In business, they say time is money.  In life, I think the opposite – money is time.  The idea of working flat-out for say, 48 weeks of the year, in order to earn yourself 4 weeks holiday, seems grim to me.  I’d rather a more even balance to life; more time on a weekly basis, not all of it crammed into 28 days.  If you can afford to work part-time, or take a sabbatical, or sign up for a course, I think you buy yourself some perspective.   If you can somehow dovetail your working life with your home life, so much the better.  In the modern age, we should be able to do more work from home.  And with talk of redundancies and reduced hours in many organisations, some people will be forced to spend less time at work.  Will this skewing of the work/life balance mean we come to appreciate the life part more?  Or will we be always focused on the loss of income?

Better still of course, is when “work” is part of your life – when it contributes to enriching it, when it is a seemless part of your existence (presumably how some small farmers feel – fully involved in the cycle of life – life and work as two halves of the whole), when it fits in with the way you are as a person, with your values, with the way you want to direct your energies and enthusiasms, and the money you earn is of secondary importance.   How many of us can say that?

As Rosamund Pilcher says in The Shell Seekers, money is “only important if you haven’t got any.  And because it buys lovely things; not fast cars or fur coats or cruises to Hawaii or any of that rubbish, but real, lovely things, like independence and freedom and dignity. And learning. And time.”