Are we working to live or living to work?
Studies show that many workers are not using up the annual leave they are entitled to. Don’t you think it is crazy to be so fixated on work when we do not need to be there?
When we should be by the sea, sunbathing on a beach or abroad experiencing the world, some of us choose to stay at work, travelling only from one desk to another, immersed in papers and notes.
In this chaotic world, where everything is fast paced, many workers are drowning in work, juggling various tasks at once. But wait a minute. Before you vie for the title of ‘saint’ and worker of the year, ask yourself: how many extra pieces of work do you have open on your desktop right this minute?
We all need to take a break from the daily routine of work and, for the sake of our mental health, spend more time with our family or friends. Time spent with our nearest and dearest and not spent reply to emails when we should have let people know that we will be unavailable.
Life, my friends, is about those moments. Moments that we will never regain if lost. We cannot rewind; life is not a DVD we can rewind to experience the moments we lost. Ask yourself: how many holidays were you going to take which you ended up not taking? How many days off were you going to take but you elected to go to work instead? Maybe you told yourself, “I will make an effort to get away next time!”. But next time never comes.
Life teaches us that we can only ever have the present, this moment. In Latin we say Carpe Diem, a popular expression that means “Seize the moment”.
Let me be clear. I am not advocating leaving work, but how about doing those small things? Taking small breaks from the tensions at work without any interruption. Spending time with family only and not work colleagues. Changing our screensavers to scenes full of colour of places far away from our workplace.
The most precious things we have in life are moments. Let us exploit them before it is too late and they disappear; let us discover the world while we are able, because when we get to the end of our life, it will not matter how much money we made or how many hours we worked or those moments when we were contenders for worker of the month.
We need to look back and see what memories we have created, the hours we spent with the people who are dearest to us, where we were exemplary fathers and mothers or close lifelong friends.
Holidays should be opportunities to turn the work switch off and the family switch on. From this moment, let us find a way to stop and take a real holiday where we can be truly present so we can create moments that will last forever.