You know the feeling? The enjoyment you get during that first meal after you have recovered from the cold or flu. You savour the aroma wafting from your plate, your first real aroma in a week. You relish the taste washing over your taste buds which have come alive after a week of dormancy. And you feel hungry. I’ll say it again YOU FEEL HUNGRY!!!
You embrace the hunger for you know the feeling of having hunger in a world where you can satisfy that hunger with relative ease. It feels good to eat and to have your senses once again co-operating to deliver an enjoyable experience. You look forward to the next meal and the next as you focus on the joy of satisfying your appetite.
Metaphorically speaking this is exactly how I’m currently feeling about my work. And what a revelation and relief it is!
The discontent and restlessness had been creeping in for a while. But like all good soldiers, I was taught not to give into these feelings and to keep on swimming, swimming, swimming… I swam for a while, but most of the time felt like a salmon swimming up-stream. However unlike most salmon, I am not genetically programmed to swim upstream and eventually it became too much.
It took a further period before I was ready to admit defeat or if not defeat a temporary surrender. This was an enormous step, huge… because for the pervious twenty years I loved my work, threw myself into it and not only surfed with the tide, but caught pretty much every wave. To this day, I don’t know what changed… was it simply my priorities, my outlook on life, the sense that there should be something better, the sense that time was ebbing?
Whatever the case, this had me spooked and in totally foreign territory. I had had all the answers up to now, but I had hit on my $64,000 question.
After a period of just being, I am now back engaged in corporate Australia and I am hungry again. Only this time, my hunger is tempered by wisdom and I know the key is balance. Work is but one component of a busy and well-rounded life and I am learning the discipline of saying “no.” Now, I am happy to let a project go to someone else if it means I have time to do the things that feed my soul. Now I’m happy to say, “yes, I’ll do it for you…. if it can wait until tomorrow.” Now I know that I can face the consequence of those decisions and this is not weakness. In fact, it is strength.
I am now working for a company that does meaningful work and I am proud to be working for that organisation. My team is wonderful, playful, engaging, human and appreciative. Their expectations are realistic and most of all we respect each other’s talents and disciplines. This is novel. My work is instructive and challenging. In short, I feel that my work is valuable and that I am valued and challenged.
And I can see now that value and challenge were what was missing in my last workplace. Value of course, has nothing to do with remuneration. It was only fear that was keeping me there – fear and habit.
Facing fear and putting it and the old workplace behind me was the best decision I made.
The family has effortlessly flowed back into the routine of a working mother and I have a real sense that my children feel that life is now back to their “normal”. My work flu is now over and I partake of my meal with a humility born of a journey taken and a lesson learned.
Have you had a “coming alive” experience? Have you ever totally changed your perspective on an aspect of your life?
17 thoughts on “Relishing The First Meal After A Cold”
This is such wonderful news! Isn’t it wonderful to set your own rules…what a relief. Wisdom truly does come with age that is for certain. Best of luck on your new venture, looking forward to hearing about it.
Thanks Lisa, it certainly is a relief. Rule setting and boundaries take practice!
I like how you drew parallel between loss of appetite because of cold or flu to a return to good health and starving for food again. Fantastic analogy.
I’m glad to hear your rejuvenation. Nothing like sinking your teeth into work which gives satisfaction. If you need to be doing something, might as well enjoy it and thus raise a good job to even better.
Totally agree. Feeling passion is a fundamental part of being alive. One could say I’m passionate about being passionate :).
Congratulations on having raised to curtain quite a bit! I can relate a lot to your post. Even if we do not make earth-shattering changes to our lifes in the end, sometimes we need time to ponder about the next step in order to take it deliberately – and “hungry”. In particular, I like this quote of yours: “To this day, I don’t know what changed”. Very often people – including me – over-analyze and try to apply their home-grown psychological explanations to their personal stories. But you are simply stating your case, using a great metaphor.
Thanks, slowly pulling on those chords and watching the ascent! I am one who does analyse quite a bit, but once again aging has taught me to let some of the analysis go. I used to get so frustrated that I couldn’t understand something, but no I tend to let most things go. Sometimes things are not meant to be understood immediately or at all, sometimes things are just meant to be experienced.
That “discontent and restlessness” can be paralyzing to the psyche. So glad you’ve got your mojo back in a new environment. Been there. Done that. 🙂
You’re not wrong. There was a point there where everywhich way I turned, I felt I had reached another dead end. Not a great place to be, but as we parents know, as long as you have just one more thing to try, you have hope :).
Sounds really positive and we are happy for you. Quite the journey !!!
Quite the journey indeed and you would know :). Thanks for the much needed support. Can’t wait to see you guys.
It’s great to read your story in a world where so many people suffer through working weeks just to get some relief at weekends. It became apparent early in my working life that my poor attitude made me unattractive to employers so I’ve never regretted the decision to work for myself instead doing things which I enjoy.
We all have our own paths to take. I loved my work for two decades and then…..?
I now put a priority on freedom and flexibility but have sacrified some security as result. That’s the way of the world, every action has an equal and opposite reaction – Newton wasn’t it? How’re things up North anyway?
This is such positive news and such a hopeful way to look at reentering the work force. I especially like hearing how your family is adjusting and I bet that gives you an extra boost of confidence and comfort. Good luck and please find the time to keep writing.
Thanks, I must admit I am struggling a bit with the writing. I now spend most of my days writing in the business world where the creativity I enjoyed on here is limited. I’ll reach the balance point one day, I’m sure…. another journey to take 🙂
I have just started back as well effective October 1. You hit the nail on the head. I am glad to be back and enjoying the work, but also trying not to get too deep in the stress I had before I semi-retired last December. I knew I was going back, but wanted to get my two oldest off to university. I chose to do the portion of my old job I loved, work with people I like and respect and work from home. So far so good. I wish you the very best in your new endeavor. Take care, BTG
Good luck with the new role BTG, I haven’t worked from home yet, but I know I have the flexibility to do so, having options is just so wonderful, rather than operating in a straight jacket. I think it’s fantastic that you took time out to get your kids off to Uni. My best bosses have been those who have been absent to take their kids to their first day of school or sneek off in the middle of the day to go to a school concert.
Many thanks. As I am typing this, my daughter is three feet away on the family computer. Cool beans. Good luck on your new endeavors.