Can You Enjoy Work Too Much?

Work-life balance is a myth. It’s time we start admitting it.

Jessica Wildfire
7 min readSep 10, 2018
Photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash

Relax, he said. Have some fun for a change. Go with him to a cookout. It was his cousin’s son’s birthday, and he wanted to show me off. So instead of working on an important project, I spent hours trapped in awkward conversation with extended family.

There was a piñata in there somewhere. But I didn’t get to hit it. Kids only. How disappointing. Almost as disappointing as the lack of alcohol or phone reception. I couldn’t even play Angry Birds in the bathroom.

That night, I tried to pick up my momentum on that project but wound up collapsing on my desk from party-induced exhaustion.

“See, you work too hard,” my ex said. And he was right, except he meant my project. Not the party.

That’s when I realized that not everyone defines fun the same way. Some people don’t enjoy what most of us think of as “leisure”: riding carousels, standing in line for cotton candy at the state fair, going to a cookout.

If you don’t like that stuff, you’re labeled a “workaholic.” Many of us will do anything to avoid that label. We’ll even pretend to enjoy baseball. Well, maybe that’s pushing it.

We Relax in Different Ways