I hate to admit it, but I am probably what Dr John Tickell calls a ‘Type A personality’. One sign of Type A behaviour is the fact that this newsletter has gone out to men all over Australia every week, without fail, for 15 years(thank you Ron). The upside of this is that many, many men are alive today because of this newsletter and the work of Dads4Kids. Many men are happily married, some are not so happy, but the good news is that they are alive. The really good news is that there are tens of thousands of children who are happier because of the Dads4Kids newsletter and its effect on their dads.

The down side is that there are a lot of holidays, dinners and dates that have been sacrificed to meet such a demanding schedule. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we do many things. Dads4Kids is just one of the many vital non-profit initiatives that we have my wife and I have pioneered.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad! However, I am determined that in 2017 I will not work as hard and as long as I did in 2016.

I have failed the same New Year’s Resolution before, but I am determined not to fail it again!

That is why I have copied out below (thanks Alison) an excerpt from Dr John Tickell’s book called ‘Laughter, Sex, Vegetables and Fish – 10 Secrets of Long Living People’. Read on if you dare!

Mental bonuses are things that you look forward to, things you should be doing but probably never do.

Type A maniacs never buy a book. They don’t buy a novel and read a chapter now and then; they don’t go to movies (they haven’t got time); they don’t lie on beaches; they don’t fish; they never walk around the gardens on a Sunday and smell the roses (they haven’t got time).

Their answer?

“I’m an achiever. I’m a success, I haven’t got time.”

But you have got time . . . that’s the ‘B’ time . . . That’s the out-of-the-pressure-cooker time.

If you don’t get out of the pressure cooker, you stew yourself. The weakest link in your chain will eventually break – hopefully a migraine rather than a heart scare.

The best mental bonus ever invented is the three-day, three times a year switch-off.

Now that’s every four months . . . just 3 days.

It’s a total of nine days in 365 just for you. It might be a bit selfish but I’ll tell you what, it works. No work, no home, you must get away.


I don’t care where. Where would you like to go? Turn the clock back 10 or 20 years – where did you love to go then?

With despair, George says, “I couldn’t take three days off, like I’m busy you know. I’m real busy.”

If you pop a weekend into the three days, then it’s only Friday you’ll miss. “No, I couldn’t do it.”

Well give me your diary. Let’s see, I’ve turned the pages and I’m now four months ahead. Your diary is all blank George, no Friday appointments. “Yeah, but I’ll be busy in four months, it’ll be full of appointments.” But you’re not busy now in four months are you? . . . the pages are blank. Who’s kidding who?

Your name might be on the front of your diary but it’s not on the inside with all the VIP’s.

So why isn’t your name on the inside?

“I’m going to write it in, all over these three blank pages, four months out – Jones, Jones and Jones. It’s fantastic you know. The human brain loves looking forward to things and every time you’re hassled, at least you have something out there to think about. In a few weeks, I’ll be doing so and so.

Do you know what? Type A maniacs never ever get everything done. There is always something to do. This technique gives you maniacs a genuine chance three times a year to clean everything up and get things done. It’s a real buffer.

You get really clever with 10 days to go and start delegating. Then five days to go, you stay back late or you get to the office a couple of hours earlier to fix up those last few things. You just sweep it all away and off you go for three days, or maybe even four or five days. Then you come back and the whole world might have fallen in, but who cares? You feel good about it, and you are going to do it again in another four months.

George asks, “Just me, by myself?” Well maybe, maybe you take a friend, maybe you take your best mate (or mates), your spouse, or maybe you take one of your kids (if you can remember their names), or maybe it is just you.

Your spouse or friend needs to understand this. So there are three types of breaks.

First there is the selfish break.

Then there is the spouse break or partner break. “What do you actually mean by that?”

I mean you and your spouse sneak away for two or three days now and then, don’t you? “Just the two of us? Aw, mate, we couldn’t do that.” Why not? “Well, for one thing, we’ve got the kids you know.”

So dump your kids with someone else and they’ll leave theirs with you when they want to go away. A touch of reciprocation. You’ve got to do it.

People in business work at things, don’t they? They sharpen their pencils, they make tough decisions. Relationships are tough too; you’ve got to work at a relationship.

“How?” Perhaps a thank-you note, a bunch of flowers, a dinner appointment. “what, with my wife?”

The spouse or partner break is so important. People tell me that I wouldn’t know what I was talking about. Wrong. I’ve been married to a lovely girl for many years and we have five kids. We always sneak away four or five times a year for two or three days here and there.

Even if you travel to another country on business – if you go to Europe, you go to America, you go somewhere else – there’s always somewhere nearby like an island you can sit on for a couple of days and read a book, walk on a beach, sip a cocktail.

“I couldn’t do that, I’ve got to get home.” Why? “I just have to.”

No, George, you don’t just have to. That’s my point. You’re a long time dead. Remember there are nine selfish days in the year as well as the spouse break, and then there’s the third type of break – the vacation with the kids. The family break may or may not be a disaster. That depends on your attitude.

You’ve got to work at things.


What can I say except that the hardest part of any good message is in the doing (as Jesus observed).

Happy Doing and Happy New Year as well.

Yours for ‘More Breaks’
Warwick Marsh

Published On: January 4th, 20170 Comments on Taking a Break

About the Author: Warwick Marsh

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker. Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

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