Working for the Weekend? Working for Now.

yes - notepad & penThis phrase flitted through my mind the other day and for the first time since I heard it, I stopped and thought about it.  Working for the weekend.  What it implies is that the only time in your week that you actually enjoy, or want to actively participate in, is the weekend.

I know way too many people who unconsciously live this way.  Their workdays are a series of to-do lists, “must-do’s” and “just get through it’s”.   They take their first real breath of the week as they walk into their home on Friday, and then Monday comes and you hear the response to “how was your weekend?” – “way too short”.

What if every moment of your life was worth “working for”?  What if you were working for NOW?  Many of the clients I work with are dealing with overwhelm, frustration and overall exhaustion.  Even if they WERE able have a moment, take a breath and enjoy any of the spoils that came with all their hard work, they are too worried about everything that hasn’t been done or what they should be doing or are so exhausted that they miss the weekends too!

I know that there are things that have to be done that none of us particularly enjoy.  It takes bravery to pause, look up, and ask yourself if you can do better – if you can create a life where you enjoy the now? 

Why wait for the weekend?  

My Way Is Best…and So Is Yours

The other day I had two dear friends over for a play date and lunch. I met them both when we all lived in Chicago; we were single, working, and playing flag football on the weekends. We all grew up in the Midwest and went to Big Ten universities. One worked for a large cable network, one a well-known marketing firm, and I was working for Andersen Consulting. We were the epitome of our generation of women, forging through choices presented to us of potential mates, potential careers and all that goes with it.

16 years later, all of us are married, all of us with kids…but…
…one is a stay at home mom who loves the suburbs. Her trip to the city marked the first for her 16 month old daughter.
…the other, also now a stay at home mom, lives in Palo Alto and finds herself in San Francisco often meeting her husband for dinner after work, or to meet up with friends.
…and then there’s me. I still live in the city (NYC now). I own my own business and I live in a two bedroom apartment. My kids ride the subway with us on a daily basis and think back yards are public parks for anyone to play in.

From an outsider’s perspective, we could be perceived as very different. We could be analyzed, even…how did three women with similar upbringings have such different outcomes with regards to career and family? Who’s happiest? Who took advantage of the opportunities presented to them and who fell prey to social and cultural pressures?

I see similarity more than difference. We were all brought up to follow our hearts and do what makes us happy. And that has lead us each to where we are now. And only by being true to ourselves and our needs could we so confidently be happy with our lives and still be dear friends. I know that my two friends think I’m crazy for doing what I do, but they are happy for me. And they know that I could never live the life they do, but I am 100% supportive of the choices they’ve made.

Because we made the choices that align with our values, not with what the world wants us to be, we have ended up all exactly where we should be: happy. So here’s to the best way – which is any way that’s value-based and makes you happy.