I sat down to write a post and since I couldn't really think of a topic (my brain is dulled by the remnants of a cold/respiratory thing) I headed over to the Random Questionizer to grab a topic...and the question actually was a question that has been running through my head for over a year. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop and consider the answer. The question as it was posed to me on the Random Topic generator: "Would you rather be poor and work at a job you love or be rich and work at a job you hate?"
That is the $64,000 question.
I do not hate the job that I'm doing right now. But I have to admit that I don't exactly love it either. I believe in the mission of the organization that I work for - to provide housing opportunities for people with disabilities and low incomes. I adore the people that I work with in the office - and I adore most of our tenants. I'm frustrated by some of them (even some of the ones that I adore) and the spiderweb of federal/state/local/funder/etc. compliance can be daunting. But I do not hate my job. I also do not roll out of bed every morning foaming at the mouth to get to work - since I'm not a morning person, that may be an unrealistic goal anyway.
My sister Karen will tell you that when I was just out of high school I swore that I would live in a ditch and eat government cheese to work in the theatre! I was young and stupid - but I did have a passion for the work. And for a few years I did work as a professional theatre tech at Kings Dominion - but the pressures of finding short term work during the off season got old after a few years. I still get a rush when I walk into a theatre...sounds cliche' but there is a certain smell, I don't know if it is really the smell of the greasepaint. But there is something that is completely unique. When I was working on the Christmas musical extravaganza and I had to set lights for the show, I felt back in my element.
Today I met with the district superintendent of the United Methodist Church to discuss the possibility of pursuing ordained ministry. One more step in a process of exploration and discernment. I think there is a place for me there...somewhere...I just need time and reflection to figure out where that may be.
There are a lot of things that I have passion for that I might be able to turn into a job. Some have even suggested that writing could be in my future. For now, you folks get that for free! Having read a whole lot of HUD regulations lately, I may be able to utilize my writing talents clarifying THOSE! Talk about communication problems! I also have great passion for food and teaching people to cook.
Would I rather be poor and work at a job I love or be rich and work at a job I hate? I think I choose poor (I think I already did...) and happy. But I know there are a lot of people who are poor and still work at a job they hate because it is the best that they can do and need to provide for their families. I hope that there are other sources of joy in their lives...through the years I've discovered that you can't rely on your job to provide satisfaction and happiness in your life. That comes from a whole different place.
I was watching an episode of Undercover Boss one night (if you've never seen it - you really should check it out). One of the workers in that episode was a man who cleans portable toilets...port-a-johns. (I have a sister...or two...who can't bear to USE one, let alone CLEAN one) That man did that job with gusto, taking great pride in doing the job well. He treated the "trainee" (really the owner of the company undercover) with respect but impressed upon him the importance of doing the tasks to the best of his ability.
So is the secret loving the job you're working on? Perhaps it is. In the meantime though, I will still try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up...sometime before I actually do!