Walking the Cat . . .

Because life's kinda like that . . .

“I Hate My Job!” . . .(but do you, really?)

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It’s absolutely astonishing how often you hear this complaint; from friends, co-workers, even complete strangers.  You’ve more than likely even voiced it yourself, at one time of another during your working life.  If you were to believe everything you read in magazines, newspapers and online, or hear on television and radio, you would undoubtedly come to the conclusion, there is no one, anywhere in the world, who actually enjoys what they do for a living.  No one.  Anywhere.  And therein lies the rub. . .

It seems counter-intuitive to spend four, six, eight, or however many, years of schooling, preparing to go into a particular line of work, one you love (or think you do, anyway), enter the workplace armed with all (or nearly all) the skills needed to succeed in your chosen field, work for a few years, (perhaps even moving up the “ladder of success” in the process), only to discover you really can’t stand what it is you do.  It just doesn’t make any sense, really.

But if you were to examine all the reasons you supposedly hate your job, you’re bound to come to the conclusion you don’t really hate your work.  You love the work; you love doing what you do, you just hate all the “other stuff”.  Boring meetings.  Unrealistic schedules.  Micro-managers, Superfluous paperwork.  In short, what you hate is all the crap you have to wade through just to do the work.  It’s enough to make you throw up your hands and run screaming (as soon as possible after quitting time) to the nearest bar in a vain attempt to slough off the despair that’s gripped you.  So you sit there, in the cool semi-darkness, sipping your second (or third?) beer, vodka/tonic, martini, or what-have-you, thinking about how much you hate your job and how you would love to extricate yourself from the soul-crushing prison it has become.  You know, quit the “9-to-5” job and start a “consulting” business, or maybe try “freelancing”.  Those are enticing ideas, sitting in a bar, but in the “cold light of day”, they’re very scary and potentially very, very expensive.

There are alternatives, and they don’t involve taking any undue risks, like the ones associated with changing employers or freelancing, etc.  The alternatives are called “Hobbies“.  Wait a minute.  Don’t start laughing just yet.  Think about it.  Hobbies require little, or no, upfront investment.  Likewise, there is no risk involved (unless, and until, you decide to take them).  Hobbies allow you to explore other employment opportunities (almost as if they were designed that way) without sacrificing any financial security you’ve accrued  through gainful employment.  Hobbies also have the added benefit of being a proven stress reducer.  Let’s face it, by the time you get home (be it a mortgage-laden house or an overpriced apartment), you’re so stressed out, so emotionally and physically drained, you have no desire to do much of anything but “veg out” in front of the TV or mindlessly surf the ‘Net, then drag yourself to bed, sleep (fitfully) for a few all-too-brief hours, only to wake up and repeat the entire process.  Not so with hobbies.  They have the benefit of being relaxing and invigorating.  There are some hobbies that promote a Zen-like atmosphere most conducive to meditation which, in turn, allows access to that under-nourished creative sense we all possess and which your job has nearly starved out of existence.  Even people who pursue hobbies closely associated with their workaday life experience renewed interest and creative focus in what they’re  doing.

Best of all, there’s no “mickey mouse” nonsense involved in a hobby.  No meetings.  No superfluous paperwork.  No nitpicking micro-manager staring over your shoulder.  There’s just you and the work.  And you can make it as difficult or as easy as you like.  You can even make mistakes!  There’s no “dark cloud of failure” hanging over your head.  You can do it over or throw it away,  It’s your choice.  And isn’t that what it’s all about, really?

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