Monday, May 15, 2017 / by Carol Royse
When Work and Family Collide
For almost everyone, the word cheating has a negative connotations, especially if you've ever been cheated. But allow me to use this unpleasant word in a broader sense. Try thinking of it as simply choosing to give up one thing in hope of gaining someone else of greater value.
Daily we all decide to shortchange one thing in order to more fully experience another. It's especially true with out schedules. We face a variety of responsibilities and opportunities- work, family, hobbies, clubs, sports. The list is endless. Each competes for our attention. Each competes for our most valuable resource: our time. But to give each the time it demands or deserves would require more time than any of us have.
So we "cheat". We give up certain opportunities for the sake of others. We invest in some relationships while neglecting others. We allocate our time the best we can, knowing all the while that somebody's going to feel cheated. Unfortunately, that "somebody" is usually someone we care a great deal about. Which brings me to the point of a little book I read and wanted to share some of it with you.
The author of this little book, Andy Stanley, has spent hundreds of hours with men and women who've cheated their families for the sake of their career goals. They all admitted knowing there was a problem. They all tried their own way to dissipate the tension but they felt trapped. Over time they dreaded coming home. The reception was cold. The conversation was filled with sarcasm used to hide the pain. The discomforts of home drove many to work even longer hours. Others went to the gym. Some to the bar. A few found comfort in co-workers or friends.
Eventually things unraveled to the point that they had no choice but to seek help. For most there was an event, a wake up call: Suddenly their kids had withdrawn. Overnight someone's grades had dropped off. Out of nowhere she was more interested in tennis than the family. But in each case, these were symptoms of something that had been brewing for quite sometime.
We all wrestle with the tension between work and family. Regardless of which side of the equation you're on, you know what it's like to deal with the endless cycle of guilt, anger, jealousy, and rejection. Left unattended, these seething emotions have the potential to erode the foundations of even the strongest relationships.
But there is a solution. Strangely enough, the solution is similar to the problem. Both involve "cheating" in that broad sense of giving up one thing to gain something else. Simply put, you must cheat at work rather than at home.
This little book, When Work and Family Collide is about establishing priorities. A priority is something that you put ahead of something else. A priority is something you say yes to even when it means saying no to other important things. Everybody "cheats" like this.
Life is about relationships. Kids, for example, spell 'love' T I M E. I like to think of relationships as a muscle. If you do not work em out, they will atrophy. I have personally chosen to work over relationships many times. Each of those times, I was reminded the importance of investing in those closest to me. I love my work. I love those closest to me. I love cultivating new relationships as well. Choosing who over what is where I mess up sometimes. This little book gave me new insight into making the right choices by following simple principles. Feel free to pick up a copy if you or someone close to you is experiencing similar collisions of Work, Family, and Life.
Go serve big!!!