I tend to live my life in extremes. But even as an extremist, nothing has made me bolt faster from a job interview than someone describing the office as a “work hard, play hard environment.” That phrase is an instant cue for me to drop the best behavior and burn out of that fluorescent hell as quickly as possible. “Work hard, play hard” is the polite way of saying, “You will work your fucking ass off trying to fill unreasonable demands and you will play never.” Unless of course you define “play” as being so stressed out that you get blackout drunk on a Tuesday, end up crying at the bar, and then have to fend off some d-bag in marketing who wants to take you home so he can try (and fail) to hook up with his coke-dick.
Like a lot of people who read stuff, I also read Infinite Jest . . . Or wait, no . . . I read that lengthy article in the Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Aside from a multitude of other points, it got me thinking about what it means to “have it all” when it comes to work and life. Do I have a work-life balance?
I’m a 35-year-old single woman and I don’t have children. I don’t own a house. I don’t have any money. Clearly, I don’t “have it all.” But what I do have is a wonderful life.