JR’s Not-So-Literal Blog

Leaving Too Much Of A Good Thing At The Table

Posted in Uncategorized by notsoliteral on July 30, 2009

“Well, I’ll lay my boots to rest when I’m impressed. So, I triple knot ’em and forgot ’em.”~Aesop Rock

I’m going to respond to Holly Hoffman’s post about being a workaholic, or using the term as a vail for lacking better things to do with one’s life.

I accept Holly’s point that no job or goal in life is worth one’s health. I’ve honestly felt quite sympathetic regarding her repeated health issues and can fully agree with her decisions to scale back her ambitions whether permanently or temporarily. Sometimes young people get ahead of themselves with what they think can be piled on their plates and just overwhelm their senses completely by working all day, all night, not sleeping enough and neglecting their bodies. Complete balance always seems to be just out of reach, but taking time out to at least seek a balance in most aspects of your life is healthy and smart.

However, I also feel if people are interested in bettering themselves, their situations or the lives of people around them through superhuman feats of work, weird sleep patterns and periods of irrational emotional behavior, more power to them. I come from a poor, single-parent family, so already in my quite modest income, I find myself upwardly mobile. How about that? That’s thanks to my hard work and the opportunities that some kind people have offered (that I made sure to capitalize on) I find myself in an even better position to continue bettering myself.

At 25, working a full time job, a part time job and running a small freelance copy writing operation, I am working more now than I ever have in my whole life. I’m taking care of myself physically, but I don’t sleep as much as I should. However, some new developments, specifically this new part time gig, have given me the new vigor I need to push through the weariness and emotional pain of being tired so that I can eventually take my current situation to the next level. Plus I’m refusing to look for meaningless work anymore. I crave meaning and finding meaning on the messy bedroom floor of life is no easy task. It takes work.

Do I have a social life? Yes, I do. I see my friends, I go to hip hop shows, I go to cafes and I go on dates. Do I have a huge block of free time for someone else to fill up? No, I don’t. However, I feel like I can still be the best person possible to the people I care about because I do in fact care about them.

So, what does this all say about me? Well, I happen to be in good physical health, of strong mind and of solid will. My intent is guiding me and the fact that I’m able to tie those factors together makes me a desirable person to have around, both on a personal and professional level. I’m quite happy and proud to be labeled a workaholic, but on second thought, I’d probably want to come up with a better name for it… How about fisher of awesome fish? 😀

Some people work themselves to death. Some people do whatever they can to not lift a finger their whole lives. It’s a choice you can make. If you grow into an adult, the least you can do is make a choice and live with it. If you can find better things to do in life than work because you see something more, than by all means, collect unemployment and do your thang. If you’re willing to kill yourself by working 100 hours a week for a corporation that could very well not care if you exist, go for it! Me, I’ll work hard for a bit and hopefully have the presence of mind to take my chips and leave my cards at the table when the time is right.

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14 Responses

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  1. maddie marie said, on July 30, 2009 at 4:36 am

    i think it’s important to realize that work is not your life, but a part of it. i do however respect that kind of ambition, particularly in a young person. you need to know when to say enough is enough though.
    both of my parents are retired and have been for quite awhile. they worked hard so they could play hard later in life.
    you sound like you could use a break too. take it easy and remember to set aside time for you=)

    • notsoliteral said, on July 30, 2009 at 4:40 am

      I agree Maddie, keeping aware of how your body and mind is reacting to your work life and tending to personal needs is very important. Getting out if and when it’s needed is important to keep in mind. Thanks for the comment 🙂 When I take a break, we’ll party!

  2. maddie marie said, on July 30, 2009 at 4:49 am

    how soon will you be taking this break? haha

    • notsoliteral said, on July 30, 2009 at 4:58 am

      TBD haha

  3. tallredamanda said, on July 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I don’t think your life falls under the term “workaholic” at all. I consider the workaholic thing to be like any other addiction–working excessively to avoid reality in some other area of life. You seem to face whatever life throws at you head on and deal with it appropriately. And you also save enough for those other things that are important to you, like your friendships and staying healthy (okay the sleep thing is debatable, but you know what I mean). So yeah…I’d say you are many things–ambitious, a good friend, etc…but you are certainly not a workaholic. 🙂

  4. Raine said, on August 1, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Hi, Rosie sent me over to your blog. Sometimes I think I am a workaholic, because I work alot and take it seriously. I am just now taking my first paid vacation – ever. But, when I think of it, Im not a workaholic. Like tallredamanda said, I dont work excessively to avoid reality. I just work hard because I want to do better, I want to be better, I want something better. This said, I think there are alot of workaholics in our generation, and that shouldnt be made light of. Ahh… life/work balance…

    • notsoliteral said, on August 1, 2009 at 6:55 am

      Raine, I appreciate the comment and that you don’t apologize for your alleged workaholism. I say if it feels right and you CAN do these sorts of things, then do them while you still can.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  5. johnonline said, on August 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    work really eats up my time. and it is stealing the youthness in me… i just hope i got the dream jobs and i’m hoping for.

    great blog man!

    • notsoliteral said, on August 4, 2009 at 1:52 am

      @John, Gotta keep a fresh perspective man.. never lose sight of the end goal!

      Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. Jonathan Hung said, on August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I’m with you here. Play hard but know when to cash out. But realize that, since you’re a talented guy, there will always chips on the table.

    “Well I’ll lay my kicks to rest when I’m impressed. so I staple gun em to my feet”

    Your post caused me to re-examine the paralellisms between Daylight & Nightlight by Aesop. good stuff man

    • notsoliteral said, on August 5, 2009 at 2:24 am

      @Jonathan, I’ve honestly loved both songs for so long… both have an interesting message.. I opted for the more positive one now, but I enjoy both of them equally…

      I guess I’ll be picking staples out of my feet as I count my chips someday though 🙂

  7. When Giants Meet said, on September 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I totally agree with what you said. It’s tough juggling things sometimes, but as they say ‘you gotta do what you gotta do’. Managing a family (1 kid), 9-5, and some side projects freelance and my own ideas and concepts isn’t easy. I’m just happy to have a supporting wife and a great set of friends that understand that I might be away a little more than usual. I’d rather put more energy into my side projects than my 9-5, but you still have to shine there too!
    It’s tough but if there’s love for it, it will be oooooook!

  8. notsoliteral said, on September 5, 2009 at 5:27 am

    @WGM, I hear you! When you’ve got a good idea, you just need to keep punching away at it. Progress will come if you stay focused, make adjustments and move forward as much as you can afford. It’s all about priorities though and everyone needs to remember to live!

    Thanks for the comment!

  9. […] off with an interesting perspective on those that tout workaholism, and JR Moreau countered with a post about deriving significant enjoyment from all of his work endeavors and the long hours they […]


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