There is more to life than work.

Financially I have to work, I would love to scoop the lottery and sit on my arse writing blogs all day but life isn’t a fairy tale and work needs to be done.  I think I split the room with my family, friends and work colleagues when it comes to how they view my work ethic and drive.  Some naturally say that I am a lazy bastard, others say I work really hard and want a career.  So, in view of this and knowing that some of the group above regularly read my blogs, I thought I would set the record straight as to which camp I fall into and give you, the big scary unknown world a bit of a glimpse into my head.

Right, what gets me out of my big comfy bed in the morning then?  Well normally it’s the over whelming urge for a poo but after that it’s work. I am not a jump out of bed lets get cracking with work kind of bloke, if I could earn the money I do without getting up early then I would.  I am not a get in the office before everyone else kind of person and will only be there before everyone else if my boss asks me to be (or if it is getting near pay rise time!).  However I do respect the principals of work and the working hours in a day.

The above doesn’t mean I am a lazy sod.  I have a work ethic and I will bust a nut if it means I can make some money.  I recognise that I need to work hard to make money and the harder I work, the more money I will hopefully make.  I work to give my kids the financial support that I never had as a kid.  I work so that they can go to rugby classes, gymnastics & swimming.  I work so they can have clothes that fit them and trainers which don’t deform their feet in later life.  I work to give them everything I never had as a kid.

I don’t work for my own self esteem or desire to win.  I enjoy my job and the company I work for are young and growing, if I was offered a directorship tomorrow I would obviously take it but crucially I would take it for the money and not the social standing. Job titles really don’t mean a lot to me although I do like having the respect that my current title offers and I am not one for swinging my balls around to show everyone how great I am despite what my boss thinks.  That being said if I need to get them out and showcase my abilities than I will, metaphorically speaking of course.

Whilst I am driven by money and the desire to provide for my kids, there is also another part of me that comes into play and prevents me from being a workaholic, money driven ass.  This part is my obsession to not commit the same mistakes that my dad did.  As a kid my dad worked away a lot and because of this he missed nearly all of my school things such as plays, parents evening, choir etc.  I remember crying for what seemed like hours when I used to run in the bedroom to find him gone in the morning, he could have said goodbye a thousand times and I would still miss him as much.  This was in the days before mobile phones & answerphones so he had to call from payphones and if we missed the call, that was it for another few days.  I had no brothers and being the youngest sibling, all of my sisters were either leaving school or pretty close to it at this stage of my life. I remember being lonely, angry and envious that other kids dads got to pick them up or drop them off at school.

A few years ago just after my eldest had been born, I sat down in the pub with my dad and over a few beers asked him about that time of working away and how he felt about it.  My dad isn’t a wise man and rarely does he come out with words of advice that don’t involve physically harming the person you have an issue with, however something he said that night stuck with me and changed my outlook on work forever:

“It might have meant we had a few extra quid in our pocket but it never actually got me anywhere. If I had my time again I would trade in promotions and the extra money for time with you kids, I missed a lot that I will never get back and I regret that”

In conclusion if it comes across that I am a lazy bastard because I opt to take my kids to school every now and again or because I haven’t answered the phone after 6pm because that’s “cuddle time” then so be it, I’m a lazy bastard. I think that I have got my work ethic and drive absolutely spot on.  Yes I do work away sometimes and yes I do sometimes have to miss the odd assembly and if this means that I don’t ever reach the heady heights of director in my current company or that I never make a million pounds then so be it.  When I am old and smelling of piss & peppermints I want to be able to sit with my kids and for them to say:

“Yes Dad you worked hard and sometimes that meant being away for a bit, but we always remember you being part of our everyday lives and being there for not just the important events but the minor events too”

If I can achieve that, then you can wheel me off to the big man downstairs with a smile on my face!

The end.

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