It’s really interesting to see what comes up each day.
Recently I have been grateful for: friends, my passport, my family’s health, my determination, great food, coffee, holidays and the freedom to make my own choices.
What has surprised me most is how often work comes up in my daily gratitude list.
Work often seems like such a burden, particularly on a Monday morning. The whole world seems so hard! Waging war against the strong desire for a sleep in, battling along on public transport or fighting traffic, dodging airborne germs as people sniffle and sneeze. Lamenting with colleagues about how good the weekend was, and how long the week feels like it will last!
Yet I look over my gratitude lists and I see it written time and time again – work. My job. My career.
It got me thinking I should have been a little more specific about what it is that tickles me about work at these moments. But, since it is a ‘first thing when you get up’ job, my lists are usually short, sharp and to the point.
If I wasn’t so bleary eyed, I’d probably write some of the following.
I’m grateful for my work because:
- I work with beautiful people everyday. People who are strong, funny, intelligent, passionate and committed. People who make me laugh, who care about me and make me welcome, who drink coffee with me in the morning and share a celebratory drink at the end of the week. People who are at work to make a difference, in every way they can. People who, as well as doing their work, are also looking after their partners, children, parents, grandchildren, pets and themselves. People who make my every day a blessing.
- I work on important issues. Working in human services is about exactly that – humans. My work is my contribution to try and make the world a little bit better.
- My work is an ongoing education. As well as the formal opportunities I have for professional development, every day I learn something new, from what I read, who I talk to, or who I work with.
- My work keeps me busy and keeps my achieving. I celebrate the little wins and know that I continue to get better at my job all the time.
- My job is secure. I am very lucky to have a stable job, with leave and other entitlements.
- My work gives me a steady income, which allows me to make choices with my money. My income gives me independence and options, whether I choose to use it to save, travel, shop, eat, explore or give it away.
My job is not perfect. I don’t think I know anyone who has the perfect job. It’s also not always easy, and I certainly have my bad days. I am however, lucky to have my job, and I will continue to be grateful for it, and all the options it allows me.
Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.