I took Amtrak from Boston to New York on January 2nd and sat next to a very engaging young man. Shortly after the train left South Station, my seatmate and I started chatting—one topic led to another and quickly we were discussing desserts (doesn’t everyone?), and he told me about the cupcake breakthrough. How did I miss this? I love cupcakes!
As it was a playful conversation, we bounced around to many different topics and the “what do you do?” question did not come up for several minutes. When we started talking, I had my PC open and I was working on my book. He asked if I was a writer and I said “aspiring” and that I was also a chief financial officer.
Why am I telling you this? In the “olden days,” I would have had my laptop open and been furiously attacking the mountain of work e-mails that piled up day after day. C’mon—aren’t e-mails the work version of Whack-A-Mole, minus the fun? I most likely would have never engaged in a conversation in the first place. If I did speak to a stranger, I would always bring up my job very early in the conversation—like most folks, this was one of the defining elements of who I was. This time, I started talking about what I loved—writing and desserts!
When I was working like a crazy person, I would get very absorbed by my world and often find myself narrowing my experiences to only ones related to work. Even if you’re wildly in love with your job, when work is all you think about, then you miss the momentous occasions in your life—like when cupcakes overtake brownies in the dessert hierarchy! (OK, maybe this is only a momentous occasion in my life.)