Working Both Ends of Life

Ink on splattered paper – Words: Menander

I’ve been working on a piece for a friend’s birthday and have hardly had my head up from the page. I stood up and realized many hours had passed without me even being aware of the time. These words reminded me that diligence and labor do indeed lead to accomplishment.

Do you remember what it was like to be so absorbed in what you were doing that time, meals, even weather took a back seat to your efforts? It is a blessing to be employed in something that brings such focus, and yet it can also be a dark curse. Work is a portion of our lives, not everything we are. It provides financial means, experience, accomplishments and relationships, yet it does not define who we are as people. When it does, we are out of balance and in need of an adjustment.

For many of us work has become a different situation, either because we have changed jobs, our jobs have changed, or we have changed the way we work. No more do the majority of us commute to a place, work, then commute home. Most of us spend some portion of our week working from where we live, which means we have to balance both work and home out of the same space. We have to be diligent to avoid distractions from our home life when we are working, and from our work life when we are spending time at home.

It has become a tricky game, one in which a lot of the rules are not crystal clear. Our labors happen in the same place, the same space, which means we must tap into our mental skills to keep work and home separate. We need to be diligent to do what we have to for each portion of our lives without short changing or stretching either end unnecessarily. While our time allows us to blend work and home life we need to remind ourselves where each piece fits into our world. We must be diligent to labor for what we want not to define who we are as a person.

I write this to remind myself that time is a gift and one we must use wisely. Projects, work, even taking care of ourselves and our home life takes balance and planning. Knowing when to get up and stretch, when to shutdown, when to get started and when to leave it until tomorrow. All of that is something we are all learning and will only come through diligence and labor. This quote is from 292 b.c., so time has not taught us yet how to solve this dilemma of work and life integration. Do what you can then know that tomorrow will provide more time for your labors.

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