People who know me, know that I work a lot. And that I love what I do for a living. This means I think about my work, how to improve, where I’ve messed up, where I might mess up, what else I can contribute, etc., during my ‘free time’ — weekends, early mornings, late evenings.
My mother recently asked, “Why are you working so much? What do you have to show for it? You aren’t the President of the United States!” (This makes me laugh more than get upset, tbh.)
My husband, who is a saint, looks exasperated if, after dinner, I casually roam upstairs to my laptop to jot a few emails. He’ll ask, with a sharp tone, “What are you DOING?”
I noticed recently that, on LinkedIn, people are asking about the merits of working on the weekend. I believe it was prompted by an article on Bloomberg disputing a tweet saying: “Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is to work on the weekends.” The LinkedIn chatter was mixed, with a lot of people disparaging companies and people who make it a norm to work on the weekend.
And there is that common cautionary tale: “No one, on their deathbed, regrets not having worked more” or something like that. This suggests that someone who works a lot has had a shitty life, and you end up realizing that at the very end.
Well, I gotta say: I like working. I like thinking about it. And if I choose to do it on the weekend, or in the evening, I don’t want to be shamed about it. And I don’t think I have the most amazing life, but it’s okay with me. I get little thrills from accomplishing things and touching people’s lives. I hope that this is what I remember on my deathbed.