Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Turning Back The Clock

There have been many books and articles written on wanting to turn the clock back before you hear the words..."I quit" or "That's it....I'm leaving you" and even worse than hearing those words, is being too busy with your job that you don't hear the words at all or see the signs and, when you do turn around, before you know it those who mean the most to you have disappeared from your life completely.

I hear this a great deal. Statistics show that many upper level executives live for their work, ignoring those important to their lives so when it's time to slow down or retire, there's no one to share their life with. Hobbies have also gone by the wayside.

So often I hear the words "One day I'd love to try...." or "I'd love to travel to..."
Why one day? Why not now?

Once they finally have time to do all those things on their list, there's no one to share them with. It's a very lonely place to be. Studies have shown that health quickly deteriorates as well.

Why work so hard if you won't have the health to enjoy life later on, or someone to share that joy with?

There has to be a balance.

I can hear the arguments now. "I have deadlines. This has to get done. When it's finished or when I catch up, THEN there will be time for me". Trouble is, there's always the next deadline or request for a new project and life gets put on the back burner yet again.

Isn't it funny that life has a habit of working out just fine when you learn to say no. One CAN take a vacation and nourish their soul, even when up against deadlines.

I was talking to my brother about that the other day. When he decided to take a month off in the summer for his sanity, colleagues told him he'd lose his practice. He stood by that decision and his practice hasn't suffered at all. And he's more energized and healthier for it AND takes time for his tennis and family and friends along the way. Living by these rules makes a person successful.

Success isn't measured in accomplishments. It is however measured in how many people you've touched along the way.....who you have in your life. You teach by example. If the powers that be don't set that example now, the new up and coming leaders won't have a life at all. They'll live, eat and breathe their work. And when all is said and done, there will be no one to share their victories with. Aloneness.....the word sounds what it is....solitary......isolated......lonely.

If you stop, take a step back and look at your life right now....can you be sure that those most important to you will still be there waiting to be noticed? Choices to be made before you "want to turn the clock back". Living is now. Not "some day". Show those special people in your life you value them more than a deadline or project. Make time for them....while they're still there to share time and life with.

Donna Karlin

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