[Photo by laffy4k]
Today I spent eleven hours at work. I think that may be the longest I've ever spent in the office, with the possible exception of that time I accidentally got drunk with my boss and ended up sleeping on the floor underneath my desk. (Don't ask.)
My parents both worked while I was growing up. My mother always worked part time, usually arranged so that she was home when my brother and I came back from school. My dad started out working part time as well, spending his off hours doing hippie-dad things like baking bread. By the time I started kindergarten, Dad had gotten a full-time job.
Dad was always home for dinner to spend time with us and ask about our days. But after dinner, he often went back to work. I don't remember how often or how late he stayed. I do know 10:00 wasn't uncommon and that he worked after midnight more than once when I was small. I do know he was always working on our home computer and that as time went on I saw more of his tense back than his face. I do know that when he takes a "day off" these days, that can mean going to the office from 5-8 a.m. and working on his home network for several hours after my mom goes to sleep at ten.
He was a good dad. He is a good dad. And I don't want to be like him. I want to be as good at relaxing as I am at work.
In honor of Friday, here are a few ways to make sure you don't become a workaholic:
-Go home on time.
-Take all the vacation time you're given.
-Take personal time if it's offered. Take sick time when you're sick. Even for colds.
-Don't take work home.
-Take time off between jobs.
-Travel. The more remote and further from Internet connections, the better.