Oh dear. Sometimes, as Vanessa Williams sang, the very thing you’re looking for, is the one thing you can’t see.
I have a Totally Amazing Day Job (TADJ). I literally cannot imagine a better TADJ. It pays just fine, it’s got autonomy, mastery and purpose. There are some truly cool people I work with (including an awesome immediate boss), and when we all do our jobs and the gods smile on us, the world is, concretely, a better place for some folks.
And at the same time, it’s hellishly frustrating because we are understaffed and because we are always having to do the urgent rather than the important. And we have limited ability to protect ourselves from extra short-term and not-always-worth-it work.
And guess what? I finally clocked, today, what I should have seen at least a year ago. My frustration at work is largely (not entirely, but largely) because I’ve been refusing to face up to some ugly facts. I’d rather get frustrated about things I can’t do anything/much about, than take steps to change the things that I could change in My Other Life.
For My Other Life (only tangentially-related to this blog), has also got a large wodge of autonomy, mastery and purpose and some truly cool people I work with (including an awesome co-conspirator). When we do our jobs, the world is if not a concretely better place, then a more connected and honest (?!) one than it otherwise would have been.
My point – at last – is this; in My Other Life I have the autonomy to choose what work I prioritise. I could – if I wanted to – make some serious strategic choices about what was important, what was merely urgent and what was fun (Pollard’s Law, anyone?).
But I don’t take that responsibility, I don’t take those decisions, I don’t discipline myself. The guy who talked about rolling the rock up the hill would label it as a chronic case of living in Bad Faith. And rather than accept that and then maybe grow a pair, I whine about the things I can’t change. Ooops.