Learning How to Balance Work and Life

Posted by Shawn Wildermuth on Jun 12, 2014 on 10:19AM

WP_20140610_16_31_44_ev2_Pro__highresI love what I do. The consulting, the software development, the courses…I really love it all. It keeps me in a constant state of learning and I am overjoyed and extremely lucky for this to be my life’s passion.

This year a lot has changed in my life and I am finally married for the first time. I met the amazing woman 2 1/2 years ago and I am lucky she agreed to be my life. Sappy…I know, but the experience has been transformative.

In mid-May with my wedding fast approaching I started to pull away from work to focus on the incredibly difficult (and a tad stupid) task of planning a wedding, eliminating everything we owned (with small exceptions) and leaving the country for a year. All these three things happened in the span of five days. We left our apartment on a Friday, got married on Saturday, and on Tuesday we were on a plane to Paris to start our adventure.

In addition to pausing my work life for the change in life, I promised my bride that I wouldn’t work during the honeymoon. Now some of you may be thinking that the year long trek across the world is our honeymoon…luckily for me no. But the first few weeks in Paris is our honeymoon. (You can see the entire planned trip on http://wilderworldtour.com) So here I sit nearing the end of the honeymoon and I haven’t worked appreciably for five weeks now.

If you follow me here, on twitter or even Pluralsight it may be apparent that I am a bit of a workaholic. I prefer to think that I am passionate about what I do but you can judge it in your own way. But these weeks away from work have given me pause about what I care about.

Before the wedding being away from work was easy because it was a new crisis ever day. But now that we’re on the honeymoon I’ve been challenged to not think about work. This isn’t as easy as it should be but I seem to be accomplishing it most days. I’ll admit I planned to not tweet at all during the honeymoon but we have gotten so many great pictures I couldn’t resist sharing, but I am trying to stay out of the tech foray for now. I’ve not even talked about my views on Swift (or even downloaded/played with it).

My real hope is that this time and adventure in my life is going to help me find a better balance. Find a way to enjoy life and enjoy work. I am not going to stop working by any means (and my next Pluralsight course is already contracted to be delivered in late summer), but I am going to be more careful about enjoying life away from the keyboard.

To some work is an ends to a means. Often this means is to work hard enough to retire and sit on a beach. I prefer to think that my life is going to be periods of work followed by periods of growth. Even when I am relaxing, I get the most out of some sort of learning. Whether that may be visiting an ancient town, an amazing museum, or even reading a book. I enjoy it most when I am enlarging my world. I think this is where I am the most happy.

As I sit here today in a café in Paris, I am able to enjoy the process of writing this post while taking time to view the people, watching new wife write, and be completely in the present…five years ago I never guessed I’d get here. Without any snark or irony, I feel like I am approaching happiness and contentment for the first time in my life. I am done with chasing the tail of ‘success’.

Thank you to all of you who read and view what I do. I appreciate every one of you.

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