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Loving Labor or How I Learned to Appreciate Employment

January 20, 2010

Hello Blogosphere! My goal is to make this blog a regular thing which to me means posting at least once a week. However, I find that condensing all of my thoughts down to one focused post has been a bit of a challenge. I am guessing that is quite the opposite for some folks so I consider myself lucky. So without further ado, here it goes!

I am overwhelmed with what great things are happening in my life and the lives of people around me this year. But what is really at the forefront of my mind at this point in time is being employed. For those who don’t know, I’ll give you a little back story.

Last year, I made the decision to quit my job without having another one. My husband and I came to that decision after many years months of my job taking a mental and emotional toll that we felt was beginning to outweigh its financial (or any other) benefits. I trusted that we would be provided for and took a leap of faith. That leap paid off and about two months later I found another, slightly different job, still in my career field, with comparable pay that is exactly 12 minutes away from our apartment. The environment of this job is the polar opposite of what I was dealing with at the last place and my daily happiness took a 180 degree turn. I now enjoy going to work and am so grateful for the people that surround me eight hours a day.

But that is not where the story ends. On the second day of working at my new job, my husband got let go from his job. After the uncertainty of being jobless and having little extra money we were sad that our luck hadn’t turned around like we thought. Fortunately, we got by on my paycheck and our savings and in three months he was employed again, at the same place I got my new job!

I tell you all of that to say that after going through my unemployment and the subsequent unemployment of my husband, I can now say that I appreciate my job more than I probably ever did or could have before. When I was not working (and I am sure my husband will tell you the same thing) I ran the gamut of emotions, from impatience for finding another job to sheer terror at the thought of never finding another one and what life would be like if I didn’t. It did a number on my self-worth no matter how much I tried to tell myself that I was not defined by my occupation. After months of unemployment, there was nothing I wanted to do more than get back into the workforce and be a productive member of society again. And because of that, now when I go to work, I think of what it really means to care about having my job, to provide for my family, to have security and to be able to plan for the future, things that I largely took for granted before – things that being employed allow me to have. And I think that new found respect for work in general makes me love and be grateful for my new job even more than I would have.

Now, I know that people reading this may be doing one of two things: 1) You’re identifying with what I’m saying and maybe have even gone through it yourself or 2) You’re rolling your eyes. Last year, I probably would be in the number two category. Back then, I really started to believe that maybe my occupation just wouldn’t be where I found real satisfaction or even just contentment and relegated myself to thinking I would only find happiness in other places.  It sounds clichéd but now I absolutely know that whatever I do, I can turn it into something that is truly meaningful with the right perspective. Unfortunately, it took me a couple years of being unhappy at my job plus the combined five month unemployment of me and my spouse to grasp that. But now that I have, I go through each day sincerely appreciating this position which so many in the world wish that they could be in, which is, to have a job. It was a hard lesson for me to learn but I am so much stronger and happier because of it.

I would love to hear some stories but from my readers! Tell me about how you learned to appreciate your place of employment. Or if you have always loved what you do and wouldn’t change anything, tell me what makes you love it so much.

Anna’s Unsolicited, Unscientific and Unlicensed Happiness Tip of the Day: As you go through your day and week at your job, think about the good things that your it provides you – whether it be a sense of accomplishment when you complete a project, the laughs that you share with your co-workers or just the money you take home. Going through life with an appreciative frame of mind can make a world of difference – especially at work! (Note: I do realize that not everyone has a job in the sense I’m referring to. But the same principles apply for those looking for work, going to school or staying home with your kids. Your job is whatever you consider it to be.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. fleethefactory permalink
    January 20, 2010 12:42 pm

    I love your blog woman! I can definitely attest to what you are saying about the appreciation of a job. I feel like I was certainly blessed to be able to get a job:

    a) so quickly cause 2-3 months isn’t that long
    b) where I get to work with my lovely wife 🙂
    c) that’s way better than my old job

    I must admit, I really loved playing games and cooking elaborate meals on a daily basis, but I would trade it for having an awesome job like I do right now.

    Keep writing about awesome things!

  2. January 20, 2010 4:34 pm

    Anna,
    You know my situation. I came from the same work place as you, although I dealt with similar situation as you my leaving was for a little reason (called Elijah). I currently am a stay at home mom (part-time designer) but I still feel the same way as you. I am content and feel that so much good is going on with my family and the people surrounding me. God has us go through so much at our last job and we have grown as women and christian. I didn’t really know what it meant to trust in God before. I now truly know that God is faithful. He may not do it in my time but everything works out according to his plan. I love Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I love you and am so greatful that I had a wonderful woman like you to go through the mess of the past with. You mean so much to me and I don’t tell you nearly enough.

  3. January 26, 2010 10:47 am

    Kaci, going through everything we went through was really the catalyst for this blog. I feel like I learned so much from that situation and just want to, in some small way, help people going through the same thing. And not only that, but to really let myself focus on what is good, because I have been though the bad and came out on the other side a wiser, more appreciative person. Life is so good and God is so good that I don’t want to waste one moment of it not being in awe of His creation. It’s not worth it. I am so glad to have had you to go through it with and that our friendship is that much stronger because of it. You are truly a blessing to me! Thank you for being the amazing woman that you are.

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