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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Wish I Could Hear Crickets From my Desk...

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I work in an office. I sit by the window, a priviledge which took a couple of years to come to fruition, and the natural light is the best thing about my space. Most of my view is roof tops and apartments, but thats ok - I get sunlight. Lunch times spent outside on the grass produce the most fruitful afternoons. Maybe I am solar-powered.

Most of you know by now that when we get back from Europe I am going to most likely have to look for a new job. I guess, as it should, the whole thing has got me thinking. As always, and as frustratingly as always, I have 2 sides to my thinking.

I love my job. Sure I have times when I fall into a rut or when I'm disgruntled by situations at work, but at the end of the day, I have never held a position longer than the one I hold now, and if the decision were based on day to day activities alone, I probably wouldn't look to leave anytime soon. I train people how to do their jobs and how to be better at customer service. With help when I need it from my boss and my team mate, I create documentation, I design lessons and activities and I facilitate training. I see new employees take on challenges and learn and grow. I love helping people be better at what they want to do and achieve awesome things.

As with any job, there are downs just as there are ups. Those that need to, know them. But of course when the downs out weigh the ups from time to time, you gaze out the window and you wonder 'what if'.

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After Courts and I went to the Farmers Market the other week,  we had to call into the office to log a request for Courts grandfather. We had spent a good couple of hours with hot morning sun bouncing off our skin, fresh air filling our lungs, tasting beautiful hand crafted treats, smelling fresh produce, and chatting to friendly, easy going and often eccentric market folk about their stalls - more often than not, also their passion.

We walked into the office, and I saw the harsh red and white walls, smelt the stale air conditioning, and felt temperatures that disagreed with the sun streaming into the edges of the large room. I saw staff staring at computers, while outside the sun drenched possibilities were endless. I said to Courts - "I never want to work in an office again". We talked of renovating houses, of selling home produce at market stalls, of working together on something we were passionate about. Our own hours, our own motivation. Fresh air, sunlight, creativity... Bliss.

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On Monday, at 8.30am, we were back in the office. I settled back into my daily routine. I thoroughly enjoyed the work I was doing and I even skipped breaks, preferring to keep working on the projects at hand, more because I was enjoying them than because they had to be done right then and there. Later in the week, I was inspired by talk of positive change by our GM. He told me I wasn't allowed to leave for Europe because I was one of the family, and that I should definitely try and come back after my trip. I said to Courts - "This is why I'm still here. We're changing the way things are done, not only within the company, but the industry. We make mistakes, and we bounce back higher than anyone else. I want to be part of that".

And here we are, at a cross roads. If I set up a small market stall, and I do nails, and I blog, and I go to the beach when I want, there will be no ladder to climb, no promotion to aim for, certainly no payrises. Will I be able to pay off my personal loan? Travel the world? Buy a house?

If I get back into an office, I can do all of those things. But will I be making the most of this one life I get? Will I be as happy as I possibly could be?

Is there a balance?

3 comments:

Married In Chicago said...

Those are some tough questions that really resonate with me too! I often feel torn about living in the moment versus devoting myself to working for a future. Its a really tough balance! Its really hard in the winter time for me because I go in to the office when it is light outside and by the time I'm leaving at the end of the day its dark.

Nik said...

There's a cricket on my apartment balcony... I could try and catch it and bring it to work for you? =D

Penny said...

@Married In Chicago I know exactly what you mean! In winter the sun is only just coming up when I head in to work and it's long gone when I leave. I hate the thought of that being all that sums my life up! Got any tips?

@Nik... you can keep him :)

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