Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Quitter Challenge: Chapter 4 - Tia
It was hot. And not that play-play kind of hot. It was Whitney Houston lip sweat, your deodorant is working harder than it was ever created to work, did we accidentally drive to the equator/Hell HOT. I wanted to be newborn naked in an effort to relieve the heat. As I pulled up to drop the rental car off I was quite literally PISSED at the heat. If the heat had been a real person I would have punched it in the throat for being so offensive.
The small chipper 20-ish girl bounced over and asked how the car was. Since she hadn't created the heat it seemed unfair to be rude to her. I told her it was fine as I lugged my bags out of the back. As I stood there for less than 30 seconds I could feel my sandals beginning to melt into the concrete. Exasperated I asked her, "How do you HAPPILY work in this heat every day?" She chuckled to herself and said, "I just think about my bills." I wanted to hi-five her. (I've been in a hi-fiving kind of mood lately.)
In that brief conversation, that young girl basically summed up a lot for me. She liked her job because she liked paying her bills. And I'm sure if I'd asked her, paying her bills was a step toward something greater that she wants to do.
Chapter 4 of Quitter talks about falling in like with a job you don't love. It is no small secret that I don't love my job. But I do love paying my bills. I recently posted the following on my Facebook page, " I'm going to stop saying that I hate my job and start saying that I love my paycheck." Sixteen people liked my status before lunch. Apparently, I'm not alone is my disdain for my 9-5.
The thing is once I decided to try to make a conscious effort to try to stop hating my job, I began to think that maybe....just maybe there's more to where I am and the position that I currently hold.
Chapter 4 talks about the incubation of a dream. Like it or not, it's probably going to take a little longer than you'd like for your dream to come to fruition.
Ever dream takes longer than you want it to...And if we rush it, if we don't give it time to incubate, we usually end up killing it before it even has a chance to breathe. - Pg 90
It is entirely possible that had BGLU gotten some of the attention that it's recently received that I would have quit my job and tried to write full time. I would have seen it as a sign. I would have assumed that bigger and better things were just around the corner and that my bills would be paid in faith. (Why, yes, I WAS pretty naive back when we started.) Clearly I had some growing up to do. So while I could not have foreseen that it would take 8 years for this blog to get where it is right now, I'm genuinely grateful for the time it and I have had to grow.
Now trying to find the parallels between my current job and my dream have is proving harder than I thought. I've been in research now for about 7 years. And I will probably be in it a while longer. But while I some times struggle to understand why I remain in a job that I don't love, I know for a fact that I can't hate a job that I spend 50+ hours a week doing. I have to find a way to fall in like with this job. However, that may be easier said than done.
There are days when I truly have to think about why I work. Aside from my bills and the need to keep a roof over my head (both of which are admittedly important), there are days when I can't for the life of me remember why I continue to do this day after day after sometimes soul destroying day. But then I'm reminded of friend who is 8 weeks pregnant with no health insurance. I'm reminded of the woman I know who can't get her teeth fixed because her dental insurance is subpar. I'm reminded of my aging parents who I want to be able to take care of in a couple of decades if I need to. Basically, I have to remember to remind myself that there are numerous reasons to get up every day and be excellent at a job that I'm learning to like.
The end of the chapter talks about 3 ways to ruin your day job and your dream job. And the first way pretty much walked up to me, smacked me in the face and yelled, "FOR SHAME!!!!" (It yelled at me in a British accent but it yelled at me nonetheless.) Stealing from work. Now we're not talking about pens and steno pads. Well, I mean, if you are doing that, stop it. In this case, however, we're talking about time and efficiency. You're paid to do something from 8-4, 9-5, 10-6, etc. And odds are it's not to play on Facebook. But for me, it's easier than I'd like to admit to not stay on task. I often feel a sense of entitlement because I put in long hours while I'm on the road. Take today, for instance. I left my house at 9:30. I got to Miami at just before 5. That's already a full day. So you would think that I could settle in and play a little Facebook tetris, answer some personal emails and post a couple of long overdue blogs. Yeah...that's not the case. I still have things that need to get done for my job. Why...? Because that's what they pay me for. That's the nature of the job. And to not do what I'm paid for is stealing, plain and simple. So while I may feel I've earned the right to slack off, until Facebook is added to my job description I owe it to myself, my job and my dream to be diligent and honest with the time that belongs to (insert company name here.)
I struggle to figure out how to end this post. I actually started writing it two weeks ago. I have been in a funk and a mood and have been completely unmotivated to write since....well since whenever my last post was. So I'll end with this (because, frankly, it's all I've got), while you (and I) may struggle to see the merits of your 9-5, be assured that it is a stepping stone to where you WANT to be. And while the parallels may not be as easy to see as you may hope, know that as you are diligent in you day job you are cultivating your dream in ways that you probably can't....or maybe can...imagine.