If you haven't read Kim Ayres' recent blog post, rush right over! You'll get to take a cool tour around Africa without leaving the comfort of your chair. Which made me realize I am...
No, I don't want to jump on a bike and tour the world. And I'm trying to look at this we-sold-your-Center-but-we-promise-to-build-you-a-new-one as an adventure in the making. (Although that gets difficult when badgered with questions I'm not allowed to answer yet). Much of it comes down to a comment that I made to Kim. Ever since I took my first job as an adult, I discovered something about myself: after 5 years, I'm ready to move on.
It's as if I approach a new job as an adventure: a system to learn and skills to improve. After I get a handle on it, I work to upgrade that job, make it even more efficient. And once that's done to the best of my ability...
Which is a relief, actually. For the first couple of jobs, I feared I'd never keep a job. What was wrong with me? My Dad worked in the same industry for his entire career until cancer took him before he reached retirement. Sure, his company was bought out several times but he hung in there. Because his generation went to work to support a family, not to feel "personal satisfaction". I grew up thinking Dad-the-hard-worker was being taken advantage of by his employer. After all, one of his bosses had a plaque in his office that read, "How can I soar like an eagle when I'm surrounded by turkeys." Motivational, huh? That little seed planted itself in my mind and made me think, "I will NEVER work in a place that treats me as just another number!"
Yep. I've become Dad. Dependable and trustworthy. Approaching my 29th year with the same employer. And yes, some days I do resent the fact that "loyal" is interchangeable where I work with "stupid enough to keep doing her job + more".
But you know what? I may still be in this job out of loyalty to my husband (who is self employed, therefore I am our insurance) but reading Kim's story reminded me...there's a lot of life out there to embrace. So I can't hop on a bike and tour the world. I can still feed my curiosity. I can help our charity's family of soldiers...after all, even my worst day at work, no one shoots at me or plants bombs for me to stumble upon.
There is satisfaction in knowing a job doesn't define you as a person. I LIKE helping people. I like working on the family tree to discover the tales of those who came before me. (Okay, a couple of them make me feel boringly normal. But I'd rather read about an ancestor's tale of escaping a POW camp during the American Revolution, complete with sword scar to the face and wife sneaking into the woods to nurse him back to health before he returned to battle, than have lived that).
I love writing stories, some of which will never see the light of day but they bring me comfort in knowing I can compile words in an entertaining manner...even if they only entertain me.
And I love that I have you, out there on the other side of this computer screen. You don't live next door or even across town. You're spread out across a vast array of countries which you've shared so generously with me in a myriad of ways. Did I remember to say "Thank you"?
Best of all, no matter what's happening at work, I can take a mini-vacation by checking in to see how things are in your neck of the woods.
So, how's it going today? And thank you for always listening, without interrupting.