Being a social media-centric business it's easy to get lost in a very fast-moving world. This job requires me to be on top of trends and always 'scrolling'. So because it’s Sunday and I truly believe in living a fully balanced life I’m going to keep this short and urge you all to get out today and spend time with your loved ones. It’s now been 2 weeks since the shocking accident that took the lives of 9 people in Orange County, two of the victims being Kobe and Gigi Bryant. These deaths sent us all down a hole of doubt and forced us to wake up to the fact that at any point you might be gone.
Here I am writing this post as I prepare to spend some much needed time with my family and I quickly wanted to tell you a story. I was reminded of this specific event I am about to tell you about while listening to LPA’s founder and creative director Pia Baroncini’s fantastic podcast, PIA’s Pod. She was talking about busy culture and this idea that we somehow have developed into these monsters that get purpose from feeling tired and overworked. It’s like the more tired and overworked you are the more praise you get. I later found myself revising this concept when reading about the Nordic countries and their outrageously happy population. They spoke a lot about the difference between the two cultures, one celebrating a healthy work-life balance, while the other celebrated a focus on career and financial success.
So, about two years ago I was trying to get back into the swing of things after the premature birth of my daughter Coco and her 99 day NICU stay. I was applying for any and all photography jobs that I could, one being a photo assistant job for a photographer in NYC. I applied, he wrote back and then I made the deathly mistake of waiting a full 24 hours to answer back. Unfortunately, in the time, it took me to respond to another photographer who took that job and that was ok. What I thought was interesting was that this photographer felt the need to tell me that because I took the fatal 24 hours to respond I lost the job and that’s the lesson I would have to learn…
Here is the issue with this story, he was right but I had made the decision to priorities my daughter and our family and forwent the possibility of this job and that was my choice. What I hated was to be lectured about a lesson that was not his to teach. It is this type of attitude that breeds this unhealthy work-life culture where we are celebrated for returning to work days after giving birth and judging co-workers that don’t like staying after hours. I was shamed for my choice like many are on a daily bases. Did you know in the Netherlands they judge you if you stay late at work, thinking that there must be something wrong with you if you can’t finish your work during normal business hours?
So get out there and stop stressing about missed emails or shitty people that will shame you for living your life. Enjoy your Sunday and any day you choose to take for yourself.