Don't treat a gift like a burden

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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I’ve been crazy busy at the office.


I’ve been working every weekend to keep up since January. Except for my recent road trip to Denver. That was a blissful ten days of being “unplugged.”


Compound the busyness with the Pensacola Bay Bridge being out of commission which thereby tripled my daily commute for nine months and it would not be understated to say that I’d been a wee bit stressed. [At least the bridge is back. Yay!]


Upon returning from Denver, I reread a favorite book, “The Richest Man in Babylon.” [Yeah, I’m usually reading both a fiction and non-fiction book at the same time depending on my bedtime mood.]


A particular quote in one of the later chapters jumped out at me this go-around.


To set the stage, the main character in this particular story is a senior travelling merchant, accompanied by the spoiled young adult grandson of the merchant’s late mentor and colleague.


Leisurely riding his camel, his fingers and wrists bejeweled, and wearing the finest gowns of the day, this young upstart turns up his nose in disdain as they pass some fields being plowed by indentured servants, commenting, “work is for slaves.”


“No, my son. Your grandfather would rightfully disagree with you.” The elderly protagonist proceeds to tell his riding companion the story of the young man’s grandfather who himself was once a slave and, through his hard work and efforts, built quite an amazing empire for himself and his family.


I won’t elaborate on the story here but the quote that jumped out at me this time was…


“Work is a privilege.”


In other words, as the ladies who host one of my favorite podcasts, “Happier in Hollywood,” like to say, “don’t treat a gift like a burden.”


As I was bemoaning my weekend labor, I had forgotten how fortunate I am to have the ability and the opportunity to work at all.


Lots of folks are involuntarily out of work.


Lots of folks are either physically or mentally unable to work.


Lots of folks live in impoverished countries where there is no opportunity to work.


And work is not just exchanging our efforts for money.


Work is any productive endeavor, paid or not, that contributes value to those around you, whether it’s household chores that need to get done, reading to your children, volunteering at the local animal shelter, even picking up trash from the sidewalk when we pass by.


Work, all kinds of work, is a privilege and a duty.


Our society is caught up in the misguided notion that we “work” hard and save/invest our money when we are “young” in the expectation that we can sit back when we retire and never have to “work” again.




We may retire and not have to continue earning a paycheck to pay for our lifestyle but our “work”?


Our work never ends. Nor should we want it to because work is a privilege.


That said, I recognize that working every weekend is not sustainable. Rest is important too so stay tuned for perhaps a new upcoming addition to our team.


Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your family. It truly is my privilege to serve you.


Kristen “Privileged Beyond Measure” Marks


P.S. Check out my recent audio interview with Morgan Stanley advisor, Lori Ptacek, in which I explain probate and how to avoid it. I’ve uploaded the audio file to our website here:


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