Sometimes I feel like my life is an unending game of catch-up. There are times when I’m uninspired and fall behind. Other times I overestimate my abilities and take on too much work. Then there are times like this past week: a two-day holiday weekend with friends, followed by an unexpected bout of the flu. I’m now officially four days off of my original schedule. Figures. Last week I was ahead of things, spending a couple of hours each week doing the “fun” things (e.g. my novel). Now I’m back to where I started – just trying to get my work done and hoping that someday I’ll be able to pick up my novel.
Talk about a life of monotony. Monotony doesn’t necessarily mean boring, though. That’s a matter of choice.
I experienced this same situation many years ago while working on the S.S. Badger. Five days a week I would wait on the dock, then rush onto the ship and sweep. While that may not sound like a big deal, my husband understands the significance – I hate sweeping. I would rather eat nails than sweep the floor, but I would go to work and sweep. One day I was thinking about how awful my job was – cleaning and cooking. I wouldn’t do it at home, so why was I going someplace else to do it for other people for 12 hours at a time? I realized at that moment that I had a choice: I could stop working and have no money or I could start loving my job. More than a decade later I still talk about how that was my favorite job.
When I find myself sitting at my desk, four days behind and asking, “why bother,” I have to remind myself that whether or not I enjoy my job it my choice. It’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged when searching for my 100th blog post topic, but it’s also possible to change my point of view. A few days behind doesn’t have to be a road block killing my creativity or career. It can be a hurdle, challenging my progress, but not impossible to navigate. It all depends on whether or not I’ve decided to love or hate my job.
As I’m sitting at home in my jeans, wearing my favorite slippers, and playing a rerun of Bones in the background, it’s a no-brainer. I love my job. I love my monotony.