Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Different Country Same Challenges

Last night I had the pleasure to sit and chat with one of my counter parts here in Odessa.  During our conversation of drinks we quickly realized that even though we live on opposite sides of the globe and speak different languages our challenges to balance life, work and education is extremely similar.

I think that since my recent challenge to not be so critical of myself I have become more aware that my personal hangs ups are not unique. Many of my friends, co-workers and acquaintances are also battling their inner minds trying to find a happy place.  Until this week though, I never really thought too much that these challenges not being specific to North America but affects young professionals all over the world. 

While listening to my co-worker/friend from the Ukraine last night I was awe struck at how similar we were.  Both of us are intelligent, successful women working in traditionally male professions and should be happier than a kid in a candy shop with our present lives.  However, we both vented over drinks how we are struggling to find a balance of establishing ourselves in our careers and finding time for a social life.  I was a little disappointed in myself for allowing it to take 3 years before really seeing that these wonderful ladies that run the show here in Odessa are struggling just like myself. 

It is comforting to know that I am really not alone and that all of us can benefit from taking baby steps. However, I think its time we all look at the bigger issue. 

Why are so many young professionals (25-35) willing to let go of personal relationships and other things we enjoy all in the name of work? 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job and I am thankful daily that I have found a profession I am passionate about.  My question though is when did it become ok for an entire generation to put their lives on hold so that they can get one more report completed?  Is anyone else scared at the thought of waking up in a few years and being surrounded by friends and co-workers who only have a corner office to brag about?

I don't have an answer as to how I can balance everything out but thought it was worth it to share my observations with whoever is reading. We are all stressed but should and need to look at little ways of reclaiming the things we enjoy in life.  Whether that is taking a night for yourself to watch movies you love, home spa night or picking up that book you have been dying to read but the never ending stream of proposals always seem to come first.

For me... I am going to take a long weekend getaway to see old friends and a football game.  I have vacation time for a reason and I am sure that the world won't stop rotating if I take a Monday off after a major work trip!

What is something you love that you make sure you take time for in your busy schedule?