Thursday, May 22, 2008

Have You Ever Watched A Sunset?

I apologize for my silence the last few weeks. After a much need vacation I came back to the stresses and anxieties of my office. As much as I love getting away I always find it more stressful when I return. Getting out of Manhattan really opened my eyes to reality. How does the rest of the world (especially Europeans) successfully balance work and life? Or so I consider it successful.

In the US, we have this mentality that the more hours you work = accomplishment. I truly do not understand it. Our tour guide and dear friend Marco (whom I’ve known since I was 12 years old) works harder and is more successful than anyone I know within our age group. Yet, he has the time to travel all over the world and be with his family. I look around at the individuals I work with and some have balance in their lives and others (who are considered more successful) have no friends, no family and appear to be so unhappy. Do the long hours and monetary compensation really make up for missing out on life? Upon my return, someone I know asked me how my trip was. As the conversation progressed, I realized then that in his years on this planet he’s barely left the east coast. Now, this man can afford to travel. He makes daily was people make annually. I truly feel sad for him. There is so much more to life than a corner office on Madison Avenue. And then I realized - I go home, turn off the stress of work, and have a wonderful family. I have a husband that puts me and our family at the center of his world even though he works 70 hour weeks. And this guy at work - he doesn’t have that.

With further contemplation it dawned on me this man would never understand where I am coming from. I could sit in wonder and appreciation at a Venice sunset or stand for hours piecing together the history of the Roman Forum in Rome. This man has never watched a sunset. He can’t slow down. He doesn’t have any appreciation for anything other than the success he’s found within Corporate America.

Don’t get me wrong. I am determined and driven to have a successful career. I work hard, I’m never late, and I bend over backwards for my coworkers when I can. I don’t mind working overtime or pushing back my vacation time because of work, but if I don’t have to I certainly will not. There is so much more to life than that daunting corporate latter. And I am determined to life my life to the fullest and hope that in my elder years I will not look back with wishes and regrets.

1 comment:

Rob Donner said...

Isn't Italy the best? I wish I had a chance to go there again soon, but I won't. Sad.

Glad you're having a good time taking pictures! And New York is the best place to practice, right?

I hope all is well with you in everything,