It is not long after we enter this life that we learn, to our ultimate dismay, that we are temporary employees on the Earth.  Our parents encourage us to study hard and earn a good education.  When I was a lad my mom told me that I would not be able to procure a good job if I did not have a high school education.  Of course, now, a baccalaureate degree is equivalent to what high school used to be…a generation or two ago.


Once we secure our education, which may be well into our twenties or early thirties….we begin our careers.  After all of the time we spent laboring for our education, and all of the student loans that we must repay, we know that we had better be dedicated to the cause of being a roaring success in our chosen field!


Now, with me it was not the college education route, although I did almost secure a baccalaureate degree by taking one or more classes a semester for many years, but I did see before me a promotional path that would result in a nice career.

So, as the old saying goes, ‘All work and no play…makes Jack a dull boy!’

Employment is a seductive mistress!  Once I obtained a management position with Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…I worked 60 – 80 hour weeks for the majority of my 25 years as a manager/administrator in Building Services.  By the way…no one asked me to…it simply seemed like the thing to do!


Contained in what most would agree is a short life…even if you live to be 100, as my grandmother Askew often said, are much more than work duties.  There is your wife or husband or partner to consider.  It has been said that, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder…for someone else!’

If you are blessed with children…there is no greater achievement that you will ever be able to carve on your tombstone or mausoleum than the names of your kids and what they meant to you!

I often say that there is a lot of work to do in talking care of the ranch…as my friend Jo Ann Argersinger described our new, 18 year old, home.  The up-keep of a home and yard and the cooking of meals and the washing of the clothes and car service that you run for your children and the attendance of all manner of sporting events and all related activity for your kids…is an awesome responsibility!

I am convinced that women have it much tougher than men.  I do not believe that it is right, but the extra burden has not been equally shared as of the writing of this piece.

Managers and administrators tend to place a herculean amount of work on members of their staff who are stellar in their work accomplishments and who, the manager/administrator, knows will be willing to take on an increasing work load.  Often it is evident that the employee who complains and grouses regarding their work load…will have that load…diminished…while the member of the staff who is ambitious and who has an excellent work ethic…will be given more and more to do!


And, so, we live in the world of in-balance.  Work  requires and inordinate amount of our time to the sacrifice of our children and our spouses/partners and our emotional health and our physical health and our…sanity!

It should be expected that a supreme dedication to work related duties would be rewarded with financial remuneration.  It seems reasonable the Sisyphus would should be rewarded for continually pushing the stone up the hill?


Take time to smell the roses!  Enjoy your children…know them well.  Vacation and refresh and renew yourself….you employer will be there….long after you are retired!

Some people live to work…while other work to live…be the latter!




3 responses

  1. When all is said and done, what we do for a living really doesn’t count for much. So, make a life instead.

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