I have been working in college publishing for nearly 14 years. I was thinking back to my previous jobs and it is so odd that these positions that were once a large part of my life are fading memories. Names I used to know are gone. Tasks I used to do daily are little blips in my memory I can barely recall. Company events that I helped plan are on the very fringes of my memory stores.
I remember clearly what I disliked about my jobs and the people that made my life miserable. But, I don’t recall as many fun times or moments of intense learning. I had bosses I liked and bosses I loathed. I had really wonderful people that I worked with that I can’t even recall enough of their names to find them on Facebook. Was is Suzie or Lucy?
I don’t even remember if I was excited about those jobs. Did I wake up eager to get to the office? I don’t think so. I just got up and did my thing. I got out the door and clocked in right on time. I do recall being excited about Thursday. Thursday was the day before Friday and Friday at 5pm I was free. I sort of miss detaching from work on Friday at 5pm. Now, much of my work is from my home office and it is harder to check out. With cell phones I can be contacted at any time of day, weekend or not. That is a bit maddening.
After 14 years with the company I now work for so much of what I do is just ingrained in me. It is often exceedingly boring but every so often I get to scout out new info or wrangle a new challenge. I keep hoping to move up the ladder a bit but the rungs are full of folks that really need to retire. When I am of retirement age I will retire. I won’t hang onto a position that some new blood is thirsty for.
I have seen so many people come and go from this organization. I am always curious where they went and why. I have checked out a few opportunities over the years and I have been offered a few different positions. I wonder if there are any I should have accepted. If I hadn’t followed the path I am currently on I would never have met my husband. But, perhaps it is time to branch out into other things and seek new opportunities? If I do, will this place become a foggy memory in a few years’ time? Will the excitement of something new quickly fade to some boring reality?
My son wrote about his life 20 years from now for an Open House project at school. His last line is: Most importantly, I will have fun doing what I like. Where did he get so wise and did I miss that boat already? I know I don’t do what I love for living. I enjoy bits of it but I don’t wake up and dance around that I get to work today. I want that. I want to have fun doing what I like. I want to dance around full of joy for the work day ahead. Why must work be labor? Why can’t it be fun?
I think something is amiss if I can’t look back on my career and say, “Yes. That was quite awesome work I did. I really enjoyed my years there.” If my memories are strained then they aren’t shrouded in awesomeness. Clearly I am eking out a living instead of joyfully providing for my family. I really need to have fun doing what I like. I need an overhaul!
I am tired. I am stressed. I am underpaid. And…I don’t even get bubblies in my tummy over my work? Oy vie! Time to reconsider and reprioritize.