I have been thinking a lot about the current state of my life. How much time I spend working, and the whole ‘work-life balance issue’. Personally, as a lot of others have stated before as well, I believe the whole term ‘work-life balance’ is flawed.
As the argument goes, work is part of life, not a separate entity. And we consider life to be worth a lot less than work. After all you need to work to make a living right? Work provides a salary that you can use to rent and bills. Afford all the luxuries of our modern life. And all that good stuff.
But as we all find out eventually, we prioritize work so much during our 20s and 30s, by the time we have enough money (which is a flawed thinking in itself, what is enough money?) most of our youth has passed us by. We go on a crazy spree, as most would call it, mid-life crises. Buy a fancy car or what not. Mainly because this is when we mostly stop to think, what have I been doing all this time?
We miss out on family events, birthdays, weddings, other social gatherings for work. We always put it off saying, There will be time later for this. But there never is, is there? I know I can’t really complain. I am not that old, just in my late 20s, and I have spent this decade of my life mostly, if not all dedicated to work/study. Graduating from college straight into my first real job. Working hours on end, a lot of it without sleep. Achieving a lot, but in the end sacrificing a lot more.
Would I do it all over again? Probably. But I will be under no illusions that I prioritized work over life. I chose to give more time to work over family and friends and other things, and will probably do that again. But atleast I know I made that choice.
Now today, I make a certain different choice. I am still highly dedicated to my work, I spend around 10-12 hours working a day. But after that I try to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Writing, reading, playing and listening to music. Maybe a little painting thrown in.
Theres a quote I once read that really stuck with me, I’d like to share it with you now. Poet Billy Collins once wrote:
“All babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother’s heart is in iambic meter. Then life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us.”
I’d like to point out that last part in bold. I thankfully realized it soon, its not a revolutionary thought, countless others have come up with it as well. Work sometimes gives us no choice, fair enough. But realize what it is doing to your ‘life’. Don’t let the poetry be choked out of you, it is too precious to lose.
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