The Most Important Phrase
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Whoa. This just stopped me in my tracks. After a ridiculous week of getting to work at 4 am on three to four hours of sleep, high stress and personal disappointment, avoiding SparkPeople because "I just didn't have time," and CERTAINLY not exercising.... I read this line in an SP article:
“Why shouldn’t my health be the most important thing in my life – it doesn’t make me selfish, just smart!”
There is such an unspoken pride, bravado, even a demand, in my business to be the one who works the most, keeps the weirdest hours, sleeps the least, racks up the most unused vacation days. WHY? How about some new standards of greatness? Let's respect the person who does great work within the 40-hour work week, then balances it out by being a healthy human who has time for the important people and issues in his/her life! There is so much power in those two words: "selfish" and "smart." I am a little shocked, even embarrassed, that I actually feel I am acting selfishly by saying "no" to work. Even worse, I have felt that co-workers are selfish for choosing anything but family over work...it's a deep-down resentment that I try to pretend I don't feel and certainly wouldn't say aloud.
But duh. They're not being selfish. They are being smart. And I am not being selfish by choosing a walk over another re-write, an extra hour at the end of the day to cook with my loved one instead of eating at my desk. I am being smart. Choosing a full-night's sleep over relocating my personal life into those hours because work stole the personal life hours...well, smart!
"Selfish" is a word that has its place in the world. Where it has no business is in my judgment of myself and others regarding the machismo of work. It's not smart to fall apart physically and mentally to win some contest that doesn't really exist.
That phrase stopped me in my tracks. Now it's time to get moving again. Balance is smart. And I plan on getting smarter every day.