What is Work?
I resigned my position as CMO for a tech company two weeks ago and left behind…. for now…. eighteen hour work days, a twenty-four hour global clock, three hundred emails a day and the surge of adrenalin on a daily basis. I quite simply hit the pause button.
Why? I believe work is essential to the human psyche but I also believe that it is critical every now and then to literally “stop and smell the roses”. The “stopping” can be for a week, a month or a year. But without time off how can we become better people, smarter people, more inspiring people, refreshed people. For my European friends who actually have and take holidays this is more the norm. But for Americans in fast paced and growing sectors the thought of taking time off is viewed as traitorous, slacking off and frankly unAmerican especially if you take time off and turn off email.
For me when life slows down my creativity increases proportionally. I think without constraint, I think outside the box more freely and I feel a complete absence of guilt since I am not away from my family.
So what is work? Work is what gets you up in the morning, adds purpose to your life and keeps the brain exploring and fully engaged.
I decided that my work during this respite is to indulge in guilty pleasures such as reading a complete article in the “New York Times” not just the first two paragraphs, to listen to people without twitching when a text comes in (since none come in anymore), to embrace music without background keystrokes on an airplane and to gather ideas and perspectives. In other words a little “Christmas for the Brain”.
I still believe passionately in online security, supporting women in tech, our veterans and our aging population. I am hopeful that this “pause” will enrich my perspective and return me to the workplace with an unconstrained fierceness.
Stay tuned if you are curious what life off the fast lane is all about!