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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Remember, It's Only a Job

Many of us will be ending a short break, just a few days off, and going back to work tomorrow. At times like this, it's easy to remember that "it's only a job," keeping the role of our "work-life" in perspective, knowing that we are more than just a cog in a machine.

For the past few days, we've been friends, parents, siblings, sons or daughters, mates. It's easy right now to remember that we are more than our jobs, that we are not simply doctors, foremen, sales reps, teachers, editors, paper pushers, laborers.

But starting on Monday, it will be a long, long haul to summer, with only a day off here and there. Then it becomes easy to get caught up in the illusion that somehow work is everything.

Of course we should do our best at whatever we do. But the danger is that we will start to identify with our jobs, become what we do. Ask the adult child of a schoolteacher what it was like to grow up with the dinner table being run like a classroom!

How can we transcend our profession, remembering that we are not what we do, that that is just one part of our whole self?

Leave the office at the office. Have a hobby. Volunteer. Take long walks. Be with family.

Consciously focus on the totality of who you are, not mistaking it for what you do. Remember, it's only a job.

You'll be happier.

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