Sunday, March 26, 2017

Easing In To Play

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Most of us here in the Midwestern state of Nebraska have a pretty high work ethic, and it is deeply ingrained in those of us who are over the age of 50. We work hard, sometimes to the detriment of health, family, and fun. We will do this, even if we don’t really enjoy what we do in that 40 – 60 hours every week. And we will remain “loyal” to companies that are increasingly looking at employees as a drain on profits, and who are beginning to treat the value that their employees bring to them as insignificant to their futures.

This thought brings in to focus several coaching questions I am asking more and more: “Does the person or organization you are serving value what you do for them?  If not, what makes you continue providing that service? Are you enjoying what you do? What makes you think that work must be drudgery?

This year, I began asking myself the same questions. I am easing into my seventh decade of life, and I’ve worked hard for over 45 years. Sometimes the people/organizations I worked for valued my service, sometimes they didn’t. I decided that it was time for me to play, and to only do those things that I value, are fun to do, or that I enjoy and are valued by others.

Remind me some time to tell you why I had to redefine that last sentence.

By redefining what was acceptable to me in my work and home environment, I am finding that I am playing more, taking up hobbies I had set aside in my early twenties and learning new ones. I have more time for friends, and find it easy to say “yes” to my adult children when they need and value my time. I assumed that by stepping away from those tasks in my work that take an enormous amount of time, and don’t appear to be valued by others, I would eventually be forced to close my business. However, what I have found is that I am getting more clients who want to play with me.

Here is what I’ve learned:

  • Life is too short to not enjoy each and every moment of it.
  • What I value is not necessarily what others value, and it’s important to remember to put on your own oxygen mask first.
  • If others don’t value what you do for them, and it isn’t fun for you, stop doing it.
  • Laughter throughout your day is as good for you as a daily apple.
  • Like small children, when we play and explore the riches life has to offer, we learn and grow in miraculous ways.

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