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Back to Work

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

After two months with almost no work, I’m suddenly booked solid until the end of January. I may even have to hire someone to help me with a peak around mid-December. That’s how my work tends to go: feast or famine. Both extremes are anxiety-inducing in their own ways. Is the work itself worth the stress it sometimes produces?

I’m not that fond of the work I do, but I do tend to feel better when I have work. It occupies my mind, which helps me not spend my time ruminating and worrying. I’m on a government disability plan, so I don’t have to work, but working helps me feel I am contributing to society, like a normal person. It makes good use of some aspects of my personality (my attention to detail and sense that there is a right way to do certain things) but not others. It requires almost no creativity and does not fulfil me. The work itself is generally not stressful, but the deadlines can be.

When work is steady, it pays the bills pretty well. Several years of low income have taught me that by living simply I can have everything I need and enough of the things I want to enjoy life. I’ll never be rich, or even be able to afford to own a house. I don’t care much about houses, but it would be nice to be able to live in a safe and interesting part of Toronto, which is a fairly expensive city to live in. When work is not steady enough, I’m not able to put away any savings, or I eat into any savings I had squirrelled away in better times.

The ideal, of course, is to make your living doing something you love. Otherwise, you have to do what you love in whatever spare time you have left after working enough to pay the bills. There may not be enough time left, and you may resent your work taking up so much time, making it even harder to endure.

When my depression was at its worst (19992000), and everything I did seemed to take an enormous amount of energy, I became selective about what I spent my limited energy on. Now that I’m feeling better, I have more energy, but the same principle should still apply. I never seem to have time to do all of the things I want to do, but why do I have so much time for things I don’t want to do?

I also seem to have a higher-than-average need for meaning. I want the work I do to make a difference somehow. I’ve pretty much reconciled myself to the idea that I’m not going to accomplish anything that will save the world, or change people’s minds about something important. People don’t want to change their minds or be saved. So, I’m focusing more now on doing things that fulfil me and make at least my little corner of the world a little bit better.

I expect I will have to continue with the work I’m doing now until I figure out what else I can do. I will practise patience while I explore my options.

Be good to each other.

J

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. fromi2us
    December 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Don’t count yourself out on doing something important to help others. Just the fact that you are writing this blog will help folks. It already has made me mindful to stay vigilant about my own depressive times. You will find your audience and you will see you can help others – perhaps all the while helping yourself. Just keep going. Peace.

    • December 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks, Reg, for your encouraging words. Helping ourselves and helping others are often intertwined, aren’t they?

  1. December 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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