Back in the day, families and friends were high on the list of priorities for people who went to work.
My Dad went to work to support and pay for his and our family’s personal endeavors. He would often say, “No one ever lied on their death bed and lamented that they didn’t make more time for work.”
Life is about experiences with friends and families. Sure, it’s about accomplishment, and people accomplish some noteworthy, if not great things, at work. But when it’s all said and done, you’re going to remember all of the unique, interesting, and impactful experiences you had – mostly with others.
Yet, at some point, we crossed the line. Now work gets many of us more excited than our personal lives. When did this happen, and why?
Perhaps it coincides with some unacknowledged point at which we made our personal lives more meaningless than our work lives. Perhaps it’s related to when we gave away our humanity by digitizing ourselves and all of our experiences.
Maybe all the useless memes, stories, videos, and following of other people’s experiences online has gotten even more meaningless than what we’re doing at work. At least at work, we still get a feeling of accomplishment.
But we’ve ceded playing sports with our kids to professional coaches. We can’t go on family trips because of all of our kid’s commitments. And who needs to travel when you can just experience somewhere on video or virtually.
One amazing thing about COVID is just how easily and quickly everyone was willing to sit at home and have even less human interaction and experience. It’s no wonder events at work have eclipsed what we’re all doing with our personal lives.
My Dad would have never understood it.