Sunday, January 02, 2005

It Doesn't Take an Einstein ...

"It's not that I'm so smart. It's just that I stay with problems longer."
-- Albert Einstein

Well, maybe it's not that I'm stupid, but that I don't stay with problems long enough.
There was a period in my life, 14-12 years ago, when I may have been onto something.
The issue was balance -- the balance of work and life.
I was in graduate school, with an infant daughter, a house and all of the usual attendant worries. I was fortunate in that my wife and I had more money at our disposal than many others at that stage of life. But I think my thoughts at the time were common for someone at that stage of life: How do I hold onto what is important, stay centered, and at the same time provide for my family and myself?
I know that today, my work life is largely separate from my personal interests. My job has a number of things going for it: It isn't painfully difficult, it is sometimes actually fun, it allows me to stay at home much of the time, and it provides a very good income. But it is largely disconnected from my interests or those of my family.
How did I end up in a situation like that of my parents and so many others, in which work is "just a job" and not personally fulfilling? Does that even matter?
Am I perhaps better off than most Americans, in that I more or less adhere to the European ideal of "working to live" rather than "living to work"? Or am I somehow missing out on a career that provides a strong degree of personal fulfillment.
Maybe this is an issue that I should come back to, now that I am at a different stage of life.