It occurred to me this morning, during my daily shower (I get some of my best ideas during said shower), that so much of our lives are spent at work, that it can often be the thing that claims the best of you.
You try to look good (or at least passable), work hard, think hard and try hard, even if you don’t like what you do, just so you can keep a roof over your head and that of your dependants and/or partners.
You try to put a lot of heart and soul into something that, at times, is very soul (and heart) destroying.
I am pretty sure those things apply to almost all of us. Even if you are working the job of your dreams, you are still giving so much of the best of you, that sometimes other areas of your life can suffer by not getting that.
Some areas can get the ‘too tired and vacant’ version of you, that just wants to dump themselves in bed and not get out again until your name changes to Rip Von Adder (Blackadder reference for you there).
On Saturday’s, when I get my first full day of the week with the kids (when we’re not at school, child-minders or work. I’ll let you decide who goes where…), I confess that there are times, I just want to crawl into a corner and sleep for a month. Instead of using that easy to come by joy and give that I have during the working week, I have to scrape about to find enough to inject into a day with my babies.
They are the ones that should easily get the best of me and not the worn out mummy version of me, that I have to dig down deep to find enough zip and zing to ensure they don’t see.
I work for my family, but work, instead of them, at times, gets more of the best version of me. Work gets my energy and my joie de vie. Home gets a tired girl who wants to play with her babies but also wants to face-plant her bed.
What am I working for then? I’m meant to be working for them, aren’t? And yet, they are missing out by getting the back end of the energy I have left.
I work because I have to. I work because we need electricity and water and food. I work, so my kids know that if they want something in life, they work for it. They do not sit there and it is presented to them. They work hard for everything and money for food and bills is included in that. I work, so that I can ensure my kids have the same ethos as I had when I was growing up and so that they know how important it is to contribute to society and their own families.
I work because I like (selfishly) a challenge and spending time with friends and colleagues. I like to use my brain and the qualifications I have on a daily basis. I like to collaborate on projects and join in the banter amongst friends. I like to see where the path I am on will take me. I got my head down and got a degree for a reason and I like that I am using it to an extent.
You just have to find a way through, where you strike a balance with work and home and when one side is getting more out of you than the other, be able to counter it. It may even take someone close to you to point it out, but ultimately, it is you that has to throw their hands up and say ‘ok, I need a break from this’.
This is just a temporary thing though. Most of the time, the balance is ay-okay. It is just those time when you’re a bit dejected and think ‘gah! what the flipping ummer am I doing this for?!’.
The modern world can gnaw away at your soul, but you do have the power to replenish and rework yourself so your priorities remain sacrosanct. In my case: my beautiful little family.