"I have had to check in with work more than I wanted"
This is what he tells me after having been on vacation for a week. It is Monday morning, he is in Florida (though why anyone vacations in Florida in the summer is beyond me) and he is working.
He is living the American lifestyle of long hours spent working and little to no vacation. I am not much better. Although I don't work his killer hours, I take two weeks of vacation a year and no holidays.
His life could so easily be mine.
He has created a place for himself in his office; a position in which he succeeds and can not easily be replaced. His manager has purposely understaffed and over employed her department in such a way that he is truly the only one who can do his job. Each los to the department means that much more work for everyone else - and he has no one to cover him while he is on vacation.
With a strong work ethic and an eye for high quality work, he has succeeded where another might not. He is responsive to other team members, and those who need him, nearly 24/7 - and from out of state on his vacation.
is that what we call success?
Why does he spend this time working when he could be enjoying the sand, the sun, the surrounding history, his family...?
"You know, you don't have to check in with work. You are on vacation." I tell him.
But I wonder if he could not check in? I wonder if it is possible for him to sit, for two weeks, without work?
he can make it a week - cooking. reading, and taking a little time to relax, think, contemplate... but could he truly do it for more than a week?
If he did turn off work, completely, for two weeks, would he be a success?
Were he to devote the time and energy given to work to his family and his personal life... would he be a success?
Perhaps "success" is why he devotes that time and energy to work. In our professional lives it is easier to determine "success." We receive commendation, promotions, salary adjustments, bonus... various rewards and acknowledgements for the work that we do, time we give, and a job well done. Society says we are a "success"
In our personal lives success is more difficult to achieve. It is the subjective definition that is determined by society at large and more specifically, our loved ones and ourselves.
Americans, as a whole, work too hard and too many hours. Our average work week is no longer the 40 hours we once enjoyed. While our European counterparts enjoy long vacations, a shorter work week, and a more balanced lifestyle, we aim for high productivity and a long work week...at what cost?
I appreciate his work ethic, respect his dedication to quality and dedication to a job well done. I simply wonder if it is worth it? Is the success he has achieved at work worth the time that he has dedicated to that end?
There but by the grace of God go I...
You see, my life could have been a mirror reflection of his. I could have easily been that person.
But, I have the Diva. Children truly can change our lives in ways we can't predict.