Conversely, waking up each day and devoting yourself to being kind, even and especially to people who are not kind to you, is actually incredibly difficult. It is arduous and deliberate work, and the doing of it will at times make you feel small and foolish. What’s more, in the end, it will on its own merits almost never yield a person awards or honors or riches.
“On sleep camps: Government-subsidized programs help parents teach their babies to sleep. I haven’t been to one (though I did consider it when we were in the middle of sleep hell with our daughter) but many of my friends have. The sleep camps are centers, usually attached to a hospital, that are run by nurses. Most mums I know went when their babies were around six or seven months old. You go for five days and four nights, and they put you and your baby on a strict schedule of feeding, napping and sleeping. If you’re really desperate for sleep, you also have the option of having a nurse handle your baby for the whole first night so you can sleep, but after that you spend the next few nights with your baby overnight while the nurses show you what to do.”
Jason Kottke does a great job introducing Joanna Goddard and her series “Motherhood Around the World“. As a parent in America who grew up in a time where it was normal for us kids to be gone all day – out of sight and without technology – I often struggle with what is “normal” or “safe” for kids in these modern times. Joanna’s series helps put some things in perspective and is a great read. The above quote is from a mom in Australia. From Joanna’s introduction,
“Every Monday, we’ll feature an American mother living abroad in a different country around the world with her family. (First up today: Norway!) Honestly, the interviews have been FASCINATING. While working on them, I kept running into the living room to tell Alex the surprising things these mothers were revealing. Thank you so much to all the incredible mothers who shared their stories”
“He says this not with sadness or frustration, but with relief. “For me, having quality of life outweighed the need to control this project and make it great all the time.” So he stepped down from running Adventure Time to become simply one of the show’s writers and storyboard artists.”
Every time I hear about someone I admire, or unanimously successful, getting burn out and recognizing the importance of a work/life balance I feel both sad and happy. Sad that it takes them as long as it does to come to this conclusion. Happy that they have, and can now (hopefully) continue making cool things – without the cost of diminishing the other parts of their life.
The best advice I ever received about the time I graduated college was this – don’t work over 40, no one will thank you for putting in a steady 60, no one will promote you for it, and you’ll regret all the things you miss out on outside of work. Don’t do it.
“See, the time I spend with people is what gives my work meaning. I do what I do for them—for the people in my life, the people I know, and the people I don’t. If we never spend time away from our work, how can we understand the world and the people we make things for?”
Rain’s first column on A List Apart is already one of my favorites. A cliché as it is to say this I will. I could quote the whole damn thing.
Remember, everything your employer or client does is to get more out of you. It’s not nefarious, it’s driven into everyone. From the employee feeling like they have to work hard (and they should ) long (and they shouldn’t) hours to the leaders trying to get the most out of their employees. It’s a vicious circle. Only you as an individual can change that.