Oh weekend, where have you gone? I really do not understand how the work week can creep by so slowly and then I blink and the weekend is over. Granted, we don't really "take it easy" over our weekends at this point in our lives, but hopefully someday that will change. Right now Josh's work schedule has him taking a day off on Friday and an occassional half of a Monday and I work a regular 40-hour 9-5 job. So, needless to say, we don't really have any time off together. And on Fridays he is watching the kiddos, which isn't exactly a walk in the park, and on Saturday and Sunday I have them mostly to myself and am serving at the church for at least two services. Phew, it's a lot. As much as I would love to join the ranks of the stay-at-home-moms in the world, I just don't see it happening any time soon. I know the grass is always greener, but if you currently are a stay-at-home-mom and wonder if your life would somehow be better if you were in the working world, just know that you are lucky to have what you have. Plus, your job is the most important one on the planet- never forget that. Which brings me to the recap of this week's message at TurningPoint Church (which can be viewed here or you can dowload the Podcast on iTunes now... look how fancy we've gotten!). This week was all about a four-letter word: W-O-R-K.
If you are part of the majority, chances are you are dissatisfied with what you do for a living. Roughly 80% when surveyed fall into this category. Then take into account that you will spend the majority of your life at work, and, well, that is just a depressing life, isn't it? After I listened back to this message I really thought about the different jobs that I have had and my level of satisfaction. In my first "real" job post-college, I worked as a tournament and catering coordinator at a golf club. I worked every weekend, which is a total bummer when you're in your early twenties. I also felt a bit too smart for what I did, but I loved my boss and the majority of the things that I did, so it worked for awhile. I applied twice for my second "real" job, and finally got an interview and even though I was probably underqualified, they hired me. For a little under a year I worked for the FedEx Orange Bowl as an event coordinator, which basically meant that you worked hard (and I mean hard) all year in order to pull off one week and one football game. Crazy, right? My main projects were a fan festival with a $200,000 budget to work with and planning and executing a trip to the Bahamas for all of the ACC coaches, athletic directors, and staff. Plus, I had game-day duties that put me on the field at the Orange Bowl. Sounds perfect, right? To be honest, this was my dream job, but... not my dream work environment. Our staff literally stayed until midnight or later from October thru December almost every night, not because there was that much work to do, but more so because our CEO did and nobody felt like they could leave before the boss. It was almost like a contest to see who could hold out the longest and some nights I'd have nothing left to do and would spend those after-hours returning personal emails or even playing Solitaire. Work was life, and time off was spent sleeping- it was absolutely nuts! So, when my current job came knocking, I knew I'd be giving up my dream career, but I traded it for a company culture that I loved, steady hours, and weekends and evenings home which would allow me to eventually have a family. I became a sales manager for a golf resort working for a woman who I love and admire so very much. And even though we've since moved away from the city where it is located, I have been allowed to do the same duties from home, being a telecommuter... perfect, right? But, well, I have to be honest and tell you that it's lonely sometimes having no co-workers that you physically see everyday. I miss them terribly and emails and phone calls are not the same. Plus, my office is at home, so I never actually "leave" work and can't turn it off. I feel guilty if Jake and Lilly are here and I cannot go downstairs and play with them, and I never fully feel like I'm giving 100% to anything since my life is one big multi-task. While the job and situation is perfect for our family and I am so very thankful to be doing what I do, it has it's downsides just like the others.
So my point is this... there is no perfect job out there. Period. My husband does his dream-job now that we've launched our church, but that doesn't mean it's perfect everyday. There are weeks that are so crazy for him that he rarely sees his family and feels guilty that he's not home. And when he's home he's guilty that he's not at work, since his work is for the good of the Kingdom. Celebrities seem to have it all, but have you seen the divorce rate in Hollywood? That career might get you money and fame, but it sure doesn't seem to do a lot for your home life! Teachers don't get paid enough, doctors deal with a lot of stress, soldiers put their lives in danger... the list goes on and on. So what I'm saying is, if you dislike your job right now, chances are getting another one won't be the answer. The only real answer is to be thankful for the one you have, particularly in this economy, and then change your attitude toward your job.
Remember when you started dating and you would make a "pro" and "con" list about your potential new boyfriend or girlfriend? Oh c'mon, you know what I'm talking about! Well, if you're unhappy with your current job, I would challenge you this week to just make a "pro" list and throw out the "con" list. In fact, make that list and then post it above your desk where you can see it everyday. Then the second thing you need to do is figure out what your passion is and pursue it outside of your current job! For me, I love to write... hence this blog! I also love to run, so when time allows, I pursue some personal goals in that world as well. Find purpose in your local church by serving in the kids' ministry or making people feel welcome by becoming a greeter. If we can find personal purpose, fulfillment, and worth outside of our career, chances are we're going to be happier in all facets of life and that satisfaction will trickle over into the other areas. Perhaps you'll even be that person who has a great attitude on a Monday, making everyone wonder exactly what makes them so positive. And hte more positive you are, the more bearable your job will be... trust me. In fact, that goes for all areas of life, so I just dare you to try it!
And lastly, when you feel discouraged or underappreciated, remember that your ultimate boss is not one that does your annual review. Hard work is so very valued in God's eyes, and He put us here so that we can contribute in whatever industry we find ourselves in. Always work to please Him and chances are you will please everyone around you as well. I am just like everyone else and have my bad days, too, so my office is set up so this is what i look up and see above my desk, just as a small reminder that He is proud of my hard work, even on the days that I don't feel like it matters.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
~1 Corinthians 15:58
I hope this makes Monday a little more bearable. Make this week matter!