Monday, October 12, 2009

Work work work

Running your own business is no picnic. I was aware of this when I started, but perhaps a naive part of me just assumed that, for myself, things would be different.

I've been close to a nervous breakdown before, thanks to stress brought on by poor management practice underpinned by dodgy spiritual principles (I kid you not), so perhaps I assumed that my experiences would ensure it never happen again.

Now I know that I assumed too much and that the big, bad bugbear of overwork and stress is coming over the hill again. One thing that made me sit up and take notice was when Wifey referred to my beloved MacBook Pro as 'the other woman' .... ouch!

It's easy to justify working every hour available in order to provide for one's family or pay the mortgage, but you can't use that argument indefinitely. Someday, something's got to give, and the choice is stark - family or work. It's a simple as that. Yes, you've got to put food on the table, and yes you've got to keep a roof over your head - but if it destroys your family, what's the point? As my brother once put it: you either work to live or your live to work. Which would I rather do? Well, the former obviously.

I have recognised in me the recurring thought that if I work my socks off now, I won't need to work so hard in the years down the line. Trouble is, that's a classic lie that actually doesn't hold true. Rob Parsons (who I used to work for) was well known for saying 'a slower day is never coming', and he's right. You kid yourself that one day you'll have time to do all those things you mean to do (take the kids camping, have a lazy Sunday morning with the wife, randomly climb a mountain on a Wednesday morning), but those days never come. You can't expect those things to happen once life slows down ... because it never does. If you don't prioritise family and personal time by booking it in the diary, work will just come along and take up all the time you have.

A hard lesson to learn, I guess - but better to learn it now that in ten years time when it's possibly too late...

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