Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Work Life Balance- Go for the Gusto

Work Life Balance- Go for the Gusto

One of the gifts of reaching a certain age is realizing that we can be replaced. Many younger workers toil under the delusion that the workplace will fall into a void without them. The fact is, we can all be replaced. It we keel over and die at our desks, the corporation will knock over the corpse, bring in a new body, and continue on without a blip.

I labored under the mistaken belief was I was an integral part of my corporate structure for years, until a merger proved I was dead wrong. The advent of a department known as “human resources” in lieu of “personnel” clearly delineated the difference between companies that valued individual contributions as opposed to expendable resources.

As a person that requires a strike to the head with a piano before I grasp a new concept, it took me some time to understand the times had changed. Fortunately, maturity (aka years of experience or reaching a certain age) intervened to enlighten me on what is truly important in life. Sometime around the age of 48 I learned to appreciate that I worked to enjoy life – I did not live to work. With that realization so many things fell into place – including the fact that I needed to take care of myself. If I want to survive and thrive in retirement – I have to get there. This means making the conscious decision to make healthy choices. If I need to reevaluate my career choice to afford me the opportunity to eliminate long commutes and to enjoy a yoga class 2-3 times per week, that is what I will do.

At a certain point, I decided that life came first. If I need on that rare occasion to work late or travel for business, I will do so. I will give my employer my full attention for 8 hours per day. But, when the clock strikes 5:15pm and I know I need a yoga class, I will shut down and go. Taking care of my physical, emotional and psychological health is my priority. I am worth it! That is the greatest gift of maturity – acknowledging that it is not just okay, but imperative to honor oneself and do what is necessary to focus on a healthy lifestyle.

As those beer commercials used to say – you only go around once in this life – so go with the gusto!
I try to go with the gusto in everything I do now – and I’ve been rewarded with a peace and serenity I’d never imagined in my youth. There is something to be said for the acquisition of wisdom – and I celebrate this gift every day.

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