Our jobs keep us incredibly busy. There’s endless work to be done and everything seems a priority. So when the day ends, focusing on life rather then work can be a challenge. It might even make us feel guilty: pursuing a hobby when work problems go unsolved; practicing an art while job issues linger.
Our quality of work reflects our values, certainly. We want to do our best and have successful careers. But our natures and abilities have multiple avenues. In “Walden,” Thoreau declares that most men “are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked…. [our] fingers, from excessive toil, are too clumsy and tremble too much for that….the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day; he cannot afford to sustain the manliest relations to men; his labor would be depreciated in the market. He has no time to be anything but a machine.”
We owe it to ourselves to honor our talents and pursue our goals; to use our time well so that we are anything but machines.