I don’t want to go to work. Not today or any day.
Merriam Webster pretty much makes the argument for me:
1: activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:
a: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result
b: activity that a person engages in regularly to earn a livelihood
Yikes. Why would anyone want to do that everyday? I exert enough faculties and overcome enough obstacles just to make sure I keep the small humans alive. I don’t feel like I should earnmy livelihood – I kind of think that should be a given for just being a good-juju-practicing-human. That livelihood is a gift that comes from being grateful for being a part of the human experience.
Do not misunderstand me.
I earn the money that sustains my household. This is not an argument for handouts and a free ride. I do not expect anyone to provide food, or shelter, or clothes for my kids or myself. I am happy to do that. That’s called being a parent, and that’s what I signed up for when I brought those humans into the world.
I’m talking about the general agreement that we have collectively made that allows “work” to be something we are somehow ok with being a big commiseration.
Have you ever thought of the synonyms for “work”…? I’ll save you the travail, toil, drudgery, and grind… catch my drift? Those words are dripping with bad juju.
Dictionary examples of “work” in a sentence:
She is trying to find work.
She didn’t come to work today.
She’s not here right now. She’s at work.
Years of travail were lost when the house burned.
…back breaking toil…
…your employment is terminated.
Holy moly, bad juju! NO. THANK. YOU.
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the definition, and there is a glimmer of what I might want to consider “work.”
Pursuit suggests a trade, profession or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest.
Métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted.
That is something I could justify. Words are not just words, my friends. They create a perception of juju, be it good or bad. I want to pursue my métier, but I most certainly do not want to go to work.
I am fortunate. I really actually like going to my job. My body often disagrees, as I have found the long hours on worn knees to be less than therapeutic, but I really enjoy its essence. I get to talk to a whole bunch of different people; listen to musicians; and provide a service that is not necessarily contributing to the betterment of the patrons, but definitely makes them happy for the time being. And at the end of the night, I have some money in my pocket to pay my bills. The service industry has been a blessing to me for the last 20+ years. And I have to say, I’m not terrible at it.
As much as I feel that the way I have supported myself and my kids has been overall very positive, I know that it’s not what I want to do forever. I get to essentially be a stay-at-home-single-mom, which is almost unheard of. I only work weekends, and I get to take my kids to school, pick them up, chauffeur them to the ever-growing list of activities, make dinner, enforce homework, fight bedtimes – and do it all again for the next five days. Not many people can say that.
Stay-at-home-momming is HARD. I definitely consider that to be my full-time job. My weekend employment is just as much mental health assistance for me, as it is pertinent to paying my bills. I have made it clear to my kids that the employment that takes me away from them should be appreciated more because I get away from them for a spell, than for the fact that the lights turn on when they flip the switch (should they ever actually be turned off by anyone but me…). Parents NEED a break. We need to be away from kids so we reflect and remember how much we love them and want to keep them alive. They are such beautiful creations – when they are sleeping.
I get it, work is something we all need to do to survive in this fiscal society. But did you ever stop to think about how amazing it would be to feel that you were pursuing your métier to the same result? Use different words in your head. Focus on the aspects that don’t piss you off. Perhaps, it is simply a change of perception: a feeling of gratitude rather than discontent at the opportunity of one’s employment. Maybe, even though you spent years of education and training for a profession, no amount of self-talk will move your mindset.
Then change it. Do something else. If you need someone to give you permission, here you go. That schooling and preparation did not only prepare you for your particularly miserable job. That was a part of your life for a reason. You have met people who encouraged and discouraged you, learned information and skills that will be useful in many other areas of life, and figured out a little bit more of who you are because of every single experience up to this point.
I am convinced that money is a little bit magical, it’s definitely very porous to juju, and it’s kind of dumb. It’s dumb in the sense that it doesn’t have much cognition of its own. It is reflective of the intentions and emotions that we direct at it. Focus on how much money you don’t have, and lo and behold, you don’t have it. I believe that if we are doing what fuels our souls, what contributes to the greater good juju of the world, money shows up. The universe wants you to follow the good juju, and the universe happens to be the biggest benefactor out there. Start singing your purpose like a curly haired orphan, and big daddy Warbucks will start throwing dolla-dolla-bills-y’all.
The more fire you have for your métier, the better you will be compensated. Don’t expect that you are going to quit your miserable job to start a business selling painted rocks as “pets” and be successful…wait…nevermind. It’s not like anyone ever really made money on a blanket with armholes. That’s just ridiculous. Those people could never make millions doing something so crazy.
The reason people make money is because they wanted to. They wanted to so much, they actually did something about it. They did something about it in a BIG, burn-the-boats way that other people didn’t. Gary Dahl was a marketing executive who thought, “who wouldn’t want a pet rock?” Can you imagine his friends when he was like, “Dude, I have the BEST idea!”…..?? Immediately, I think of the “jump to conclusions mat” (I’ll make a number of Office Space references, so you may as well buy it and watch it a thousand times). Find something that you believe in as much as that guy thought we would buy what I find in my kids’ pockets, or more likely, as they are dinging up my damn dryer.
When you do find it, you need to want it so much that it consumes you. The good juju can be so strong that it almost prints its own money. Maybe it will be millions, and maybe it will be enough to scrape by paying your bills – but it will be something that you get to do every day, not something you have to do. That is arguably worth it if what you are doing is killing your soul. And then one day, maybe it will be what changes your financial world. Someday, I will be living on a little farm with my kids and the Serial Killer, watching my goats play and destroy my yard and outbuildings, and playing with words to make stories and books. I am apparently never going to be finished raising kids, so they will learn a different set of skills to help them on their journeys to find their paths to seriously good juju. I feel that. I see my farm. I will burn all of the boats to be there.
But, I’m also not a complete bonehead. I’m not going to quit the job that I actually really enjoy…right now. I’m going to do what I need to do, but I’ll tell you what, I’m not waiting around for someone to hand me a book deal or deed me a farm. I will be aware of every single opportunity that might lead me in that direction, and I will run at it as hard as my broken little knees can carry me. Every. Time.
I believe that my farm is out there and someone will want to read my words – hopefully many “someones.” I believe it in every fiber of my being. If you haven’t, I implore you to read, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. She writes from the perspective of an author, but you can easily inject your particular juju dream into the ideas. What she calls Big Magic, I call seriously good juju. I love that she refused to make writing the breadwinner; she never put the pressure on her creativity to pay the bills. But she pursued it. Every. Day. And she loves it and nurtures it with respect and wonder; grateful that it allows her to play.
“Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,
Read books about your seriously good juju – your métier; learn how to incorporate it into your life and into each cell of your body. Practice it. Pursue it. Dream about what it will be like to do that every day – love it more than anyone has loved it – and then take action. At some point, you have to jump, or you will remain exactly where you are. That kind of self-inflicted injury deserves no sympathy. I believe that the fear that makes us fight something or run away from it, can also allow us to run full force directly at the best juju.
So, do a little soul-searching, my work-sick friends. Figure out just how miserable you are going to allow yourself to be. Change your perception for the time being, even if you are faking it for a while. But, stay open to the dreams that your seriously good juju wants to make real.
Then, you may never work another day in your life.
“Work.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2017.