During our recent stay at Mary and Jared's, I often thought about the concept of perpetual work. Is it mentally healthy to spend all day at one's livelihood and/or caring for one's family? Does it ever get to a point where we've reached our limits, and absolutely require some sort of a break? I read a passage recently about Brigham Young that was salient to this stream of thought.
Miriam contracted tuberculosis and became a semi-invalid... he had to get breakfast for himself, Miriam, and the girls; dress the children; clean up the house; and carry Miriam to the rocking chair by the fireplace before he could leave [he had to be to work by sunrise]. When he returned [at sunset], he cooked the evening meal, cleaned up, read to Miriam from the Bible, and carried her back to bed. (Brigham Young: American Moses, 17)
So sometimes I wonder whether our ideas about our limits or our "need" for a break at every so and so interval isn't just the unconciouse manifestation of a socialization that inculcated in us a feeling of entitlement, and wonder how much more effective I would be if I could disregard my supposed "need" for breaks.
Granted, this is before I have my own children. My feelings will probably change when I have to get up at 3 to clean up a dirty diaper, have a test the next morning, a wife who's vomiting...