It’s been far too long since I last posted. Unfortunately, my workloads have been outrageous so in the little time I had, I played! It’s not easy learning to rip-stick at 40, how to crash over logs in the bush at high speeds knowing that breaking makes things worse, and trusting a rope tied to a tree really will hold the weight of an adult long enough to swing out over an expanse of water and let go to enjoy the cool plunge in hot weather.
The work-play thing really got me thinking though. What sort of role model do I want to be, and what would I want kids to learn from how I live my life?
I realised that I would not want kids to stick to patterns are routines that make life drudgery or to be fearful of their boss, workload, or leaving a job because they saw me tapping away on my computer as if the world would combust if I didn’t send work e-mail right that moment. I was worried, stressed and anxious about deadlines, work quality, effectiveness, lack of sleep, and of saying good-bye to an emerging career if I exited the race.
So I told my partner’s kids that I would quit my job if things continued to be ridiculous. They were shocked – they found the pronouncement pretty extreme. It scared them a bit because they have watched many other adults working crazy hours to make more and more money when these adults already earn at least four times the amount of a working class family.
We talked about priorities, happiness, money, concerns about finding another job, value of work and the value of time and family, corporate culture, passion (they had thousands of questions). After going through these things many times and over time, the kids decided the decision made sense. I could play more and that was better for them!
I hope what comes out of this, is a greater understanding life is uncertain – each decision has its consequences, even the ones when we decide to do nothing. Importanly, I hope this situation was a good example that decisions may be hard and there may be significant impacts, but fear should not be primary reason behind a decision.
Note: I know there is a balance. Work can get out of whack for a bit, some projects do get adrenalin pumping like an action adventure movie, and many people do not have opportunities, skills or freedom from other responsibilities to change jobs. I also know it is about attitude because many people will be sour not matter what the situation is. However, I am fortunate because I have the option to change things a bit.