It took me 4 years of helping others get out of The Waiting Room,

and discover that the place we go and hide from life had another roommate.  

The new roommate hid in plain sight. 

Dressed nicely.

And paid the bills.

He even told us that we were great,

responsible and able to make our dreams come true.

We believed him. 

He was our only supporter and reward. 

Our only cheerleader. 

His name was Work but he called himself Success. 

He stood next to the door fooling us to believe that he was our way out, our way towards freedom. Towards life. 

His presence was huge but yet invisible.

He blended in with our dreams.

He told us we needed him.


And we listened.

And because we listened he became us.

That’s why we didn’t see he lived with us in the Waiting Room.

He was one of us.

He went to work with us.

He came home with us. 

He even slept with us and visited us in our dreams.

Telling us to work harder, do more, be better.

But he was good at keeping us away from life by keeping busy.

Busy making a living. And not living a life. 

But work that feels like a burn out IS NOT LIFE.

We thought we were living when all we were doing was running around in circles with smoke… from burning out.

Don’t be fooled.

Life is not where THERE IS NO TIME FOR YOU to breathe and think. 

That’s The Waiting Room. 

Certainly not your one and only life.

This new roommate will question you when you want to have some fun. He will guilt you. Torture you.

He will scream at you…

Who will pay your bills, who will get your kids through college, who will buy your clothes and food?

Without me you can’t have a life.

I will ask you to close your ears. 

And walk out.

Not because I want you to quit your job. Nope.

But because its time to get some things straight.

Work will always be a big part of our life but not our whole life.

And just because you went to work, picked up your kids, and made all your appointments it does not mean you lived a life.

Ask yourself this every night: 


With life,



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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • Sharon says:

    I DID NOT receive this in my email box on Friday! I am signed up and have been receiving the messages until this week. Oh, Oh, another loss! I looked forward to the message in the bottle each week. As I thought about the message this week, even though I am 63, retired and do not work outside the home, there is ALWAYS work to be done around the house or in the yard. It is never ending, but I have learned to do fun activities every day too and if I take a day off from house work, Oh well, it always waits for me the next day! Thanks Christina for caring about us all!

  • Barbra Richman says:

    Oh Christina, I sure fell for the whole bit, hook, line and sinker! When I finally read “his name . . . Work”, I got chills on my elbows and a lurch in my stomach – disgusting recognition. I spent the better part (at least and especially) of the last 11 years of my working life in a hell of unimaginable pain and agony for a Partner in an prestigious engineering firm. Finally I am speaking authentically about it without any thought of looking good in any way. I allowed myself to be put down, yelled at, verbally abused and unappreciated for work and support that I KNOW was excellent (and appreciated and praised in previous positions I held, as well as by co-workers in the engineering firm). I knew I should leave and made attempts to but I was caught up in fear – it was when banks and stock market crashed and I was pretty “de-energized” by then. Selling myself to a prospective employer wouldn’t have worked. Hell, I didn’t especially like myself – why would they? I did the best with I had to work with until I started becoming even more overwhelmed and then buried under. That’s when I broke and was diagnosed with Chronic Depression. Thank you so much for writing this letter – once again you nailed it! More later, dear friend. I love you <3

  • Mary says:

    As I read your message, I know and understand your meaning. Yes I try to enjoy the schedule, but it is so overwhelming and draining. But I have been jogging or walking while my kids are at their practices. Instead of dropping off, and moving the next kid around, I have been a effort to move my feet. I coordinate rides and sitters, trying to run around less in the car. Little steps

  • Jane says:

    You are spot on…not sure where to go from here. You are right, the waiting room is so very comfortable. I am a bit stuck and not sure what to do next. All of this is too fresh. For now I will just breathe and continue to read your powerful messages. Thanks!

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