Wow, can you believe how far we’ve come? Recently, it’s really difficult to get a sense of time, isn’t it? What year is it? Is the year almost over, or has it only just started? It seems like we’ve been through and entire decade’s worth of events, but yet it feels like we’re just getting started. I feel as if I’ve lived 7 years in seven months, if not 70 years.
While the world is in upheaval, and countries around the world are dealing with a situation that is quite simply unprecedented in human history, it’s important to take a step back, and remember what is important.
I’ve noticed that I’ve become busier and busier lately, and this is often seen as ‘good’ in society. In fact, that’s the overwhelming response that I’ve got whenever I mention this. On the other hand, my parents, among countless others, find themselves in a different situation all of the sudden. After years working at breakneck speed, my dad’s law firm is finally cooling off, while the law firm my mom works for is thinking of downsizing. While she is indispensable to the firm, it will likely mean a reduction in her workload as well.
I would love to get your immediate impressions of this situation, but as I’m stuck in Canada, I can’t get it right now! Of course, you could get in touch with me on our Skype course to let me know! I would love to hear your opinions, and get some news from my true homeland!
Anyway, back to my family’s and my situation. As mentioned before, I’ve been working harder than ever lately, while my parents are freer than ever. Funny enough, our attitudes towards our separate predicaments are also the opposite; they lament the lack of work, while I keep thinking about what it’s all for! Of course, we’re both from different generations with different values. As you can imagine, this leads to plenty of arguments, but in this case, I tried to raise a point.
As all my students know, I love my job, I love working, and I’m always happy to be busy. But, the longer I’ve been away from the things I love doing, namely, travelling, surfing, exploring, being with friends and loved ones, the more I’ve come to appreciate the whole notion of a work-life balance. To borrow an old adage about working, there are 2 ways of thinking when it comes to work
- live to work
- work to live
With those 2 options, I’m sure you can easily categorise my parents and I, as well as yourself and others in Japan. Which is the most important for you? Which of the 2 are you putting the most time and effort into? Do you work so that you can enjoy the time off? Or, is most of your time spent working, without actually living beyond the confines of your job?
The reason I bring this up is because you have the power to change everything. In fact, I used to fall into category 1 above. I used to be working 2 jobs at the same time, with a frankly atrocious schedule. Luckily, I realised the effect this was having on me. So, I made the leap and quit one of my jobs, and took the massive pay cut. But I realised what I wanted, and put myself 100% into Japan.
So, are you working to live, or living to work? If you’re just living to work, with nothing else, why not change it? English can help you, but that’s just one of the many, many options available. Just choose one that makes you happy! Let me know about your choice! Choose life :).
座右の名”The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”