For many years now I have been working hard, in fact since the age of eight I have been in some form of paid employment. I sometimes look back on those years and wonder if it was all worth it.
By working so hard I missed out on a few things – completely enjoying my childhood, making life-long friendships from an early age, studying while young to increase my academic ability, savouring the moments of courtship, having a greater involvement in the raising of my children, being around when my wife needed me the most, being in the moment and enjoying every second of it.
Entering the third trimester of my life, I find myself wondering if all of that hard work was worth it. Where would I be now if I hadn't spent most of my life working? Should I have done things differently? What if I could go back and make it right?
I do know that I have gained a lot of things by working hard - a nice house, new cars, wonderful trips overseas, the ability to buy something if I need to. I don't have as much as I would like mind you, but I have enough to be comfortable.
Do I have regrets, yes. Am I sorry for working so hard when I should have been with my friends and family, yes. Is there some guilt inside me for not being around, some times. But it is what it was, I can't go back and change things but I can do my best to make things as right as I can and to be better at being there in the future.
So was it all worth it? Again the answer is yes, without a doubt. You see most of the time that I have feelings of guilt and regret is when I compare myself to others. I am taking on their wishes and desires, their life’s journey. And they are not me. I am who I am and lived how I chose to. Isn’t that what life is about, living life how you want to and not how others think that you should do?
For me, hard work was worth it. Sure I missed out on a few things in life, but I also gained a few other things. Not just material things, I also gained knowledge and experience that I can pass on to others. And the moments I had while working hard were also good ones and I wouldn’t have had those moments if I hadn’t chosen to work as hard as I did. Hard work set a strong platform for me to grow upon.
If I was to have the chance to do it all again would I work as hard as I have? In a heartbeat. Would I have done things differently, probably. Yet I have no regrets for working hard, hard work brings its on rewards.
There is no doubt that for most of us, the harder we work the luckier we get.