February 5, 2013 by Linda Hardenstein

I went to an auto body repair shop a couple months ago to get a dent fixed.  It was 8am and I asked for an estimate. “Oh, multicolored balloons and confettithe owner will be right back.  He just went to get some coffee.”  Noticing my impatience because I too had to get to work he continued, “just walk up the street and you’ll see him.  He should be on his way back by now. He’ll be the guy on his skateboard.”  I raised my eyebrows and he said, “I know … a grown man … and he rides that skateboard up to the coffee shop every morning.” I shook my head thinking “only in California!”

As I rounded the corner a 50 something man came tooling down the middle of the main street on a skateboard. The rising sunlight bounced off the ceramic mug he held in his hand (with no lid of course!). His hair was blowing in the wind, he had a big grin on his face, and he nodded as he skated by. My earlier irritation faded away and I smiled at the site of him.

How fun! What a great way to start the day! I thought. It occurred to me that my fun gets squeezed in at the end of the day, that’s IF there is any energy or time left for fun.  Because I work with hard-working, busy people all day long, I know I’m not the only one that misses out on some fun on a daily basis. Let’s face it, for most of us, fun or joy and work, don’t go together. There’s always too much to do, we’re in a hurry, and we’re too pooped at the end of the day to even think about what would be fun.

As I walked the last couple steps to my office I wondered how starting the day on his skateboard affected his attitude, his productivity, and his interactions with people.  Pretty positively I’d imagine.  After all, he’d just gotten a smile out of me!

When I heard Pete died suddenly it struck me how wise he was to weave some fun into his workdays while here on earth. I also feel very privileged to have seen him in action on his skateboard and to have shared in his joy.  Most of all, I appreciate the thoughts his actions stirred in me and the valuable lessons he unknowingly taught me:

•    Be yourself
•    Find something that brings you joy
•    Start your day having fun
•    Combining work with fun can be infectious
•    Life is short

What do you think about balancing work and fun? Is it possible in today’s environment?  I look forward to your comments.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC is an accomplished career strategist with extensive experience serving hundreds of professionals in technology, law, accounting, education and government by leading them to discover what motivates them and their authentic career path.  She provides the tools needed to land a satisfying job and achieve your career and life goals.

Learn about Linda’s “Five Critical Success Strategies to Keep Your Career Thriving Instead of Just Surviving” programs as well as her strategic career coaching call 831-233-9186 or e-mail linda@lindahardenstein.com.

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