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My 19 year old daughter is constantly telling me that I work too much and that I need a life. I used smile and think “maybe... someday...”  

I have been thinking about this a lot.  Maybe work is life. We spend more of our time at work than anywhere else.  I used to work at a college and students would ask me for advice.  My best advice is make sure you do something you like because you are going to spend eight hours a day and years doing it and that is a long time to spend doing what you hate.  

I read somewhere that each of us will change careers an average of three times in our life.  This means that todays college students are going to school to train for a job they will not be doing fifteen years from now.  My daughter is one of them.  By the time she graduates we will have sixty thousand dollars invested in her career and she will probably be doing something entirely unrelated in fifteen years.    

I went to college to be a high school English teacher.  I had wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten. I never thought of being anything else.  Soon after teachers college I got married and since there were no teaching jobs I worked part time in fast food.  

Eventually I was spending so much time in restaurants I went back to school to get my culinary arts degree.  I worked my dream job for ten years and the price of gas went up and the commute began to be a pointless waste of money and I had to choose quality of life over career choice.

It’s not that I don’t want to work in food service now, but life has now led me to a career as a communications assistant helping the deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled use the telephone.  I never in a zillion years would have imagined doing this job, but I can honestly see myself staying at this job till retirement.

Getting back to how much time we spend at work, is work not our life and our lives not our work?  Think about it.. how many friendships are with co-workers?  Most of the after hours activities I plan are with co-workers.  We are at work and say “let’s get a drink after work,” or “we should go see that show.” We spend most of the day with them.  They know who we are dating and what our spouses did to tick us off this morning and even our fondest wishes.  

I know that not everyone goes home to an empty apartment like I do, but when I go to work, I do have friends there.  I laugh there, I get mad there, I dream there and eat there.  I listen to thier lives and dreams and we compare to do lists and share informtion.  When my computer went down I had friends who had similar experiences to tell me what they did.  

Friends who give me confidence and self-esteem.  Who listen to me, who also give me a quarter for the pop machine and understand that every pot luck needs both salad and a sumptuous chocolate dessert.

Is work life? Well it is part of life?  Is life work? Yes on many levels and yes work is my life and work is a life for me. Right now work is the energy that courses through my veins that invigorates me and gives me a purpose.  It drives me to meet goals.  It is not my soul purpose in life but it does give my life some purpose.

To my daughter I say, having a job is having a life and I am proud to have both.  I am proud of the life I have because of the work I do.  I feel good when I work hard and I feel accomplishment when I look around and realize that I have earned what I have and though possessions are not the be all and end all of life, it is really cool to realize that hey, I was able to get these things for myself or that working together my partner and I or my children and I were able to get the things we needed or wanted.  

Work equals life and life equals work.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sbajger wrote Sep 21, 2008
    • Well you are right and so is your daughter. Its nice not have a JOB, That is why Im an Entrepreneur with my own business. I bought into a Franchise in June of this year after not working for a year a regular JOB. I love it I get to make my own hours and spend time with my family. It is difficult to find a good business to invest now a day’s. And with not much capital to get into. As a matter of fact my business has Entrepreneur’s that are deaf and hearing impaired. In our conventions they have a whole section reserved for them. Maybe that might be something for you to consider. And also opening up the opportunity for them also.
      You can reach me also at [Link Removed]

      Sara Bajger

      Sbajger, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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