That sure describes our policing profession doesn’t it? How many of you really got into law enforcement just for the fun of it? I know, I know, you told the interview panel that all you really wanted to do was to “help people”, and when you became a cop, you did but admit it, you were looking for fun.
The big question might be “Is it still fun?” Did all the fun and excitement that got you into police work linger or has it passed? Are the thrills still there or are you having to create then now? Most importantly, what do you do for fun and relaxation off the job?
With stress probably being the culprit behind most police officer deaths, certainly after retirement, what are you doing to minimize that stress now and how are you relaxing? Also of importance is how healthy is your means of having fun?
Try a little exercise: (Well yes, exercise is always good, but I meant try this mental exercise) Make a list of all the things you do for fun. Then be honest and check those that might not be as healthy as the others. Then rate the healthy ones on a scale from 1-5 with five being the most healthy and best for you and 1 of course being the worst.
What can you do in the next week that increases the items you rated the highest? Part of the mission of this CopsAlive website is to gather information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives. Maybe you could consider doing some planning right now today as you read this. Where do you want to be in your life five years or ten years from now? You might consider making a list of what you want to be, have and do in your life. Set some goals for this month, this year, in five years and in ten years.
In my “To Be” plan I listed goals for my police career, for my business and even for what I would like to do to give back to the world. Many people don’t think about giving back until they get a little older but I must be there because this blog is part of my way of giving back to the profession that I loved and that gave me so much.
In my “To Have” plan I had cars and houses and lot’s of toys. I’ve gotten most of what I wanted but I stll have a few to go. Some of them did take a financial toll (see the post “How to Boost Your Financial IQ” under our Plan Your Finances category).
On “To Do” list I had places I wanted to visit (so far I’ve been to 16 countries) and things I wanted to accomplish (still working on a lot of those) but I remind myself that life is a journey and not a destination and I always remembered that even a career is just a job unless you make something out of it.
So, what do you do for fun?