Today, more than other Fridays, I keep telling myself TGIF. Johnny has been very busy the last few weeks at work. So much so that when he leaves the office and comes home, he brings his work with him. We usually try to go halfsies on writing posts during the week so that’s why this blog’s had a little more of my voice lately.
But all of Johnny’s long work hours got us talking last night after we put Baby Girl to bed. Since we’ve been married, Johnny has always had to fight in his industry to keep a decent work/life balance. It’s just the nature of the beast. And it’s easy to justify working long hours… to better your career, to make more money… the excuses are endless.
But last night it kind of hit us like a ton of bricks: What are we doing?? Why do we put so much more time and effort into work than our actual lives? What is our life outside of work right now? Is there one?
And when does it stop? This is the question that generated the most discussion. Are we going to keep living this way forever, or do we expect Johnny’s work life to become less demanding at some point?
So we asked ourselves another question. Where do we see ourselves a few years from now? Usually when we ask this question on a personal finance blog, it’s assumed that we’re talking about finances. But throw finances out the window for a few seconds. I know. Sacrilege.
Where do we see our lives? Still working for the man, struggling to maintain that work/life balance? And then it hit us. We don’t want that at all. Johnny’s career is becoming more than just 8 hours of hard work each day… it’s becoming a lifestyle, one that has taken a seat on our couch and can’t catch the hint to leave. And all this is no fault to Johnny. His work is demanding, and the time required is out of his control. Deadlines are deadlines. In a few years we see ourselves having a clear separation between work and life. But the path we’re headed down right now won’t allow for that.
Once we realized where we want to be and its disparity with where we are now, we realized we’ve got to make changes. Those changes might happen in a couple years, or five years, or ten years. But they’ve gotta happen. So we’re going to do whatever it takes to find that separation so we can more fully live without work photobombing every picture-perfect moment in our lives. It might mean taking a pay cut. It might mean we won’t have as much money down the road. But we know how to save and budget, so we’ll be okay. And we’ll have lived. Lived our lives for ourselves, not for anyone else or any company.
So what’s your end game? Does your work allow you to live the life you want to live? If not, do you have an exit strategy?