In an Insiders List earlier this month, I talked about the importance of balancing work and not-work, and offered the IL-ers a delegation worksheet to support them in that effort. A few days later, my assistant Dan sent me a link to an article from a British online magazine about job burn-out. It talks about how young professionals, women in particular, tend to push themselves past their limits, and then crash – physically, mentally, and emotionally. One compelling sentence: “Work-related stress, depression and anxiety cost Britain £530 million a year, with workers taking 14 million sick days.”
It’s an awful statistic, but there’s one good thing about it: it shows clearly that taking reasonably good care of ourselves is not only kind and self-loving…it can drive better business results and higher productivity.
The good news is, my life is fuller and more fun and productive than it’s ever been - I love my husband and kids, who are all extraordinary and fascinating human beings; the business is rockin’ and my colleagues are smart and funny and good-hearted; I feel healthy, happy and whole.
The bad news is, there’s so much going on that this beloved erikaandersen.com blog of mine is getting short shrift. It’s been two weeks since I posted…and three weeks before that…
I do love this blog; I love sharing my thoughts and questions with you – and enough people have told me they enjoy it, over the years, that I want to keep doing it. I began writing here in January of 2007, right after my first book got published. It was a huge inflection point in my life, both personally and professionally, and this blog has been with me (I know I’m anthropomorphizing wildly here, but bear with me) through all the ups and downs of my evolution since then. It was my introduction to social media, and I’ve met many, many great people through it.
And I like to do things well and with 100% intentionality or not at all.
So I’m committing to you and to myself, here and now (you can call me on this later, if I don’t follow through): I’ll go back to posting at least once a week from here on.
You can help – if any of you have things you’d like me to talk about, that would be truly inspiring to me…I do love to listen and respond.
Onward and upward….
On the 4th, we had a pig-roast and garden-raising party. Most of the attendees were my son’s 20-something friends. They were great. Not only did they pitch in (mostly under the extremely able direction of my son-in-law) to complete a number of projects it would have taken my husband and me well into the 21st century to complete on our own, it was really fun to listen to the conversation that flowed back and forth over the course of the day.
Some of it was just normal human fluff – making fun of each other, dissing mutual and absent friends in good-natured ways, riffing on bad bosses and lame jobs. But a good deal of it was about the real stuff: what they hope to make of their lives, what they’re figuring out about themselves and about being grown-ups, what they think is important and who they want to be.
I’ve talked about this before, and this day really reinforced it for me. When I hear people my age lamenting about this millenial generation – complaining that they’re disaffected and drifting, don’t have a work ethic, etc., etc. – it’s just not my experience. Now, I know that my son’s friends probably aren’t average, but still, I do think they’re representative of their generation in many ways.
And I truly think the stuff we baby-boomers are saying about them is primarily inaccurate – that it’s just the age-old grumbling of any generation about the next. These young men and women may be approaching adulthood somewhat differently than we did, but my observation is that what they’re doing and trying out is appropriate to the world they live in now, vs. the world we were coming into 30 or 40 years ago.
I think they’ll be just fine…and it’s great fun to watch.