“Let’s work together,” Work says to Life, eager and energetic as a golden retriever with a freshly found stick.
“We always do,” Life replies coolly with a smirk, “and don’t think I didn’t notice the emphasis on the word work.” Her eyebrows lift ever so slightly.
“Well we can live together then.” Work tries again shifting his language but not his meaning.
“We always do, we must.” she sighs. “You realize we are on the same team, right? You are a part of me, a piece of me, not a separate entity. Without me you wouldn’t even exist.”
“What do you mean?” Work’s brow furrows and his speech begins to slow, “I am Work and you are Life, we are not the same you and me. We are two opposing forces battling for resources; both strong in our own right but jockeying for attention like toddlers drunk on orange juice in the supermarket check-out line.”
“I don’t see it that way.” She replies laughing softly. “You are a part of me, and I created you. A part meant to add richness, meaning and connections. I will pull you close and welcome you. Whisper sweet nothings and coo to you like a child as I stroke your silky head and wipe your sticky orange juice coated fingers. You are not the enemy Work, we are not doing battle. It is the way we think about each other that is broken; that needs mending.”
“But I need more resources. What I contribute is important and I cannot control my eternal drive for attention, time and energy. I will take all that you can give and more.” He is almost pleading now not angry, but worried that he is unable to control the pull, to constant need to do more.
“I suppose.” She sighs her words out. “But you can only take what I allow you to. I will set boundaries and keep them. My job as Life is to look after all of the elements and honestly Work you are taking too much.”
“Good Luck.” He says without hostility but with a bit of sorrow at the truth of the relationship. “There are lots of powerful people on my side.”
“Yes” she agrees “but ultimately, I have the power and if I am clear on what matters most, I can begin again. To craft a new operating model for success in work and life. To bring us together with a shared vision, and purpose and craft a big bold life of our own. Are you willing to try?”
“Of course,” Work breathlessly huffs. “I need you, you are my Life.”
“And I need you too.” She smiles and reaches out her hand, “let’s work and live together.”