Saturday, October 30, 2010
Like everybody else, the economic downturn has had a real effect on me. I supply most of the income and all of the health benefits for our family, so the stress of not knowing what would happen next with my job really took a toll.
I used to really like my job, but we've had some layoffs and the ones who are left are generally doing the work of two. We've also been reorganized a few times, and my job has changed dramatically from what it was 2 years ago. But still, I am grateful to have a job. It's amazing how fear, and in some cases survivor guilt because friends and colleagues lost their jobs, can cause such physical and mental anxiety without us even consciously realizing it. It makes it hard to concentrate on anything but the basics as we try to make ourselves indispensable in the workplace. Things like not taking a break, eating fast food from the vending machine for lunch at your desk - if you eat at all, working late -- the price is high in ways we don't even think about.
Now I feel that I am, in some ways, just waking up. I've been out of touch and at the same time internalizing a lot for a long time because I didn't feel I had a way to deal with my fears and anxieties. I couldn't talk to my husband or family about anything because I didn't want to get them upset, and my work colleagues were in the same condition I was.
But thanks in great part to the inspiration I am getting from my fellow Sparkies, I am starting to realize that work, no matter how great or bad it is, is only part of my life. What I do for a living should not define who I am. I can choose to be ruled by my dissatisfaction OR I can find and embrace the joy I have in the other parts of my life. I need to move on from this place and I think I have been making good steps forward. Choices, that's what it all comes down to, and just letting go of the negative and things I can't do a thing about.
It sounds strange but by letting go I feel like I have taken the first steps towards taking back control of my life.