What if…I just stopped struggling?

I had a car appointment for an oil change and headlight replacement today and decided not to bring my laptop. I disconnected and scooped up my daughter for a little adventure with a bag full of lunch, books, and her sock monkey. Off we went, driving through the drizzle and gray.

After I checked in at the desk and made myself a hot cup of complimentary coffee, my daughter went over to the children’s corner to play with the train set and dump trucks. Her ability to play quietly by herself was a gift today. I finally had a little mental space to think. As an introvert, thinking is what I like to do. It’s “me” time. It’s heaven.

A while back I wrote about surviving company layoffs. In the last year or so, my job has really gotten to me. There is nothing bad about it. I have an 8-4 schedule, decent wages, benefits, retirement plan, short commute, and a very flexible work schedule but I am NOT passionate about it. Good at my job, yes. Passionate about it, not one bit.

I have TRIED to be excited. I have attended conferences and taken on new projects. I am realizing that new IDEAS excite me while the actual job does not. I have known this for years, but it didn’t rub me the wrong way until after I had a child.

The first year working mostly from home with a new baby was actual heaven! The second year I chose to go into the office 2 days a week and work the other 3 days remotely. I started to notice that other women my age (or younger), some with children, most not having children yet (or ever), started to climb the “ladder”. Something in my stomach said “hmmmmm…” and I began to ‘compare’ myself, feel less accomplished, left behind. So I joined the LeanIn group and started thinking about my “career”.

Back in July, I applied to participate in the Leadership program which in past years had become synonymous with “promotion”. I also opted to do another year in the LeanIn circle. Many months have passed and the company has been through a major reorganization. With my job in tact and more work piled on, I have recently learned that I have been accepted to that Leadership program…and here is where my thinking took off.

What if it’s ok that I don’t work more? What if my current position is enough? What if my salary is enough? What if I don’t want to work more for a slim chance at a promotion? What if I don’t want to give up job flexibility and remote work to make more money and have a better title?

Does this mean I am not successful? Does this mean I am not enough? Does this mean my husband’s ex-wife is better than me, more accomplished etc..because she makes more money than me? I know…but cut me some slack, there are a host of irrational thoughts that come with being the second wife.

What if it’s okay to just go to work everyday, do what I need to do and then come home and enjoy blogging, hiking, mothering, wifing? And the bigger question still…why do I feel like I need to BE more? Notice I didn’t say I want to be more.

All kind and considerate thoughts are welcome in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Replies to “What if…I just stopped struggling?”

  1. I think its totally ok if you have tried to build your passion at work, as long as you have passion in other aspects of your life, which you clearly do. IDEALLY, we would all find passion in everything we do but life as it is makes this a little bit harder. I imagine a motivational speaker would ask you if you have considered a slightly similar but different department or field etc. They would encourage you to find SOME passion in part of the work day but as long as you’re not spending 70 hours a week at work, which again, you’re not, then its ok to clock in,clock out and enjoy the rest of life 🙂

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  2. I know you wrote this last year but I was drawn to it this morning. I really, really like this piece. I spent years comparing myself and being miserable. I spent years trying to earn titles, be a certain size, be better than the other person…

    Yesterday I took the boys to the indoor mall and I was pounced on by a couple ‘beauty’ consultants. One of them was trying to sell eye wrinkle cream. He did the whole schpeal and put the cream on and talked about getting rid of lines and on and on. He was selling the cream for $600! But of course, he was going to give me a deal of $150. He as what I used and what did I want for my face to be like in the future. Now, at 46 I look pretty darn good but I am getting the fine lines and gray hairs here and there. I suddenly realized, “I don’t really care” He was dissappointed because this wasn’t going to be an easy sell…or a sell at all. I am at an age and place where I’m happy as heck that I look as good as I do at my age. I don’t care that I’m aging a bit, that I’m not thin, or that I have no title. I have two adorable and kind, loving boys that care about others, and nature, and taking care of the Earth, I have a husband that loves me just as I am. His pride in me comes from how much I love the boys. I’m a wife and mother and homemaker and my pride and worth comes from how well I nurture my family so they may thrive.

    Today, when people say, “what do you do?” I am proud to say “I’m a housewife”. But in this day and age it is not what others find important. However, when you love what you do…you just don’t care what other think. They are not waking up in your skin daily, they are not paying your bills or living your life. We aren’t here long. Make sure you find your happiness and from there you will have plenty to offer human kind. Happy people are rare these days for everyone is following the ever illusive rainbow to the pot of gold and promotions. Let the others run the rat race, you find your joy.

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  3. I think you are 100% right, If you love what you do, you don’t care what other’s think. Over these last few months I have come to learn that I NEED mental stimulation. I NEED to keep growing in life. I am also aware that the job I do only offers these needs to some degree. I do get to take college courses for free. But overall, it’s not satisfying. I think I have found my joy, I am just hesitant to take the plunge, but I know it coming. Thank you for the always thoughtful sharing of your experience and wisdom. 🙂

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