All work and no play; all sorrow and no joy.

Some days, some weeks actually, just seem like a never-ending work zone. I really thought that “working for the weekend” was simply the mantra of my past. But when work is so demanding that you become brain-dead the minute you punch out and spend the entire evening trying to reboot, something is very, very wrong.

Yes, there is a natural ebb and flow to all jobs. Sometimes there is a major deadline or project that requires more of your time and attention and can be expected to be a drain. But when that level of stress becomes the norm, the time has come to reevaluate the benefits that you gain in exchange for all of that expended energy.

The same can be said for relationships.

When a relationship takes so much work that it is a perpetual drain, it is time to reevaluate the benefits. Not the tangible benefits, the intangible ones. Personal, intimate relationships should never be measured by any sort of “gain” such as money or status. They need to be measured in terms of joy versus sorrow.

This can be a gut-wrenching exercise. It is also one where you may be apt to lie to yourself about the actual imbalance, either in giving the other person too much blame or too much leeway. In actuality, relationships exist solely in your mind; it is ultimately your perception of what is going on, of what is acceptable and unacceptable, of how you feel the other feels regardless of what they say that will lead you to your ultimate decision: should I stay or should I go?

All I can say this this…..while relationships exist in the mind, the heart knows not only what it wants, but what it deserves, which is joy. And while it is foolish to believe that joy should exist in every minute, in every situation, the scale should definitely lean to favor joy.

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