Working to – Live:

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Do you want to live to work or work to live?”

Your work might be your play or you might feel happy and balanced with your career and life, and if that’s the case – that’s excellent and good for you! That said, for the rest of us, people are working well over 40 hours per week across the globe, (but especially in the United States), and are barely leaving time to sleep and eat, let alone play and nourish those relationships and activities, which are most important to our lives.

In an article by Julie Starr, she writes “Long work hours mean people spend less time with their friends and partners, and less quiet time alone. Travel plans go down the tube, study ambitions go unfulfilled and dreams of fitness dissolve. Yet these are all things that help guard against mental ill health and the physical problems that can be wrought by stress.” And we all know the medical and other costs of an increasingly unwell nation are felt by all.

With much of the current work world living to work, instead of the other way round, there are no shortage of resources giving tips on how to ask your employer for a more reasonable, healthier schedule. Here are some for you, if you think this could be an option for you!

For most of us though, and depending on the type of work you do, this doesn’t always seem to be a viable option. Whether it’s because the type of work you do requires you to be available for your clients, who don’t yet have that option either, or that the possible reduce in pay simply wouldn’t let you make ends meet.

We know this is an important issue, as it’s been in our public discussion more and more lately, but how can we shift the focus to our community’s well being and get the support of employers across all industries? What needs to shift, and how can we continue bringing the topic into the public eye, until this overwork so many face reaches its tipping point for progress to be made?

And how can we support each other more fully – our friends, family and co-workers – to live live more balanced, more peaceful lives? I’d love to know your thoughts. What are your ideas? What works for you?

As Anne Lamott said, “100 years from now – all new people!”
Here’s to embracing our communities and supporting each other for healthier, happier lives – and for this brief and precious sojourn we’re all here for.