How often do you think about food when youâ€™re in a dressing room filled with fun clothes to try on? Or at a concert jamming to a favorite artist? Or immersed in a romance novel on the beach?
Only when youâ€™re hungry, right?
When I was a child I played outside for hours at a time, creating all kinds of make-believe games. There was â€œCourtney and Amanda,â€ where my sister and I pretended we were valley girl teenagers with convertibles. There was â€œKathy and Lauren,â€ where we were the minivan-driving moms of dolls, Chelsea and Sarah. There was the X Club, a neighborhood society with membership rules and secret activities. My point is: I was so busy playing that I didnâ€™t have time to think about food.
My second year out of college I had a desk job at a public relations firm and minimal mental challenge. And I thought about food all. the. time. When was my next snack? What should I have for dinner? Should I have another cup of tea? When work would pick up and Iâ€™d have a few fun projects to work on, food would be forgotten unless my stomach was rumbling for lunch. It was during this time that I realized I needed a career change. I needed a job that didnâ€™t feel like work. At the tail end of my weight loss and reading the Eat Like Me blog written by a registered dietitian, I took a leap of faith and decided to go back to school. Being a student again and pursuing a career as a blogger and writer now keeps my mind stimulated 24/7.
My husband went through a similar metamorphosis. He was terribly unhappy in his jobs in insurance and marketing and couldnâ€™t crack into investment banking with a liberal arts degree in Anthropology. So one particularly rough unemployed summer he did a lot of soul searching. He knew he loved baking as a hobby and got a job at a bakery to make ends meet. Turns out he loved it â€“ getting up at 3am and all â€“ and now has plans to open his own in the coming years.
Sometimes career changes are not possible, but when you are sitting at your desk thinking harder about your next snack than your client list, ask yourself what you are really hungry for. Meet with your boss and suggest a new project, consider a different company, contemplate a new career. When work feels more like play, the world is a better place.
Are you guys happy in your careers? How do you find balance between work and play?