On the topic of Work/Life Balance

I lost a friend this week.

I’ve known him for almost 20 years through involvement with various professional organizations. Joe was one of those guys who was active – in all aspects of his life. Heavily involved with his alma mater, a leader in at least two professional organizations I belong to, and responsible for spawning at least two others — on top of his day job. Always on the go.

The day job was not unlike that of the rest of us, which involved hard work and hard knocks over the years. And his professional organizations, volunteerism and charitble endeavors earned him the respect of many – including myself.

I met his wife, only once, in their home, as we were wrapping up a tour of his office and going out for lunch. She was exactly what I envirisioned for Joe’s wife. And, as it happened, I ended up working with Joe’s son the last two years, and he has, fortunately, inherited his father’s good traits. Good people.

One of Joe’s traits was a deep commitment and desire to help people – personally and professionally. I was one such recipient of his efforts to help me through transition, and when the tides were turned, there was no hesitation to reciprocate.

Did Joe have the right work/life balance? Up until the last coupe years, I would say, “absolutely.” He worked to live, and paid it forward for many. Passionate. Not everyone can say that.

So, I lost a 56 year old friend, this week, and I’m somewhat shaken. I sincerely wish that I had more time to spend with Joe. And I am thinking a lot about his wife and son and extended family. I will be 65 this year, and “still working hard”.

Do I need to work this hard or this much – to live? No, but it’s my own work ethic that drives me, not need. Should I kick back and spend more time on the people that I care about most? Maybe. This has me thinking.

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