What Are You Working For?
I’ve been a stay at home mom for 15 years, with just a few months employment here and there, once in a wholesale club, another time as a school bus driver, and off and on over the last 3 years as a childcare provider in my home, but for the vast majority of the time, I’ve been what my husband now calls, “The Stay At Home.”
I’ve been measuring belts in a factory at my new job. It’s easy, but boring. It’s given me lots of time to ponder life’s greatest mysteries, well my life’s greatest mysteries anyway. My mind is ALL OVER THE PLACE during those 2 hour stretches between breaks. I’ve been amused by all the thoughts that come and go rather quickly, completely unrelated to each other (and the songs that pop into my head.) I’ve spent time being nostalgic, thinking about my childhood, revisiting some unhappy times as an adult, giving myself grief over mistakes, and then cheering myself up with some of those songs. I’ve also been able to get in some quality brainstorming.
Here are some of the songs that put some pep in my step or remind me what I want to be up to in life.
You’ll Be Okay
Put on a Happy Face
Breath of Heaven Not everybody’s cup of tea but it encourages me.
All I Want To Do (not the Sheryl Crow song)
Tonight You Belong To Me (random fun song that pops into my head A LOT)
I’m looking at any job I work at through this temporary service as just that, temporary. I like looking at it this way because I feel like I’m not stuck in this particular factory job forever, whether I end up working here for 5 minutes, 5 months, or 5 years. It’s one of the thoughts that are helping me transition from being “The Stay At Home” to a working gal.
There are other thoughts keeping me going too. One of the biggest motivators is of course that paycheck at the end of the week. That MAGICAL paycheck. That paycheck that’s going to help with bills, cover summer birthdays for 5 kids, allow for a couple of Girl Scouts trips this weekend and a road trip with my husband in September, and fund some creative projects. It’s AMAZING how far that paycheck can go in my mind and THAT’S JUST THE FIRST CHECK!!! Okay, in reality the first check was gone to pay a bill an hour after being cashed, but I never would’ve made it to the first check without the dream.
Half the time I enjoy what I’m doing and appreciate the fact that I have all of that quiet thinking time and the other half of the time I think about what other more enjoyable work I might be missing out on and how my right arm is sore and my wrist is starting to hurt and wah wah wah.
When I got to work Thursday night, the lady who works across from me told me that an employee was found dead that morning. He was only 30 years old. I didn’t know him, but I felt sad for my co-workers who lost their friend. It snapped me into the present moment and to what matters most in life.
What am I working for?
For the rest of the night that magical paycheck didn’t seem so magical. In the grand scheme of things, what am I doing with my life? Am I working for “stuff”? What do I want for my future? What do I want now? What am I trading my family time for? Why am I doing this?
I’ve come up with these three answers.
#1 I want the money but not the STUFF.
I’d love to have the ability to buy STUFF but I don’t want that to be my motivation. Stuff is not important to me. I want the money because I don’t want to struggle financially any more. There’s too much stress in the struggle and it can be alleviated. I want financial freedom. Don’t we all? 🙂
#2 This is just part of the journey.
Working now in this way is a stepping stone. It’s necessary and it’s not a big deal. I’ve got a vision that I’m working toward and this is going to help me get there faster.
#3 I don’t have to have all of the answers.
“The greatest joy in life is being a contribution.” Bill Cumming
I’m pretty sure that the quote above is the short and to the point version of this much longer quote.
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish, little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
George Bernard Shaw
For now, I’ve chosen to contribute to my family in this way and I like the way that contribution feels.
Do you have any words of wisdom to offer for balancing work and home? What are some of the ways you keep things running smoothly? I can use lots of help in this area 🙂 Leave your comments below or come on over to facebook and share them there.
Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there. If you are interested in learning about the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.