VERITY LUSH: If you try your best, then what more can be asked?

Beware of overworking
Beware of overworking
A meeting of the Churches Homesless Action group in St Mary's Church. Picture: Keith Woodland

NEWS COMMENT: Let us see a city-wide bid to help the homeless

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Do you achieve a work/life balance? (I hear you laugh incredulously).

It’s so very hard as human beings who try, most of the time, to appear capable and energetic, enthusiastic and innovative, to stop.

All too easily we can find ourselves getting sucked in without even realising it.

You can say ‘yes’ one time to extra hours and then be relied upon to be as agreeable in future.

You can try to make an excellent impression when you start in a workplace, thereby slaving your socks off.

But if this is unsustainable, then once it’s taken for granted, it will also signal burnout.

Nobody can simply keep on powering through, certainly not if a high degree of precision is needed in your work.

All jobs are valuable and necessary for the world to go round, but most of us would still admit that there are many millions of jobs that carry far greater responsibility or importance than others.

Brain surgery springs to mind.

And yet those with the most responsibility, and therefore the people with the longest hours and most duty of care, are consequently the ones who suffer the most with next to no work/life balance.

The ability to switch off or simply get away from it all cannot be too highly prioritised, yet it is just so difficult to do so.

I imagine there are few people who, on their deathbeds, will say: ‘I just wish I’d spent more time at work instead of pursuing hobbies that enriched my one and only existence on this earth.’

But saying no to extra hours that are needed, or feeling you’re letting a team down, or simply the wish to help people, are hard situations to play out.

However, they are probably also crucial.

As long as you try your best – whether you’re a school child or a 60-year-old –then what more can be asked?

And we can’t give of our best if we’re too disillusioned, stressed, or plain old knackered.

There’s a line that we all need to draw – and then we should be careful not to cross it.

YET AGAIN, THE UK HAS COME TOGETHER IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Another day, another diet of sadness on the television and social media sites.

This morning, on the day of writing, England awoke to the horrific news of London’s Grenfell Tower block being ablaze.

This is the stuff of nightmares and disturbingly reminiscent for many of the Twin Tower attacks.

The absolute worst has happened, in terms of loss of human life, and there is still the impact of homelessness for those who lived there.

The physical and emotional devastation that something of this scale leaves behind has a monumental ripple effect and already people are organising the donation of bedding and possessions to those affected.

Yet again, the UK comes together during crisis, as it has so many times this year.

CHEERY NOTE THEY FINISHED ON WAS OFTEN ABOUT PANDAS

I’m simply too exhausted these days to be able to last until the end of ITV’s News At Ten.

But I do recall that back in the days when there was a Nine O’Clock News, on one of the mere four TV channels that existed, there always used to be a cheery note to finish on.

For some reason in my mind it was usually linked to the birth of pandas.

But, given that these were an endangered species, this seems both numerically impossible and also slightly skewed.

However, it does mean there is still good panda news – they were endangered, now they’re not.

I’m afraid that this is about as cheery as the news gets at the moment, which is a pretty sad indication of our world, isn’t it?