My mother was a sociology professor who believed she needed to works 14 hour days, seven days a week. Her kids came last. She never took vacation and forced herself to live on half of everything she earned. She was promoted, widely published, but had few friends and was clinically depressed for most of my life. And didn't treat it. She lived in the past. She lived in fear. TAt retirement, she went straight from her office to a dementia unit where she is today, aged 72. That room costs nearly $7000 a month.
All that work and saving and this is what she bought herself. Her childhood and college friends send cards and letters. Her "best" friend from work hasn't visited her once in three years. My sister and I moved her out of her office because she was unable to do it herself and her end of career accomplishment was a pile of papers in giant recycling bins. No one was there. No one cared.
It broke my heart in that moment and, two years I am having trouble "leaning in" to my own work after seeing all that go down. Sometimes I am honest with people about this, but more often I just create an illusion that I still find meaning in what I do and am enjoying being busy. The reality is I am questioning almost everything.