Balancing act: Long winter of shoveling teaches work-life lessons

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 8:00 a.m. MST

Regarding my mental well-being, I try to set aside some time for myself every day to read or think or otherwise use my brain in creative ways. I've also made a conscious effort to learn new things at work. I know I need to keep exercising my brain if I want it to stay sharp as I get older, and that's what I intend to do.

(Some may say writing a column comparing myself to a shovel proves that I need to work harder in this area. They might be right.)

Finally, my shovel never complains or whines, whether it's being used twice a day, every day, for a week or hangs on a nail in the shed, unused, for months at a time.

Again, this is something I should remember both in the office and at home. I know I'm fortunate to have a job that I enjoy and that allows me to support my family, and I shouldn't take that for granted.

At home, I shouldn't give in to the temptation to whine about how tired I am or how busy life can be. Instead, I should remember that being tired and busy is directly related to the fact that I have an active, amazing wife and four smart, healthy children who always have something scheduled.

In other words, I should count my blessings and not my perceived problems.

So there you have it. Perhaps such musings prove that this winter has lasted a little too long and is affecting my mental health. But I'm glad for the lessons of the shovel, nonetheless.

Speaking of which, I see a few flakes floating down from the sky. It looks like it's time to once again put that sturdy, dependable shovel to use.

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