15 July 2009

Attitude adjustment

2/7 vs 5/7. How much of your life do you enjoy? How much of your time is spent waiting or wishing for a different time?

I’ve been thinking lately about the work week vs the weekend and how sad it is to spend five sevenths of one’s time in anticipation of the remaining two sevenths. Those are not good numbers!

The work week is necessary. Work gives structure and purpose to our days and keeps us from becoming sloths. Those are good things. If you are lucky, your work is something you enjoy; something that brings you satisfaction as well as the income needed to sustain life.

I don’t love my job but I do appreciate it. I make a decent wage, not a great wage by any stretch, but enough to live on and carefully thrive (I would like to be able to save more but that hasn’t been happening lately, ahem, hot tub). I have adequate benefits. My coworkers are mostly tolerable and some even more than that. I have an office with a window. Sometimes I even feel like the work we do makes a positive difference in the world.

I work in a teaching hospital. I’m a low level administrator on the school of medicine side. We educate doctors and that has a certain value.

I have been working at my job for a little more than 10 years. Before that I had a different job at the same place. Altogether I’ve been with this employer for 15 years. That’s a long damned time! Considering that when I took the original job I thought I would be there for about two years. Ha! Life sneaks up on you that way, I guess.

I don’t generally torture myself over things like wage disparity but it did come to my attention the other day when I was filling out a reimbursement request for one of my doctors. She gave me a copy of her bank statement to show that she had paid for some books. Her biweekly direct deposit was over $10,000. Yeah. Ten grand twice a month… and she needs reimbursed for books? Fuck.

About ten years ago, one of the previous doctors I worked for was complaining about having his three kids in private school and how expensive it was. I told him that what he earned in a month took me almost all year to earn. I also told him that he better not ever again complain to me about not making enough money, that the disparity between us was so great that the only way he could make up for it was to pay for my daughter’s education as well as his own kids…

OK, this isn’t really about the fact that doctors make more money than I do. It’s not really about money at all. It’s about spending the majority of one’s life doing something that feeds the belly but not the soul. It’s about spending Monday through Friday wishing for Saturday and Sunday.

So, my goal is to appreciate the work that I do. To be present in the moment ~ even though that sounds like hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. To make today as worthwhile as tomorrow. I don’t want to wish away that much of the time I have. And look, I’m at work and managing to find time to ponder these kinds of questions, write about them, and post to my blog!


The Crow said...

It was good for me to read this post tonight. Been having some talks with myself about things that need adjusting, attitude being top of the list. I like your take on things.


Trop said...

Good post. I make less now than I have in a long time. I really don't mind, because I am much freer.

I'm hoping where I am now, work-wise, is where I'll be for the next 20+ years. The longest I've worked for any one employer is the eight years I spent at graduate school. Since then it's been three years here, five years there, and so on.

Maria said...

I really, really look forward to my weekends, but when Monday comes around, I am usually ready to go back to work.

I recently took a few days off just for fun and hung out at home, didn't go anywhere special, etc. And you know, I became very bored. It's nice to have somewhere to go where I earn money and do some good.

8thdayplanner said...

I really love my job although anytime you work with (for)the public it can be challenging.

I do look forward to everyday, but weekends especially because I see my kids more.

Jen said...

Nice post, a reminder to focus on what is important to me in a job....especially with a job hunt coming up(gulp)!