Balancing act: Lunch breaks make for a tasty work-life topic
While not as delicious as a discussion of lunch — especially, in my opinion, a lunch that includes bacon — the topic of our nation's tendency to demand longer and longer work hours is another that draws many reader reactions.
"Your article today reminded me of something I learned several years ago," Barry wrote. "I work for a behavioral health company — we are the ones that offer all the work-life balance advice, even if some of us are bad at (building our own balance)."
Barry wrote that he works in sales, but several years ago, the company hired a clinical vice president from New York.
"We were talking about this issue one day, and he indicated he knew a very well-renowned marriage and family therapist in New York," Barry wrote. "When couples first came to him for marriage counseling, the first question he asked was, 'Do either of you work more than 60 hours per week on a regular basis?' If the answer was yes, he indicated that they needed to go back and fix that issue, because until they did, there was nothing he could do for them.
"Some may think that is a rather cruel reality, but my interpretation is that unless you have some real time to spend together, you can’t realistically expect your relationship to thrive."
I think that therapist makes an excellent point. It's hard enough finding time for meaningful interactions with both a spouse and children when you're working 40 hours per week. I can't imagine how difficult that would be if you were working 60 hours or more.
And if both people in a couple were working that much, it would be just about impossible.
Thanks to these readers for their insights. Please keep the comments coming, and in return, I wish you a week of longer-than-usual lunches, regular work hours and lots of quality time with your family.