Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work

Externship Project

If there is one thing I have confirmed during my time on Vancouver Island at my externship, it is the importance of work-life balance. Of course, working hard and being committed to my career is extremely important to me, as I have always been a success-driven individual. However, during my time here, surrounded by the beauties of the natural world that Vancouver Island has to offer, it would be difficult to not want to spend time outdoors, enjoying the hobbies that keep my work and personal life separate.

Photo of trees

Photo with treeOver the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to enjoy everything that I love – hiking outdoors, taking dogs for long walks, strolling the beaches, swimming, exploring local restaurants and have even taken to surfing and spending time on the boat on a local lake. I must say, it is these kinds of things that have Roxana with surfboardallowed me to be fully immersed in my work when it comes time to do so. Keeping an active lifestyle and staying in tune with my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health has been a key to my success and enjoyment this summer.

“Work to live, don’t live to work.” Someone once quoted that statement to me, and since that time, I have found that those who live by that quote really are the most fulfilled, both in their careers and in their everyday lives. I can see first-hand the veterinarians I have shadowed here emanate that in their daily lives – they are all involved in their own activities and hobbies outside of their everyday careers.

Photo of beach

Part of coming here for my externship was to spend time with myself - building my character and getting prepared for the working world which, I’m sure, will creep up on me faster Photo by river on Vancouver Islandthan I can prepare for it. And as part of that process, I have come away knowing that no matter where it is I end up practicing veterinary medicine, I will need to incorporate a balanced lifestyle to be successful in the long-term – to enjoy this profession the day I retire as much as I do now!