Patterns are my most favorite things in life. Not plaids or polka dots, although those are great too, but patterns in the natural way of life. These too-coincidental coincidences lead us to believe there’s something bigger than ourselves at work. At least, they lead me to. And in times of struggle, I find these patterns, like data, illuminative. I may not love the story they’re telling me but they evidence some kind of reality that, so that I may pay closer attention, just keep repeating themselves over and over.
I’ve been struggling at work…for a long time. What should be thankful work is utterly thankless; what should be time well spent is just hours of my day ticking away that I’d rather be spending with my little dog June, enriching myself, learning a new skill…but more than anything I want is just to pour myself into work that is good and time well spent.
I’ve started to realize, though, that there may be a pattern here that needs attention. Why will this job not let me move on? What is the lesson to be learned before the gates open and I can move on?
I think it might be that I’m a workaholic. And it’s not so much the work that the problem.
The problem is that in the past, for as long as I’ve known me, I’ve structured my life around work. My friends are from work; I derive my self-worth and value from my work; my interests are determined by my work; my whole life revolves around my work.
So far…this hasn’t worked out so well except for work. And I think maybe that’s the story of this pattern–the “thing” I need to correct before I head off into something new. I think I need to start building a better life for myself.
To others who already work to live and not the other way around and for those who are not afforded the luxury of that stance, this will likely sound incredibly floofy…a very technical word. But that’s okay. I’m not in their shoes and they’re not in mine. The one thing I’ve always considered a strength in myself–my keen powers of observation and listening–might also be my Achilles’ heel in this regard. I’m more than content to just watch life pass me by.
Work is life is a convenient paradigm: just show up and see what happens. But the hole at the end of that tunnel is dark and deep.
It might be time for me to get a life. Literally.