Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something to think about...

Yesterday I had to deliver some papers for work to a building smack dab in the middle of downtown DC during the lunch hour. As I waited in my car for further instructions from my office before delivering the documents, I had the opportunity to observe many businessmen and women rushing around buying lunch from street vendors or grabbing carryout orders from restaurants. This was Friday, which in my office means casual dress, so I just had on nice jeans and a shirt, but the downtown population clearly did not observe casual Fridays - men were wearing suits and ties; women skirts and blouses. I sat there and watched for a while as people ran down the street holding a briefcase in one hand and talking on their cell phone with the other all while trying to hail a cab, and thought about whether or not I wanted to be one of those people someday.

In theory, who wouldn't want to have an important high-profile job, a corner office as big as an apartment with breathtaking views of the city, an assistant to handle phone calls and daily schedules, a luxury car with a prime parking spot, and a big fat paycheck arriving in your bank account every two weeks....I certainly wanted all of this at one time. I worked in downtown Columbus for a summer wearing a business suit everyday, rushing around the city on my lunch hour, attending important business meetings with leaders from around the world, yadda was fabulous and I loved every minute of it. But then I grew up a little more and started looking at the quality of the lives around me outside of their jobs.

The reality is that you can't have the above high-profile life of an executive AND an extracurricular/family life. If your work life really is all that I described, then you're not working an 8-5 job; you're putting in more like 60-70 hours a week. And when you do that, you don't have time to spend with your family or pursue leisure activities and hobbies. So, it comes down to this....would you rather have a glamourous work life and a non-existent or half-way decent remainder of your life, or would you rather have an ordinary work life and a thriving family life with time to pursue hobbies and fun things you love? Might seem like an easy question because of course the politically correct thing is to choose family over work, but is it really that easy? I mean the allure of a fancy sports cars, wearing a power suit everyday, and having everyone know your name is a pretty big attraction. Then again, going home to an empty house every night, missing every family event, and never having time to do the things you love really stinks.

I pondered this question over and over in Guatemala because living at the orphanage, I didn't have access to internet, phone, or tv, so I had lots of time to think about life...that in and of itself is both good and bad! Ha! But I came to the conclusion that I prefer to enjoy life and not make work the focus of everything. As long as I have a roof over my head, food, clothes, family, and friends, I am all set. Who cares that instead of a penthouse with a view I have an apartment with bars on my windows, or that instead of wearing the latest fashions from Paris I'm wearing jeans from GAP?! And you know what?? I intend to use every vacation, sick, and personal day my work has to offer this year to go someplace fun and experience something new! I don't need to wear a suit to work everyday and spend my lunch hour rushing around the city for food. I like casual Fridays and I like bringing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work.

And that my friends, is something to think about :)


  1. Actually one cannot have his/her cake and eat it too! But then when one is already fat, forget the cake! I liked what I read. Go for it girl! Grandma Uppie's words, exactly

  2. Hmmm is Grandma Uppie calling me fat??

  3. never, it's the anonymous one who is fat, not Colleen.....and birthday cake is doing the job on her!

  4. Colleen, yes, my dear you have your priorities in order....and yes, sometimes you have to live it to figure it all out! AMEN! Life is meant to be enjoyed. Blessed are those that have balance in their lives of work and fun. "Remember, we can do no GREAT things...only small things with GREAT love." M. Teresa
    Love, Mom