Side effects of working

October 20, 2008 at 8:36 am 2 comments

There are various side effects to my new employment that I am beginning to recognize, mostly positive. My only “complaint” is that being occupied and having other things on my mind prevents me from thinking as much. Or I do think, but don’t have the time or peace of mind to write on it. That bothers me. That (and having less time for singing and guitar practice) is probably the only slightly detrimental side effect. But as I get more settled in the job, my mind will clear up again. And the job itself gives me plenty to think about!

On the positive side, having less time forces me to be better organized. I’m running the household in a much better way than I did previously. Even more chores are getting done because I say to myself: “Do it now, as long as you have time.” Before, I would think: “Oh, tomorrow is as good as today to get it done.”

Now that I’m not home all the time, I really look forward to seeing my kids. I spend more real time with them and treasure it. They also tend to sit and talk with me more, because I’m not around all the time. Even my cat seems to appreciate me more!

The nature of the work is also an enrichment. It is very enlightening to work with people who are in some way disadvantaged. My first experience with this was several years ago when I did my internship with refugees waiting for political asylum, and with “migrant” workers who had been living here for a generation or two, worked and paid taxes, but had never sought citizenship, and were lacking certain social benefits which they sorely needed (due to illness or infirmity). Now I’m working with mentally/emotionally disadvantaged people.

Working with both groups of people broadened my perspective. Not only did I realize how privileged I am, but it also put my “problems” in a different light. We do all have our problems and worries, and I won’t say that we aren’t entitled. Each of us is in his or her special situation, which includes the struggles, challenges, and successes that our higher power bestows upon us. It’s kind of like a package deal, except you don’t know what you’re getting ahead of time.

As I encounter various people and their stories, I notice that my attitude is changing. I used to think that we get what we deserve. As long as all is well, that’s a great way to justify the belief that hard work is enough to succeed, and that those who are in a bad situation have only themselves to blame. I have met people who definitely deserve better, people who were dealt a miserable hand of cards (in my opinion), and yet they are making the best of it. That we have in common: doing our best in the given situation.

I have more understanding and compassion for other people, as I share their suffering more closely. I have always felt compassion, but it is reaching a new depth. I am grateful for this new experience, and also glad that through my work I can help others in their struggle.

Personally I also feel like I’m growing. It is rewarding to observe that after so many years away from the job market I can go into a totally new situation and learn how to do a new job. It’s coming along, and each week brings new understanding, improvement and more sense of routine. That makes me feel really good, because I had seriously doubted my ability to get a job and perhaps thrive on my own — which will eventually become a necessity, hopefully sooner than later. (But I won’t go into that now.) Which brings me to what I almost forgot. I’m also getting paid, and it’s nice to have a little extra money. Especially in times like these!


Entry filed under: going back to work, gratitude. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Priorities Autumnal Agony?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sherrieh  |  October 23, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Perhaps a visit to my blog at will help you to change the energy around you. Also check out to find out the best timing for working on yourself. You can have it all if you stop focussing on your fears and start focussing on what you love in this life. Angel Blessings to you!

  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  October 23, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    You’re quite perceptive. It has indeed been a life of fear. It was just this past summer that I began to focus on what I love in life, as you put it. And that is what started turning things around. Thank you! I will take a look at your blog. 🙂


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