I had a feeling of contentment that I knew, even if I never achieved anything else in life, that would be ok.
He always told me, his Mum and his sister, that he wasn’t going to live very long. He knew it, so he had to pack a lot into his 28 years. And he did.
For me, I’m somewhere in the middle. I guess I can say, without trying to be egoistic, that I have always thought that I would achieve something great. Something great and good, something that changed other people’s lives for the better or changed attitudes. When I was at University, and extremely idealistic, I used to say I wanted to work for the Hanson Institute and help find a cure for AIDS. Looking back perhaps I was confused about what they did there, because it’s a cancer research facility mostly. That’s the thing with idealism, it’s doesn’t really need healthy doses of reality. Perhaps it’s my upbringing in a lucky country that affords me the vision and resources to strive for something great, rather than using my energy just to exist.
So I am perplexed about where I find myself now. I was on a path with a career and whilst it may not have been the exact perfect fit for me, from that job I gained a lot of satisfaction, enjoyment, financial reward and fun. It was challenging and I grew and learned through the process of undertaking it. There was never a dull day. But recently, the job has become a burden and unresolved conflict being poorly managed has made the last 3 weeks unbearable.
OK 2 things…
- I know how this sounds, I used to be a manager and now I am having problems being managed… but what can you do to resolve conflict when your superiors won’t return your calls?
- I also know it’s up to me how much I let something bother me or stop me from sleeping, but I also live in the real world, and know we are human and feelings take time to process.
Christmas and the end of the year seems to be a natural time of reflection for everyone, at least in the Western world, and I’m thinking about choices. Part of me wants to give the job away, give myself some time to recover, relax and enjoy life without the added stress coming with the tiny pay packet. And I am lucky, this is a possibility for me. But something inside struggles to let go and I don’t know why. Habit? Institutionalisation? Loyalty? Common sense? I’ve never been without a job for long, except times such as moving overseas, returning from travel or finishing study and I’ve always found one quickly, ever since I was 17 and gained employment as a Christmas casual at Myer. The only time I have not had a job was when I was on maternity leave for 14 months (difficult to suggest that’s not a job!) but I was always returning to the job, and I did.
So what now? Doesn’t this situation I find myself in fit the idea of ‘something great and good’? Certainly it doesn’t. So why stay?
I read recently – rough figures – that the world’s population has increased from 2 billion to 7 billion in the last 100 years, which I found mindblowing because I have been alive for 41 of those, and I clearly remember growing up in a quiet Adelaide during stinking hot summers where it didn’t matter that the bitumen had melted, because no cars drove down the roads for days on end.
I still find writing that figure astounding because doesn’t it suggest that time is really short? I don’t want to sound like an apocalypse believer, but surely Earth can’t sustain population growth like that. What happens in the next hundred, which hopefully I and my daughter will be alive for a good chunk of.
Back to my little life – spend too much time thinking about the future of the Earth and you can become overwhelmingly despondent – however Tempus Fugit… Time Flies.
Time to make a decision.
The last phrase by the way, came from a documentary about Heath Ledger and was his father describing Heath’s approach to life, and the first one was a mother who tried for years to have a baby and eventually succeeded.