Tuesday, March 1, 2016

At what point should we stop asking the hard questions?

I often joke around about the fact that when I was growing up, I had zero fear of heights, and excellent balance, but now I trip over things (like dust particles) and I'm not fond of wide escalators, much less step stools to reach the thing that I can't reach, because, five feet, two inches. Barely. I'm claiming a full two inches because well, I can. No one challenges me. You know, whipping out the measuring tape, yelling 'prove it!'.

The kind of balance that has been on my mind for the last few months has little to do with not falling, physically anyway. Falling in love is not included, because the euphoria one feels from that is nothing short of life-changing.

I'm talking about the scales we use in life to balance our hours, days, weeks....

While making a living is imperative, it's also extremely important to live outside the walls of the money-maker. One of my favorite movie quotes is from the modern-day version of Sabrina. She asks the oh-so-successful Linus Larrabee, an important question.

"I know you work in the real world, and you're very good at it. But that's work. Where do you live, Linus?"


As I'm sitting here writing this post, from my phone, because I absolutely cannot sit at that desk one more second of this day, I'm asking myself the same question. It's a hard one too, you would think I would be kind to myself and cut a little slack after a fourteen hour day of work. But at what point should we stop asking the hard questions?

I must be clear in saying that I am proud of my work and I am grateful I have it to do. I've never been one to go down the woe-is-me road, it's a rare occurrence. Receiving compensation for every hour spent working that surpasses the standard forty-hour work week, is a beautiful thing. But I also think it comes to a point where extra money falls into the not-worth-it category. If it gets to the point that there is little time to enjoy spending it on a fabulous day, doing your favorite things, the hard questions begin presenting themselves.

I'm noticing more and more, that there are days that run so close together that the week they produce is one, gigantic, blur. The questions in my mind are starting to become annoyingly nagging. Louder. Pesky.

Where do I live?

Sadly, to answer truthfully, I live 'mostly' inside my work. This is the acronym I've learned so well I could probably write a song about it. D.O.B. I wish I was talking about a shortened nickname for Dobby, the house-elf. (Come on, Harry Potter, stay with me). But I'm not. I'm talking about the 'Demands of Business'. Regardless of what we all do to earn a living, I'm confident with my thoughts about all of us knowing what D.O.B. means. We just do what needs to be done. If we're lucky, this need can be met in eight hours each day out of the five that are there for the taking. The week of work, where the bread and butter comes from. I've said before that the real living, the good stuff, is often packed into the remaining two days that are there for rest, and relaxation. Down time (my favorite).

It hasn't always been such a demanding schedule. It has an ebb and flow, and I know that my team members also know that ridiculously long work days don't last forever.

But man they sure are running long and close together right now.

The good news is, and there many facets to this, I have a job that I understand, mostly, that is challenging and rewarding at times. There is very little time for boredom or disinterest to set in.

I've just pulled out that scale I mention, and have noticed that it's not balanced well. Not always, and not forever, but right now. Hence, the writing of the thoughts after months of not doing so because, little time and mental space exists for such activity.

So really, friend, all of this really comes to me just checking in and telling you what's going on at Tiffany's.

'And this too shall pass...' I can hear my mom's voice saying this to me. She's right. It will.

So, if you too, are working demanding hours with little or no time to get outside and breathe in the fresh air, remember the scale. And try, with all of your being, to check the balance, and even it out if necessary. Go outside. Take a walk, clear your head, and notice the details, even the miniscule ones. Talk to friends, and really listen. Engage. But enjoy the silence too. Pet the puppy your neighbor just brought home. Have coffee at Starbucks or your place of choice. Sit in the sunshine. Turn the music up, and dance it out. (I've recently adopted this phrase, love it). Travel. See the world we live in, including abroad. Have you been to the top of the Eiffel Tower? Have you stood underneath Big Ben as it's chiming on the hour? Neither of these are necessary, but I think you understand where I'm going with this.

Live. Outside of the confines of work.

So when you're asked the hard questions (and you may be the one asking) you will already know the answer.

See you soon friend,

P.S. Breakast at Tiffany's will have a Parisian feel to it tomorrow. I've just decided. Croissants and Cafe au lait it is! Oui?

This post is dedicated to Jeremy, who I know will always 'dance it out' with me.

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