Sunday, February 15, 2009

I recently met a dude that makes a distinction between life and work, between working and living. I thought it an odd distinction. Don't we need to work to live or at least isn't working part of life? This same dude, will stop you dead in your tracks if you try to talk about work around him. For example, I was recently at a bar and a friend from work started talking to me about something that came up at work, and the guy says, "Woe! Time out... You guys get paid to talk about this at work. Lets take some time here and live a little." I started talking about another deal with another guy about 10 minutes later and the guy quickly cut that conversation off as well, saying something about life and living and not talking about work when you're supposed to be living. (For the record, this dude is great and went on to apologize for his reactions. My intention is not to make him look anything but positive.)

I used to make a similar distinction, but I called it Work and Not Work. Work was a necessary evil, and you did it for as little as you needed, the rest of your time being spent doing stuff you enjoy, whatever that may be. You had friends at work and friends from not work and only spent time with your friends at work when you were at work. There was a completely separate world with completely different people outside of work and never did you mix the two worlds.

But that's changed recently. Even though I've loved the place I work and the people there since the beginning, for a long time I was working under the assumption that I should keep my work life separate from my not work life. But I quickly started working more then the bare minimum of hours, and I'm gradually getting more comfortable socializing with the guys at work outside of work. That black and white distinction between work and not work has blurred and now I just live life, part of which is working. I don't try to keep my friends separate, or even draw to thick of a line between working and non-working hours.

So for all those that still have a job or haven't retired yet, do you believe in the work and not work dichotomy?