In my office, I sit right next to two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They are great, down to earth, and reliable people to work with. They also work many more hours than I do. Sometimes this makes me feel badly for my eight hour day (for the same pay).
We all make different choices in our lives. I chose a career where I am afforded life balance (they did too). Yet, I’m choosing to exercise my right to that balance. At work I feel important, powerful, listened to and successful, but it doesn’t define me. It’s easy to receive the feedback of a job well done at work and it can be much harder to elicit those same feelings at home. Feelings of importance and power can be addicting if attached to self-worth. But, no matter how “important” I am at work, I remain humble in the assumption that work can get by without me. Work can get by without any one of us.
One of the top priorities in my position is to support the people that I supervise, and encourage them to grow to eventually assume my position (or someone else’s) as they promote and we retire or move on. Some supervisors do not focus on growing their people in fear of their own standing, but there is enough work for everyone. I don’t want my workmates to suffer when I am out of the office just so I can feel important. Missing any one of the important events in my actual life (Miss Moe’s performances, Mr. Moe’s award ceremonies, weddings, funerals, etc.) would be much more damaging to me than missing an event at work. That work wheel will just keep turning whether I am behind it or not.
Sometimes I need to remind myself that I don’t need to feel bad that I am not a martyr for busyness. My life is my own, and no matter how much time I have left I will use it wisely on the things in my life I hold most dear. I appreciate my job and the liberties it has given me, but it does not, and will never, define me.