The question is becoming even more relevant with time. May be it is because there is choice. In olden days the choice was non existent for a majority of people. The elite always had choices. That is why we see that when the masses toiled in fields and factories… the elites dabbled on poetry and philosophy. Things have changed.
Yes even now we are at the mercy of some work to make a living. But choice is something that people have. Choices though have a give and take. You have to say no to a few things to say yes to a few others. This makes relationship to work a worthy topic and especially as here in US we are trying to get back to normal after more than a year of work from home to no work.
As always this is a personal reflection and let me share my thoughts. I think for me work should be contributing to my life rather than sucking life out of it. Am I producing value and in the process am I getting paid decently. Do I hold the choice to make a change at work. Am I welcomed and do I feel good being with the people around. Are expectations met with. Do I have flexibility? And this can go on and on. But at the same time I also realize that all these might not be there all at once.
There are tradeoffs at work. For example if there is flexibility on time, then I might work on weekends also if needed. The question is not if it is expected. The fact is there is flexibility for me to take care of my life on usual days and that means I am happy to finish off things during weekends.
Now if there is no flexibility, then you are working by the clock… there is a clear start and end of work. There is a point daily when work stops and life starts. I have always been on the earlier approach. While I keep passion and work separate, I don’t fully separate work and life. I am not a work-life balance kind of person. They are intertwined. There is work that I do which I am not paid for and that also interferes with life, If I am to make clear distinction.
For me it is living.. and living includes the various personas and roles that I take up to complete it. Work, creator, family guy, socially aware being and so on. You are not ‘one’ anymore… you are the ‘many’ that exist in relation with others.
I think I digressed… but the point is, my relationship with work is not a fixed thing. It depends on the nature of work and the people I work with. It evolves based on my priorities. Just like my relationship with an individual, my relationship with work also changes. I like it that way. It is easy to live by. Somedays I love it, somedays not that much.. but that is how we relate to anything right? food, people, movies… anything…. why should work be any different.