed to have time in which we do nothing.
Almost as soon as I was released from hospital this time, I was itching to get busy doing something. Accomplishing something. I have great trouble with days at the end of which I cannot say, "Well, at least I got ______ done, today." When I am asked, "What have you been doing lately?" and I can't reel off a list of things completed, I feel uneasy, and vaguely guilty.
My brother and I were laughing in exchanged emails recently: I told him about being two days out of hospital, but managing to get some sewing finished, and he told me about wandering around his place feeling slightly out-of-sorts before finding a fiendishly complicated economics book which he sat down to read. School is finished for the year, and with it, his obligations - and as a result, he doesn't quite know what to do with himself.
We're both nuts.