Life? Work? What’s the difference?

Work to live or live to work? What’s the difference?
 
I honestly don’t know – over the past few years, it seems like work has become more a part of my life than anything else. It’s my own fault and I will take the blame, but why do I continually allow it to control me? Am I a masochist or simply a product of my environment? Or, am I simply making the wrong choices?
 
I’ve allowed my job to affect my relationships, my health, and my pocket book (the only positive which, of course, equals the golden handcuffs (making it a negative overall)). I envy my friends and coworkers that are stronger then me in this area and can make work an 8 hour (or less) job. I covet the successful television characters that miraculously juggle work and life seamlessly and enjoy both equally. I secretly enjoy the stories my friends tell me about their troubles with work and how it makes their life hell (misery loves company), but I do sympathize and pray for them (and me) to get a balanced life. But, overall, I hope that I can learn from my mistakes and move in a direction where going to work in the morning is like getting up early for a flight to Paris with my husband (okay, okay, a stretch, but you know what I mean).
 
Right now, my work is easy, but the drama is killing me. I thought working for a small company would mean being able to make a difference without all the red tape. But, the drama *almost* makes the red tape an item on my checklist for my next job. I just want to go to work, do a good job, and be recognized – in the simplest form, I want to make my boss and my company successful with the simple expectation that they will protect and advance me. I don’t want to play games, brown nose, or lose my dignity in the process. This little recipe is all I need to be happy and healthy.
 
This recipe is the same one I’ve had for years, but I’ve grown to understand that it’s pieces are becoming more organic and complicated. Or, perhaps, I’m just getting wiser.
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