Archives for the month of: March, 2013
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Sharon interviewing AS President Elect Josh Morse

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One of my FB friends, Candy, recently wrote that she raised her heroes. Even though I don’t have kids, I get where she’s coming from. Having worked at SDSU for the past 15 years, the best part of my job, by far, was in meeting young students who overcame hardships, adversity and plain bad luck to rise to the top. My job has allowed me to interact with many campus leaders, and these student leaders have been the most inspiring. The most recent case in point is our newly elected Associated Students president for 2013/2014: Josh Morse.

I had the pleasure of meeting him and interviewing him for the April issue of “@State” – the online student newsletter we put together every month. Check out my story below (with much credit to Suzanne Finch, who first wrote about him more than a year ago):

http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/atstate/april2013spotlight.aspx

In my personal life, I’m blessed with many nephews, nieces, cousins, and a couple of “sort-of-adopted” kids (you know who you are, Wendy and Phil) who have turned into amazing young adults. They, too, are my heroes.

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Recently there was some backlash against two high-profile women executives: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo. Being very successful women in roles of leadership, they are encouraging all women to push forward and work their butts off to be successful, as they have done.

As someone who has been working since I was 17, and someone who has always taken my work seriously, I get the point of having a strong work ethic. But I also feel very strongly that we should be working to live, not the other way around. And I realize everyone is different. If someone is truly passionate about their craft and loves what they do, go for it. However, I think generally there is too strong of a push to make your career the No. 1 thing in your life, especially in our culture. Will that person who works 12 hour days six days a week come to regret what they missed out on during their life?

The discussions have been primarily focused on women, specifically working mothers, but I would argue this affects everyone. Granted, working mothers have the hardest job in the world (unless they are like Sandberg and Meyer, who are both in a very privileged class and have all the help in the world).

My last post was on the top five regrets of people who were facing death. “Working too much” was a big one, for both men and women. Nobody on their deathbed has ever said “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

I’m not advocating chucking it all and becoming a beach bum (unless you can make that work for you in an independent way). I believe in personal responsibility and taking care of one’s self — both men and women. I think our culture is too obsessed with work, which is a direct result of the biggest obsession of all: consumerism. I’m a product of our culture (just ask Amazon), so I’m not standing on some soap box condemning anyone. I’m just at an age and a stage in life where I am reflecting on what I want the rest of my life to be. And that does not include mind-sucking meetings or corporate politics. I think, especially for both men and women with young families, even 40 hours is too much to balance it all. If I ran the world we’d all find something that fulfills us, on a part-time basis, but allows us the ability to watch the sun set at night, attend a child’s sporting event, spend time with our elders and our friends, and just have some quality time to reflect and just be.

What are your thoughts?

That’s my favorite line in “The Shawshank Redemption.”

All of us start the road to death from the day we are born. If you’re lucky, you get 80 years to figure things out. But that’s not guaranteed for any of us.

The cycle of life

The cycle of life – it’s faster than you think

During the past four or five years, we’ve had a lot of death. Most recently it was my 95-year-old uncle, but previous deaths ranged from age 21 to almost 100. Plus a dog too young to die to an unborn baby. I can’t cry about the 90-somethings. If they lived a good life, I celebrate them and wish them a hearty bon voyage. If they were unhappy, I feel sorry that they could not enjoy the precious time they had. That’s all we have – time. The here and the now. We all need to embrace it.

I’m reposting a link from Maria Shriver’s blog from a writer who worked with dying people. She interviewed them to find out what their biggest regrets were now that they were facing the end. What do you think the biggest five regrets are from people on their death bed? Do you agree with the comments in this article? Would you add to these list of regrets?

http://www.mariashriver.com/blog/2011/12/top-five-regrets-dying

The main reason I made the decision to retire this year rather than wait a few years when I’m 62 and in a better financial situation was exactly to “get busy livin’.” I don’t want any regrets. Well, I have some from the first 57 years (just a few), but I hope to have less from now on.

 

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