I’m Doing What I Love, so Why Am I Still Working My Ass Off!

This article was originally published in Don’t Act Accordingly on March 31, 2023

I’m doing what I love, so why am I still working my ass off? I thought you told me that if I do what I love, I won’t work a day in my life.

I’m confused.

It feels like I keep bumping into sayings and beliefs that try to convince me that work isn’t work. Instead, work is;

  • an indication of my love and passion.
  • a representation of my identity.
  • an illustration of my commitment and value.

Wow! That’s a lot of pressure!

But isn’t work just effort in order to produce an outcome? Isn’t it a verb? Can’t it simply be an action with no value judgment attached to it? Because all this other stuff stresses me out, gets in the way of actually doing work, and, most importantly, STOPPING when work is done.

And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? When we turn work into a representation of our identity and value – it’s harder to stop working.

That’s fucked up.

Our work is supposed to make possible a life that we want to lead. A life that is full of family, friends, love, fun, rest, pain, grief, hobbies, dreams, plans, aging parents, chaotic kids, etc… When our work obscures or postpones all those things
– they end up happening without us or completely passing us by.

I have a vision for what I want to accomplish – a big picture. But, I’m trying to focus more on the day-to-day – the verb. I set the actions I need to take and the daily/weekly outcomes I want to reach, and then I just do the work. Some of it

I love. Some of it is boring and meh. And then I stop when I’m done.

I identify strongly as an entrepreneur and have ambitious goals, but I am:

  • 50 and don’t want to work as much as the younger entrepreneurs I am around.
  • an empty nester and am enjoying the silence, the space to think and write.
  • exploring how to travel and work and live in a way that gets me to my goals but also prioritizes enjoying the ride.

I recognize that this approach means it will take me longer to get to my big picture than others, and I’m okay with that. Sometimes I feel the pressure to work harder, to work more.

Sometimes I feel behind, but then I take a deep breath, pause, and say – fuck it. 😁