04 September 2011


My boss once asked me if I live to work or work to live. He enthusiastically told me that he worked now so that he and his family could live the good life later. In my mind, I lived to work. And I did. I loved my job and, to me at age 27ish, worked defined who I was.

I was brought up with the mandate to graduate high school, go to college, establish myself in the career world and then think about dating. In my environment, work was important and what a person did often defined who that person was.

So yes, I said I lived to work. Now that I have been here in Singapore for five months, I realize that I still live to work. The kicker here is how one defines “work.” To me, working is now running to keep myself active, exploring this great country to get myself out of the house, socializing with my friends, cooking and cleaning the house. It all makes me happy – most of the time – so I enjoy my work.

Tomorrow morning I will begin training to assist mentally and physically handicapped people learning to ride horses. That will be work and I will enjoy it.

I am hosting friends from the U.S. this week. One is on a mission to relax and be touristy; the other is on a mission to eat as many animal species as possible within 6.5 days. Accommodating those requests, setting up the house and managing everyone’s schedules is work, but I enjoy it.

Those who choose to work to live must have a great balance in their life to really make it work. They must have great, fulfilling jobs that do not take away from family time or from personal enjoyment.

Those who work so hard in the present while keeping in mind that far-off future are missing out on a lot right now. What is the value in saving your entire life for something you either may not realize or that will likely not work out the way you intended? Isn’t balancing the now with the future important?

In my opinion, saving away for a rainy day is one thing – constantly carrying an umbrella for decades is another. I think my arms would get tired.

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