Saturday, May 1, 2010

Life's work

I work to live, I don't live to work.

Sometimes this is a hard one to follow. ( Something in life are easy to recognize, but hard to understand and follow... sort of like Tom Cruise on Oprahs couch)

It's probably one of the best mantras to have about life. Yet we all seem to forget that getting up and making mo'money sometimes gives us mo'problems. ( Okay, I'm going to laugh at that joke all by myself I know... but I just couldn't resist a good Not. B.I.G. reference.)

I'm not by anyway implying that I work so much, or make so much money that I have every brother in the neighborhood asking to borrow money.

My point is, I make enough to pay my bills and afford a few luxuries in life, and sometimes I have trouble remembering that that should be sufficient.

That I don' t have to spend every waking breathing moment trying to become more successful, and spend every spare dime that I have into improving my business.

That working 24/7 may make my bank account larger, but that bank account is useless if I never have time to spend it. Or worse that I end up spending it on medical bills to recover from all the working.

There was a study once ( I can't actually quote it, since I have a shorter attention span that fruit fly with advanced ADHD). I don' t remember all the details, but the point was, once you had enough money to cover the basics, making more didn't really make people any happier.

In fact, once they made significantly more, they actually were less satisfied than their mediocre neighbors.

To sum up, yes maybe the Joneses have more shiny things, but those people who aren't trying to keep up with the Joneses are actually the ones most content with life.

That's because they are sitting and relaxing on their $10 lawn chair enjoying a cold beer, while the rest of us are staring at our $50 000 pool wondering how we're going to make the payments, or driving by our neighbors $50 000 pool on our way to work on a Saturday morning to try and buy a $60 000 pool for ourselves.

Am I getting to preachy??

Has that ever stopped me before?

I bring all this up because I've spent a lot of time trying to balance making enough money to put a roof over my head (shout out to the NDP for putting taxes up and making that roof more expensive) and spending time with friends and family under said roof. (Yea I know I don' t actually have a roof yet, but in theory I should in about six months).

I also spend a lot of time defending that balance. To friends who don't understand why I don't answer my cell phone between 9 am and 8 pm ( For some odd reason not many clients want to pay me to take personal calls).

Or to clients who don't understand why they can't get a pedicure on a Monday, or at 9 am, or at 7 pm. ( Toenail polish is very important to some women, and we can all accept that the emergency rooms need to close to give the doctors time to sleep, but your local nail salon is expected to be open on demand).

The only thing harder than finding that balance, is trying to keep it while people who don' t understand try to knock you off course.

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