My Work is Play to Me

Amy said a really nice thing to me the other day.  We were talking and she said “One of the things I really admire about you is that your work is play to you.” 

I’ve always loved what I do.  Yeah – I’ve had my share of really crappy days (and months, and even a crappy year or two – say around 2001) – but even when things are really rough, I treat the “work” part of it as indistinguishable from “play.”  As I’ve figured out more things about how I relate to the elusive notion of work life balance I’ve determined that “always being on” is not a requirement for effective work (nor is it sustainable.)  Once I’d finally decoupled the idea of work and play, it became easy to put them back together again since so much of what I work on is just a blast.

I was on a call earlier today and the person I was talking to said “sorry for interrupting your vacation in Alaska.”  I kindly responded that even though I was up in Alaska, this wasn’t vacation, this was life, and I just happened to be up here right now.  I’ve been in front of my computer or on the phone since early this morning (except for an hour when Amy and I wandered over to Cosmic Kitchen for lunch).  I’m jamming out to Cowboy Junkies, my favorite person in the world is at her computer five feet away, and it’s been a really fun day.  Even the garbage I had to deal with today was “fun” if you squint and look at it the right way.

  • spending a month back in Muskoka with friends and my blackberry, I have had the same feelings. You are a lucky man.

  • Inspiring post.

  • michael yosowitz

    Thanks for the post. It’s encouraging and inspiring.

  • What’s amazing is how many people work for the money, without really enjoying what they do. That’s a sure way to self-destruct over time. Really appreciate your work life balance post… I’m going to send to all my entrepreneurs and hi-tech friends (and my husband!).

  • Albert Malvehy

    I realized that my career switch was the right thing to do when I turned to a friend last week and said, “you know, if I was independently wealthy, I would still want to do life science VC.” I don’t know any emergency docs who would work if they didn’t have to. And I know A LOT of emergency docs.

  • What’s the point if you don’t enjoy every part of the ride?

    Every single person living in this country especially has the ability to create their ideal work situation but why do so few take advantage?

    Fear, envy, self-limiting beliefs…

  • alf

    It’s not so easy.You work as you play because you’re damned brilliant doing what you’re skills define the way you interact with your “jobworld”.if you were a”middle class” worker you wouldn’t be able to scape from your office,connect from Alaska,or being an independent investor.the hardest part of the story is to recognize we are not good enough to be rewarded that way.THANKS FOR YOUR BLOG.IT’S AN INSPIRING BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

  • Every time someone tells me to “just be a kid and have fun” I email them this quote.

    “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work
    and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his
    information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows
    which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he
    does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s
    always doing both.”

    -James A. Michener

  • Brandon Dingae

    Comes down to perception and believing you do have a choice.

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