Chip off the old block

My mom works hard. As in, she works hard at her job. And she’s 82, going on 83 (I like to talk about age like a first-grader; it’s more fun).

Not only has she worked since she was 12 (you could call it child labor, but she would probably just call it survival); she still shows up 4-5 days a week at my brother’s tennis retail store to manage his bookkeeping and vendors.

When I call my mom during the day, she’s usually at work. Being “all business” like she is, she doesn’t have much time to talk. Usually she just wants to get back to her duties.

Thinking back through my career, I was much the same way – all business. I was “in the zone” all day, every day, sometimes even on weekends. If I got a phone call between meetings, it was always brief. Or maybe it was just me who was brief. Yikes.

Anyway, it’s a few years later and I feel like I’m just now relearning how and when to draw boundaries around my family life, my marriage and other important relationships so I know what’s important outside “the zone.” Heck, even to remember that there is life outside “the zone.”

I’m also re-learning how to work.

A friend challenged me several years ago to consider that work could actually look different than the traditional 9-to-5 workday. I’d wanted that for years.

Still, I couldn’t get my head around it for me. In fact, it’s taken until now to get the picture. Honestly, I’m surprised I like it. I had no idea I could be that stuck in old ways.

Why did I fight it for so long? I love teams and collaboration, and it has been hard to be alone this much. But the truth is, you can be around people as much or as little as you want when you work on your own. I need to get with that program, too.

Work ethic vs. family: A both/and decision

It’s great to see my parents’ work ethic in myself, especially now, without the distortion I added for so many years.

Going forward, I want to value my own life and my family’s as much as I can — not to mention the limited time we have together, never to be taken for granted.

While working hard is something I love to do, it’s also a means to an end. It’s what allows me the freedom to enjoy the many beautiful relationships in my life. And for that I have a newfound, heartfelt gratitude.

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5 thoughts on “Chip off the old block

  1. I have missed your posts! It is wonderful, to me, to hear your mother is working, and I assume she wants to very much, after 50! Companies just do not like to hire after that point, and some after 40, I hear. If you do the math, that leaves those of us who enjoy work, 30 plus years to LOOK for the next job. I wish you the best in your new lifestyle, and the balancing act that we seek.

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    • Thanks Nancy. I’ve missed blogging a lot. It’s been so hard to post lately – getting more work (yay!) with projects SO disparate from each other. So trying to figure out how it all works together at the moment – especially when I was so enjoying the family research and quilting (started my next one, btw).

      Yeah my mom – she’s something else. I’ll do a special post on her for her birthday. I’d love for her to come live with me…still working on that one. Hoping for inroads soon. Thanks for taking time to read and comment!

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  2. Hellooo Dear one.. Also happy to see your post!!.. I do think we get a lot of our work ethic from what we watched in our own family as we grew up. Many of the “old world Greeks” in our family came to this country as immigrants and needed income for survival when they got here..language was a barrier…so they worked for themselves. They grew vegetables,sold produce,baked bread as years went by,many were in the food business. They sold ..coffee..bread.. baked goods and many more things. My father was the same way..after military he went to college..he worked his way thru school with a part time job as a carpenter, while the rest of the family grew apples and baked pies. As time moved on he moved up in that company but eventually worked for himself in construction.

    Self employment brings a lot of extra responsibilities and worries along with it. But those struggles were what i watched as i grew up..He worked very hard but he loved it. I used to listen in to the stories of his journey as a little girl sitting under the dining room table wile the men sat and discussed their work. I studied theater in college, worked in non profit theaters..and i embraced that path full out. Worked for others but was there at the beginning of ‘freelance’.

    Today the world is showing us that the work on your own path is indeed the most secure thing one can do. I am always grateful for the lessons i learned from my father.. and was truly blessed to be able to follow that path.. Its been a career that was full of chances but at the end of the day its a little scarey at times , but it builds slowly and the path opens up in front as you move along if you stay focused and do the thing you love…. SO happy to hear you have new projects developing for you… I can feel your good vibe for this thru your writing.

    Also know what you mean about the projects being a bit disconnected which make it a little tricky to get to the blogs. For me the blogs have offered a place to share thoughts that i might be reflecting on in principal in my work.. but its a great place to let your mind wander and share what the globe is telling you. I’m trying to let the topics flow and not pin to a specific theme or judge it for a while.. only time will tell if anybody else in the world reads it or cares… But i’m up for a change.. and beat she DO GO on..:) Write when ever the spirit moves you.. i’ll sure miss you if you go..Cheers! e

    Liked by 1 person

    • You always make me smile, Estelle – ear to ear. Thanks for your constant kindness and encouragement. I’ll have much more to write soon…some things just are getting sorted out. Let’s just say the next several weeks are going to be a wild ride. 😉

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  3. Great post Nydia, I’m kicking myself for failing lately, but failure (Winnie’s failure) are what led me to meet you and so many others in the challenge. On the busy days (doing a lot of work on the house and yard, not at the computer much) I’m sorry to say that I skip over some people’s post, but I always make time to read yours–thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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