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Monday, September 14, 2009

Life Balance

When I was a young Army officer, I was away from home a lot. When I wasn't in the field, it wasn't uncommon for me to put in 12-14 hours a day at "the office". One day, my wife and I were talking about tasks and priorities. She made the comment, "it's OK, I know we're #2 for you." It was like a dagger in my heart. Now, my wife didn't make that comment in a negative manner at all. She was saying that she knew the service was making its demands and I had to follow them. My wife was accepting that, mostly graciously. I, however, heard those words and knew my life balance was off.

I'd like to say I changed things then and there, but that's not true. My work/life balance has stayed skewed for most of my adult life.

As a boss and supervisor most of my career, I've focused on the mission and my people. I've told myself that was the right thing to do. There have been times when work was practically my whole existence and I put in the hours to prove it. What's wrong with that?

Let's not kid ourselves that all the extra time we put in at work is just about others. I told myself that my military career was a career built on that very thing...but it was just as much or more about me.

I could pontificate on this subject for another hour, but let me leave you with this. It is hard to balance all the priorities we have in our lives. We're almost never going to have a perfect balance. If we have to err on one side, let it be on the side focused on others: our families, our loved ones, and those around us who need help in one way or another.

I'm very much a "it's not a job, it's a way of life" type of guy, but the way of life...well, it really needs to be about service to others.

Service to's not a phrase, it's a way of life.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm........this is me thinking about this week's sermon........I like.


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