'How's your day?' a question that on my bad days makes me grouse and rant a reply. But after that, I would vow silently for the umpteenth time, never to lose perspective again.

For many of us, work lays claim to our time and emotion, possessing us completely as any spouse or child. But those of us who think we have hard jobs can learn a lot from those who really do.

I wonder how some people manage to counsel rape victims, investigate murder scenes or a rescue victims on the aftermath of a disaster, then have the energy to cheer for their kid's basketball teams on the weekend.

If the rest of us can't keep the stress of work from oozing over and staining the rest of life, how can they? More to the point: if they can, why on earth can't I?

What's their secret?

If we ask them, they would talk about 'perspective'. A simple word yet so powerful in keeping the balance of our life. I looked up for the meaning of this word and it says that "its the way of drawing solid object, scenery, etc. on a flat surface so that they appear to have the correct shape and distance from each other." But how could we do that if our life is in a tangle?

Others talk about building walls and maintaining distance. They learn to draw a line to know their boundaries.

Keeping up walls is the secret to coping the pain. Its the only way to carve out space for a life, the only way to do the job. We have to learn to set aside something from our being so that we have left to give the next day.

That is the lesson for us whose work has the ability to use us up. The only way to get the work done is to come up for air periodically. To shut the door and just lie down on a comfortable sofa, even if you have lost a caller. To smile to your love ones, even as you mourn for humanity. To turn off the computer, even you're chasing deadlines. To be just being lazy. Simple rules, but can help you go back out tomorrow and do it all again.