I got back yesterday evening from Brussels, completely exhausted. Aside from the few hours of sightseeing I did on Sunday, I worked the entire time. Monday and Tuesday were both 13+ hour work days and then Wednesday was a 13 hour travel day back home.
Normally I would have taken a few hours each day to do some sightseeing, but since I was traveling with my boss I pretty much had to do what he did. So most of my time was spent looking at a computer screen.
I did manage to go to the tiny hotel gym both Monday and Tuesday morning (4 mile run on Monday, elliptical and upper body lifting on Tuesday).
On Wednesday morning, I woke up early to run my scheduled 6 miler before my flight home. I got dressed, went down to the gym, and started running on the treadmill….and stopped after 30 seconds. As you all know, I’m not much of a treadmill fan and I was so exhausted that I could not get myself to do it. So I went upstairs and relaxed until we left for the airport.
This morning I woke up in my own bed and hit the familiar streets of my neighborhood for my run. I didn’t even bring music. I watched the sun come up and felt great. I’m very happy I didn’t force myself to do a sh*tty run on the treadmill. I finished the six miles @8:53 min/mile pace.
Traveling with my boss got me thinking about work-life balance and the culture at my company. I have always felt that there is an expectation that everyone should work long hours at this job. The boss that I was traveling with does not have a wife or kids, and in conversation I can tell his job is probably one of the most important things in his life. He’s a very wealthy and successful man, but I know that is not for me. At least in this job. I’m certainly not passionate enough about the work to make it my life.
I work to live, not live to work. My job is the reason I can go on vacations, eat healthy foods, buy clothes and visit my friends. But it’s pretty low on the totem pole of what is important in my life. Don’t get me wrong – I like my job and it’s by far the best job that I’ve had since I graduated (I worked at 2 other companies before this one). It challenges me intellectually. But it’s hard for me to see how my time here will play out when I know I will always put my life outside of work before my job.
In fact, I started to feel a little under the weather today. I completely attribute this to lack of sleep and too much work, so I came home to work the rest of the day here. Note: I didn’t take a sick day, because I feel guilty about taking a sick day at this job. Isn’t that ridiculous? I did take a long break to walk the dog though. How could I resist that face?
How important is your job to you? What is the culture like at your company? Do you live to work or work to live?