Work to Live or Live to Work?

Which is it?  Do you work to live or do you live to work?

That sounds terrible doesn’t it, but I think most of us make this choice.  Is our job something that’s ok (or less than ok.  I don’t know, maybe you hate it) but allows us to do what we love on the weekends or on the side? Or maybe we simply love being with our friends and our family, and our job that we don’t love but that pays the bills and that only lasts 40 hours a week allows us to completely and totally spend the other 128 with the people we love.

Do you work to live?

Or is our job our life? Do we LOVE what we do and would we do it even if we didn’t get paid because we love it that much?  And do we spend way more than 40 hours at said job, but it’s ok because it’s our passion and if we weren’t actually working we’d be doing this anyway?

In other words, do you live to work?

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile then I guess you probably know that I struggle with this on a regular basis.  I thought when I graduated college that I wanted to live to work. That I had to find a job that I absolutely loved and could throw myself into and spend all my time doing it and that’s what I wanted. More than that, I think that’s what I thought that I was supposed to want.

Well, I couldn’t really find that job.  But I learned that I didn’t really want that job/life at that point in my life anyway. I watched The Guns, who had a job he liked but wasn’t obsessed with and I watched how he spent all his free time (he had free time?) with friends, and being active and just enjoying life, and I thought, “hey, I could do that.”  And then I could spend time that I’m not at work and the money that I made at work doing other things that maybe I love more than the job that I like but don’t have to kill myself over.

And I had this idea that I’d be ok with that, and yet I never actually did it.  Not really, anyway.  I did part-time jobs that I didn’t love or that were in fields I was not passionate about, but that funded my social habits and gave me time to spend with The Guns, but I was also doing other part-time jobs that I really DID love and was passionate about, and so between all of that I never had to make the choice.

And now what am I doing?  A job that I love, and that yes, technically takes up a LOT of time (hello, no full days off for 3-4 months?) but does take me away from friends and family (except The Guns of course) and pets (BOO!) and also some of my passions.  BUT I get to travel.  And I get to enjoy my job.  So it’s a weird combination of living to work and working to live.  I’m doing things now that once I stop cruising I’ll probably never get to do again, and yet I’m doing it so that in the future I can do things that I can’t do now (buy a house, get “settled” without feeling like I missed out on crazy things, like travel, because I got “settled.”).

Point being: there are choices we can make.  You don’t have to love your job as long as you love your life.  And you don’t have to do and be everything to everyone (be the perfect hostess, have a million hobbies, travel the world) if you’re in a job that takes up most of your time BUT that you absolutely love.  And you don’t have to choose between those two either.  You can work on a cruise ship and weirdly have both.  Or you can work somewhere that sometimes takes over your life but then you get the summers off.

I don’t really believe we can have it all.  Not all at once anyway… but the things you want… I do think you can choose them.  So what do you choose?  Are you living to work?  Or are you working to live?  Or am I full of it?


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