Friday, January 04, 2013

Purpose, I possibly, maybe, potentially, could infact, perhaps lack it.

The blogosphere is currently packed full of people writing about their New Year's resolutions (good on 'em). And while most posts are about goals that people want to meet, a few of my favourite reads are writing about purpose. Like Vanessa over at the Fiery Skull Diaries.

I'm usually pretty slack when it comes to making resolutions and I think that's because I get worried that I'll obsess over the goal. I'd be hard on myself if I didn't achieve it, when really aren't resolutions about making a better you? Not a crazed, neurotic you? I'm not set out for yearly goals, and I think that's why I find the Life List concept so much more palatable, I have a life time to achieve those goals.

But leaving that aside, it's partly because this year doesn't feel over until my job ends on the 31 January.  I'm in a hanging pattern just waiting for it to be done so I can move on. And of course that's where things get scary. The thing I love most about my job is that it fills me with purpose. I'm doing something impactful. I'm fighting climate change and making a difference. And sure there are a million things that I hate, I hate that I feel guilty over the fact that I refuse to work most weekends. And I hate that how stressful it is. I hate that I can't unclench my jaw because I'm constantly worried that something is going to happen and I'll need to drop everything to jump into action. But I love that "action" all the same.

And so I'm terrified that as this job comes to close, I'll lose all sense of purpose. I'll get another job and take it, because I need a job even if it doesn't make me feel like I'm doing something about The Problem We Face. I'm worried about the guilt I'll feel if I'm not fighting at work and at home and politically, and corporately, and spiritually (kidding on the spiritually).

I'm worried that another purposeful job will leave me with teeth ground down to little itty bitty nubs, anger as my sanity leaves me with heaps of overtime, and yet a bit of fulfillment, because I know I've done what I can to save this (arms waving around).

I'm scared because I don't know what that looks like -what does a purposeful job look like that has good work life balance, that is something I can happily walk away from at the end of the day without fretting constantly on how it turns out!


And maybe if it's all so hard the purpose isn't what I think it is in the first place? That being said, climate change (well, stopping it) is my jam, yo.


27 comments:

  1. "Not a crazed, neurotic you?"

    yes. precisely! we do that quite well anyway, don't we.

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  2. Oh purpose... I think that purpose often makes me neurotic. I can appreciate it, but so often, I find that I can't tolerate everyday life if I chase purpose. Instead, I just try to take baby steps, hoping that in those baby steps, I will find a purpose that fulfills me, makes me passionate, and brings me joy in its own perfect timing.

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  3. love it!

    xx

    www.aroundlucia.com
    www.aroundlucia.com

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  4. Good luck with the job situation! I hope you can find something that you love just as much :)

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  5. Finding purpose is something I'm struggling with as well. I need a job, but I hate it when everyone asks me, ''so what do you want to do?'' Living where I live, it's not a question of "what I want" but rather, "what's available that wouldn't suck too bad."

    What I want? To work with animals or something that does good for someone or something else. What is available out here in the middle of nowhere? Bilingual receptionist jobs for multi-nationals and English teaching. Sigh.

    Good luck with the search...I hope you find what you are looking for.

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  6. "good work life balance..." That's all the rage, isn't it?
    Great post -- I'm intrigued to keep reading more...

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  7. I have great work/life balance right now. I think it's because I don't like (but also don't particularly hate) my job. It's just a job with good stability, nice coworkers, and great benefits.

    While I like the idea of a job in an area I feel passionate about, I think I would wear myself down thinking about work-related stuff 24/7. I have been dealing with depression my entire adult life, and I've realized having a job that doesn't weigh me down is really important for my mental health.

    I also change jobs/careers every 1-3 years on average, though, so I am not the best example to follow.

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  8. I'm very confident you won't lose your sense of purpose, but instead you'll find a new, more fulfilling and rewarding purpose!

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  9. You will definitely comw out of this on top. Don't lose your faith in that. And I agree with you, setting unrealistic and excessive goals is ridiculous. I am more concerned with staying focused and upbeat, even through setbacks and after possibly slacking on becoming a better me

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  10. Hang in there. You will find something with just as much purpose. Don't get down...just push forward!

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  11. I was just commenting on another blog that writing a resolution is the surest way it WON'T get done around here.

    Good luck with the job.

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  12. Sometimes I wonder if any job is really all that simple. I think they all drive us a bit insane

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

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  13. There's some zen saying along the lines of "stop try to live up to your lifelong performance expectations." It sounds rather self-defeatist, but I think some of us don't handle personal failure very well (ahem, like myself) so it'd actually be better to have slightly different goals. Slightly more achievable ones...like, instead of "lose weight" try "eat a piece of produce each day".

    However, most of my goals have basically turned into "be less hard on myself" which is difficult to measure. Maybe that's a new approach, too? Goals whose success can't be measured, ahahahahhaa.

    It might be worth it to try something new? You can always look for another job if it, too, grinds your teeth to nubs?

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  14. achieving that work/life balance is hard. it took the death of my father and then the birth of my daughter to make me realize that work isn't everything (even though some employers think it is but they can suck it).

    good luck with your job hunt! take some time to unwind and relax and then go full-force with pounding the pavement once you've taken some time to yourself.

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  15. You HAVE a purpose, and that's a beautiful thing. I've spent the past 32 years flailing around looking for one, and I haven't quite found it yet. But, yeah, that's a lot of weight on your shoulders. I hope that, no matter exactly how your search turns out, that you're pleased with the results.

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  16. When I was jobless a few years ago at first I felt HOPELESS. My ex didn't help, making me feel like I was absolutely useless.

    Just keep things up and keep up with your job hunt. You'll find something.

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  17. I think the reason I gravitated towards goals is because otherwise I get lost in the tasks of everyday and the progress and purpose of my child(ren) rather than myself. Making specific goals helps me to achieve little things in my life--like reading TEN books, not just "reading more"--and see the progress later.

    Or lack thereof. :-)

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  18. I love how you write about purpose. I think it's so important to have a sense of that in life. My job right now gives me a huge sense of purpose, but there are lots of things about it that I don't like. But, I worry that if I leave, my next job won't feel like I'm contributing nearly as much meaning to society as I am now...what a dilemma! I hope you find something that realy works for you!

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  19. Wow, love this post! It's such a dilemma to be stuck between having your own personal sanity while also having purpose in a place that may cause you a lot of stress. I believe that you'll find something great - the important thing is that you know what you like and what gives you purpose, and most importantly, you know youneed that balance! Good luck :)

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  20. Tell me about it... After I got my diploma I was washing dishes at a crappy restaurant for moths. And I obviously didn't go to school for that. It sucks finding a job or a purpose or a job with a purpose at the moment. But I'm confident things will get better. In the end, you get what you really want anyway right?

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  21. aaah, I am sure you will find a job that gives you purpose, even if it isn't the next one you get. My job doesn't really make me feel like I'm doing anything of worth, it is a horrible feeling. Most people hate their jobs and I am one of those people - I always said I just want a job I love and I don't have that.

    Why have I started babbling about my and my hate towards my job? Haha! Selfobsessedmuch?

    Things will be okay.

    Oh, and just so you know, I got the onsie from primark =)

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  22. lovely post:) and i'm sure you will find a job that suits you, good luck! x

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  23. Sometimes if you stop looking, the right job will find you! If you find yourself getting really upset or discouraged just stop for awhile and wait. I did that and my job came to me! Good luck girl!

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  24. You know, my aunt gave me a 365 Day journal--each day, for a year, you answer a question . . . for 5 years. On the first of January it was 'What is your mission?' I kinda love that idea . . . because the tactics may change, but your mission stays the same. The key is to keep moving forward . . .

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  25. I TOTALLY understand you. Sometimes I've used my job to define who I am and what I'm about and that is really not the case with me. But I do spend over 70% of my time there and so shouldn't it be something that makes a difference or that you place a high priority on? Oh the questions with balance and whether or not it's really for me - I really still don't know yet

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  26. "what does a purposeful job look like that has good work life balance, that is something I can happily walk away from at the end of the day without fretting constantly on how it turns out!"

    I have NO idea. I overwork and worry all the time about my job, but I think that is what also makes me love it. Climate change is a big deal and a noble purpose. You will find a balance. Be hopeful about the job you will find!

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