Long time, no blog posts. Yeah, sorry about that.
I’m going to pick up the pace and actually write some things regularly starting TODAY. You can expect an adventure post on Mondays, a random post on Wednesdays, and a dog post on Fridays from now on. Pinky promise.
So, work to live. Maybe you’ve heard of this before, maybe not. Maybe you’ve heard it turned around to “Live to work”. That’s what I was most familiar with before I researched a little about traveling to Spain.
Last year, when I was still in college and in the running for a travel scholarship, I did a lot of research on traveling to Spain. I did some general searches like what to expect and what to do to prepare. I quickly came across an interesting term called “siesta”.
A siesta is a short nap that people in spain take after they’ve eaten their midday meal. It’s a national tradition that’s removal has recently been discussed. It’s basically the national nap-time.
Anyway, this tradition supports the idea that most of Spain has about living and working and how those two things should support each other. And they definitely work to live.
In America, its so extremely common to ask someone “what they do.” When you think about it, you’re just asking what their profession is, what career they have, or their job. This is inherently problematic not only because many people in fact don’t have jobs, or a an easy answer to the question, but because it’s turned our jobs into such a defining factor about ourselves.
Yeah, I am the marketing and outreach coordinator for Greensboro Parks & Rec, and I work part time at the YMCA, and I am finishing up my Americorps program as a Carolina College Adviser, but those are jobs. That’s not what I “do.”
I “do” much more than that. I have an amazing rescue dog that helps me make friends in the new town I moved to. I drive way too fast, regardless of whether I’m late or not. I crochet coasters and watch indie movies in my free time. I go hiking and boating on the weekends and blog about it on this site. I’m teaching myself how to cook foreign food directly from Pinterest. Now isn’t that stuff much more interesting that my marketing job?
We are conditioned to think about our lives in terms of education and careers, not relationships and experiences. If I was asked where I come from and how I got here, my reflexes would kick into action and briefly explain my birth in Western New York, my mother’s college career that led us down South, then grade school for me, then college, and now my jobs I have and where I want to work later on. That’s just how my mind works, not any different than most of my peers.
I’d like to challenge you to think more about your life in terms of experiences and relationships, not because you have a bad work-life balance or you never go on vacation (I don’t really know you, so maybe this is true), but because we shouldn’t make big decisions about our lives based on our career goals.
By all means, go to college and don’t hold back because you’d be far from home. Just remember that the academic prestige of the school is only going to be a small part of your experience. Make sure you can see yourself building good relationships and making great memories before you jump ship for something big.
This counts for staying put too. If there’s an awesome opportunity in front of you, but your “stable” or “career-focused” life would suffer, take a second look. Are you going to miss out on an experience of a lifetime or are you holding onto a job instead of going for a relationship…
Ok, I’m rambling. but my point is, I don’t want to live to work. I know I’ll be working pretty much the rest of my life, so I’m choosing to have fun in my job, and have fun outside of my job. I’m choosing to keep my values a top priority, no matter what kind of money or promotion comes my way. Heck yeah, I’m going to work my butt off, but I’m going to do it so that I can enjoy myself afterwards, not so I can earn more work to do and burn out before retirement.
Also, this is why I’m transitioning to a life of part-time work. I currently hold 3 different jobs. I work a full time job and two part time jobs, which is no fun, but soon my full time position will end, and I’ll be left with plenty of work to still do, but more time to actually live my life while doing it. I think a lot more people are adopting this flexible lifestyle of working part time so that our schedules are more flexible, we don’t come home exhausted everyday, and we maximize our time dedicated to our passions (whether those are work related or not).
Just some thoughts.
If you feel the same, or have some different ideas about work-life balance, let me know in the comments!
If you want to read up on some of my inspiration for this train of thought, click away on the links below.
Also, check out my Jackie’s Instagram here.