How often do we stop and look at what we are doing in life and weigh whether we are spending our time wisely? If I was a betting man, I would say, not very much.
Last weekend I delivered the eulogy at my father’s memorial service. Since my father passed last November, I have had a lot of time to think and weigh what matters in life. I have also realized that we tend to spend more time hoping and wishing than we do in doing the things that make us the happiest.
We Americans are, or at least have been, some of the hardest-working people in the world. This was imposed long ago by those who settled this country and built it through their hard work. Over the generations, we have softened a bit, but we still tend to work much more than we play or enjoy life. These norms are real and are ingrained in most of us, therefore, they are hard to change. At the same time, awareness is the first step in the initiation of change and there is no time like the present.
I would like to clarify that I am not implying that we should all quit our jobs, buy a surfboard, and move to a beach somewhere. I am saying that we should slow down a bit and evaluate what we do, why we do it the way that we do and whether it is worth it. The more that we do this, we will realize that we waste time that could be spent on family, friends, and hobbies that we love.
This concept of work-to-life balance is complicated. I would argue that it is worth considering and doing whatever is necessary to make it less complicated. Our days on this earth are numbered and therefore we should enjoy each and every one of them as if it was a gift. Also, those around us are a gift, so don’t take them for granted because tomorrow they could be gone.