Life is truly about perspective and when it comes to juggling work and home life, you may be surprised to learn that what you think is the reality may only be the perception. I’ve watched at my employment over the last few weeks as the head of my organization has been working towards retirement, which will occur in a matter of days. In a conversation with him, I mentioned how strange it will feel to wake up and, suddenly, not have the obligations or worries that accompany a workday. At the point where his swan song began, he mentioned the perception of his career was one of, “What will they do without me?” But now, as the goodbyes are ending and the office is being cleared out, the reality sets in faster than anticipated. These people are going to be just fine. And that…is the reality.
The World Continues to Revolve
We all want to believe that we are irreplaceable. We all want to feel like that needed cog in the machine that keeps it going, and in some ways, that is true. But the truth is that there are many other cogs that can do the same job. They may not do it the same, look the same or even act the same. But the job gets done. And so it is. The many years, along with the sweat and the stress, all come down to this. The world keeps revolving without you steering it. It can be a tough pill for many to swallow if you approach it that way. But what if the perspective is changed on that feeling? What if that knowledge that everything will be taken care of when you’re not around is viewed as a positive? Look at it this way. I work with quite a few people, numerous actually that are afraid to leave, even for a vacation in fear that the job will not get done. And when they do take that much-needed break, they spend an exorbitant amount of time on their gadgets trying to keep up with the daily grind that they have worked so hard to step away from, if only for a few days. All of the sudden, that vacation is not a vacation anymore. It’s work. And unfortunately, no matter how scorned and depressed these people feel from their vacation time being robbed, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Preparation is Everything
It all comes down to delegation and preparation. In those times when you are in the office, focus on what would need to be done if you were gone for a few days, or even in a worst case scenario, months. It happens and succession planning is one of the biggest managerial missions all institutions should focus for future success. And in that succession planning, brings knowledge that if you want to step away and truly decompress, you could get on that plane, alert your staff that you won’t have access to communication, turn off that ball and chain in your pocket and start to enjoy what you deserve. You may be surprised to find out when you get back that issues did arise, and guess what? They were probably taken care of just as if you were there.
Eat Your Humble Pie
It’s humbling to know that someone else can do your job, but if you give into the notion that you are irreplaceable, you may discover that you forfeited days in your life and experiences that you can never retrieve. I would suggest you approach your work with the intentions of always leaving it in a good place. Training others to do the job as well as you shouldn’t be designed in your mind as writing your own pink slip, it should bring you peace of mind. Vacations are a few and far between for many. To sabotage your own enjoyment would simply be a travesty of the worst kind. Travel without regret and relaxation you will find!
Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them!