How Losing My Dad Taught Me to Harmonize Work and Life

At fifty, my father’s life was abruptly ended — a preventable tragedy that could have been avoided, and it’s a loss that I still feel deeply.

You see, my dad was a workaholic. 

He equated his worth with his work ethic and ability to provide for my sisters and I. 

He thought that his job made him valuable, especially when business was good. Then he’d feel depressed and worthless when business was down.

…But we loved him unconditionally

…He could only see the bills that needed to be paid and the money that needed to be made…as a parent now, I get it.

I’ve come to realize, however, that thinking it is our jobs that make us special is a trap. 

We become addicted to approval, and the next thing you know, all you can think about is work.

I wish my dad knew the truth:

We are special simply because we are the only one of us that exists. We are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Losing my dad created a huge hole in my life. 

In spite of the pain and grief, I learned some valuable life lessons.

Lesson One: Work Never Ends, But Time Does. 

I got caught up in work just like my dad.

For a time, I put work before everything and I missed out on time with my family when my children were young. 

I will always regret that mistake, however, I was in survival mode as a single mom of 4.

I did the best I could and am working to forgive myself for that time period.

What put an end to the overworking was I reached a level of burnout that landed me in the hospital. 

I kept thinking, I can’t die early like my dad.

It was a big wake-up call 

Now I see that no job is as important as making memories with my kids.

 Jobs come and go, but lost time with family is gone for good. 

Lesson Two: Harmonize Your Life and Work

Now that I’m on the other side of burnout, my focus is on integrating my work and personal life so well that they make each other better, like a puzzle where every part fits perfectly.

The goal isn’t to keep work and life in separate boxes but to blend them in a way that they enhance one another. Think of it like a choir where every voice blends in harmony to create a beautiful melody.

In practical terms, this means finding ways to bring your personal passions into your work and allowing your work to enrich your personal life. 

For instance: if you love reading, maybe you can start a book club at work.
If your job involves creative problem-solving, you can use these skills to bring creativity into your daily life.

Remember, a well-lived life isn’t about work vs life, it’s about work and life in harmony.

Lesson Three: Fight for a Life That’s More Than Just Work. 

The experience of losing my father and the series of events that followed
(I may share that in another story) made me promise myself to avoid living just to pay bills and work a job. 

I have hobbies & a vision

I am expanding my awareness of what is possible

I am also very passionate about helping others do the same. 

I want to show people how to have a great career and life at the same time.

In the end, losing my dad too soon helped me focus on what’s really important like: 

our health

the people we love, and 

knowing we’re valuable just because we exist.

Bottom line: What really matters is who we are, the lives we touch, and the difference we make — not just how much we work.

If you agree, I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments!