Monday, April 2, 2012

Living the dream?

Based on the congratulatory comments I got on my last post I have decided that I must be misrepresenting myself. I do not for a minute believe that I have achieved "career success", nor do I feel confident that such success is within my grasp. What I do know, is that I have come to a point in my life that I am no longer willing to sacrifice my health, my relationships, or my sanity for my work. Been there, done that, and declined to purchase the commemorative T-shirt. Ready for something else.

I have seen colleagues put their families first and still manage to get ahead career-wise. I've seen others put all their eggs into the work basket and have it backfire. The sacrifice:reward ratio is NOT a constant, it seems to be completely arbitrary, in fact.

For some reason I imagine that these years in my mid (/late) 30s, more so than others, are important & defining ones.  This is partly due to the magical & fleeting ages of my children and partly to the fact that I seem to have arrived at that indeterminate "later" I've been awaiting all these years. Yes, this is a critical point in my career, but there were many critical points before and there will be many more ahead. It doesn't really ever end, does it? I was  content to put non-essential projects off for "later" because I believed that "later" would actually arrive. Now that "later" has come and gone, I realize the whole thing was an illusion. Life never slows down, you never feel secure, there is never a good time. If I want to align my life to my priorities and focus on the things that are truly important, I better do it now, because my "later" is here.

I know my career productivity has suffered lately; I just cannot put in the same hours and be the mother & wife I want to be. I am trying to be optimistic that I can still do it, by making more efficient use of the hours I do have, delegating more, and settling for "good" when I would have aimed (and spent countless hours working toward) "perfect". I very well may be fooling myself, but if I am, then I know that this career isn't the right one for me. I NEED my morning runs, my weekends soaking up my family, and a few hours a week to focus on myself. I can give them up for a week or two before a deadline, but that is the maximum I am willing to sacrifice. Watch me over the next few years...I'll either crash and burn and find myself on the job market, or I'll muddle through.  Either way, no regrets. 


  1. Yep, you do what you have to do and end up with something that may not be exactly what you thought you wanted. But hopefully it's close enough to make you happy. FWIW, I wish I had time to make more friends (and do fun social things) too. Instead I have the internet. Hey, if you don't have time for IRL friends, what's wrong with virtual ones? Just think how many connections you've made through blogging. At least from my end, I consider you a virtual friend. That has to count for something, right?

    1. Awww, it most certainly counts my friend :)

  2. You're entirely right--it's just series of critical points, and there's no "later", there's just today. Do the best you can today. That's what I tell myself, anyhow! Lots of luck to us both, huh?