… (and not the obvious ones)
I’ve been working full time for a year now. Lots of things have changed, and lots of things really haven’t. Some days are brilliant in a bright-sparkling way, and others are brilliant in a more contented-comfortable manner. Some days are hard in a tired-boring manner, and others are hard in a difficult-challenging way.
On a side note, I’ve discovered a curious phenomenon. Over all, when I’m at work I enjoy it, and it seems to expand to become my world. When I’m not at work, I enjoy it and life-besides-work grows to become my world instead. When I’m in one universe the other looks small and unfulfilling, until I get there, and realise the other world is the limited one.
Will I spend my life hopping back and forth between universes? Is this the same with every occupation – it becomes our world until we leave it? What consequences does this have? Is it right?
The older I grow, the bigger and smaller the world seems. Before you leave school the Big Wide World seems one of endless possibilities, but then you realise it’s actually not, because all possibilities are never in your grasp at the same time.
This is good, it keeps us sane. And yet, my life is part of a story that I am not writing. In this sense, the world is bigger than I ever imagined, or more importantly, bigger than I could ever choose. I never would have guessed back then, that, that I would be doing the job I do now, and enjoying it for these reasons.
Who knows the future? Life is smaller than I expected, but far, far more surprising than I imagined. Does this astonishment equal a ‘big world’? My God is a big God, but He is also a small one. He created the ever expanding heavens, yet chose, for a period in history, to limit Himself to one time and place.
Is it so strange then, that the world should seem immense, yet so tiny?
These then, are the reasons why I love my job, in this year, at this moment, at this time:
- I enjoy working as part of a team. I like watching other people interact and take on different roles and different personalities as needed. It brings me pleasure to meet and communicate with and enjoy people. We change each other each time our lives intersect, and that is both a privilege and a tragedy. But it’s always, always, worth it.
- I love being protected from the weather. It sounds so trivial, but I enjoy the relatively stable temperature of the hospital. I like not having to wonder whether I’ve dressed too warmly, or don’t have enough layers. I hate being cold but sunburn easily, and so I’m grateful to be protected from the winter winds and sheltered from the sun in summer.
- I’m grateful that my work is different. It’s a far cry from the sort of thing I do in my free time and so I find it very refreshing. It means I’m able to work at what I love in my free time, and have a break during work hours. My paid work forces me to exercise different parts of my brain and body. It’s not something that comes naturally, yet it’s not the sort of work that is a burden, or that I can take home with me. its not too mentally/emotionally taxing.
- I relish the ability to be on the move. Work for many people is sitting at a desk for 8 hours. Not me. It’s always active – sometimes too active – and that brings both energy and freedom. It’s nice to be able to direct my steps, to have that option. I’m grateful that my work world is large.
- I’m thankful that it forces me to interact. I’m an introvert, and yet in the course of my work day I will talk with a broad range of people, from every socio-economic and cultural background, with different agendas, and even various levels of consciousness. They are all in different areas of life. It opens my eyes. It humbles me. It teaches me people skills, and widens the horizons of my world. It prevents moral and social short-sightedness and continually forces me out of myself. My job protects me.
Of course, my work also pays the bills. It helps people and contributes to society, and done in love it brings glory to God. This is true of most occupations. But the reasons above are personal to me.