I’m writing this note 24 hours before I fly off for a short break. I’m looking forward to it because while I enjoy my job, I can’t get too close to it.
I love working with an earnest, competent editorial team, but life, unfortunately, is not all about work. We need our breaks. Work to live, not live to work.
There is an awful lot of cliches that say you should go on vacation to recharge, unwind, and rejuvenate for the job, but the opposite also holds true. The vacation puts some distance between you and the job, and forces you to ask yourself, “Is this what I’m meant to do?”
The moment we peg our values and personal worth too closely to our jobs, that’s the moment we’re giving our work more power over us.
That’s not right because we will eventually sacrifice who we are. You’re not defined by your sales reports, marketing proposals or performance reviews. Those merely pay the rent, and I’m assuming here you’re more interesting than your rent.
I’m also not saying we shouldn’t love our jobs, but there is so much more to life than work! The world is much smaller now, thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Every social feed is giving us ideas where to go, what to read, what to see, and who to talk to. Do you need better reasons to escape?
This is healthy logic for two reasons 1) When work gets overwhelming and, as they are wont to, we have other things that re-energise and satisfy us, and 2) in the future, when we’re old and weak and nodding off in the afternoons, I don’t think we’d be wishing we spent more time slogging in the office, or dealing with tragically inept colleagues.
The last thing I want to regret is not giving myself time to enjoy time.
(This note first appeared in the June 2013 issue of Lifestyle magazine)