Do you live to work? Or do you work to live? Is there a difference? What is it?
Many years ago, when I was a stay-at-home Mom, I was having lunch with a girl friend who worked part-time. She had a unique relationship with her spouse – at least it seemed unique to me. They shared household chores and raising the children.
What a concept! We’re talking 20 years ago, folks.
Back then, men rarely did things like vacuuming, mopping, laundry, or even cooking. They carted kids back and forth to soccer or gymnastics or dance, but didn’t participate much in the activity. Unless Mom said, “We’re on snack duty,” and dragged them to recitals where they helped man the snack table.
My friend’s relationship with her husband was 50-50. She rightly noted that both of them worked (even though she only worked part time… and I use the word ‘only’ with reservation since her job as a nurse was a substantial one), and both of them realized that the house was ‘their’ house, the kids were ‘their’ kids, and the responsibility was also ‘theirs.’
“Interesting,” I replied. The concept of looking at your career as a means to support your lifestyle – a lifestyle business, so to speak, was new to me. “My husband feels that because he works outside of the home, he’s more important,”I told her. “It’s my ‘job’ to take care of the house and kids. Not his.”
That’s when she stopped what she was doing, looked me right in the eye, and asked, “Does he LIKE what he does for a living? Is his work satisfying for him?”
No question, the answer was, “Yes. He feels fulfilled at work.”
Work is play. Wow. Who knew? That conversation has never left me. I asked my husband what he thought of it and did not get a positive response. Perhaps that was the beginning of the end of my marriage.
Today, I embrace the concept that work is play. If you are not working at a career or job that fulfills you, that gives you something to look forward to, that does more than pay the bills, that inspires you but doesn’t wear you out, perhaps you should rethink what you’re doing. Find a way to turn work into play. Be happy at your business or job. Show your children that they, too, can aspire to a career of play, all day.
Living to work? So passe’. Working to live – so today.