Love what you do

I had the most wonderful privilege of going on a supremely relaxing holiday with my Mum and daughter. There was glorious food, incredible surroundings and impeccable service. But this is not my focus, it was the contrast of coming home and visiting the supermarket that struck a chord.

I had completed my post holiday essentials shop in my local supermarket, cereal, milk, chocolate spread and some apples (these are key items in my existence) and went to the self-scan machine. I always inwardly berate myself whenever I use these machines, as more often than not there is a problem. My items don’t scan, discounts don’t come off, the weight of the items is deeply problematic, and sweet Moses you need to get your produce into the bag fast before the machine questions your commitment to bagging said item. However today I had a new problem, I had remembered to bring my reusable shopping bags and they were too heavy. The machine advised that my heavy bags necessitated the assistance of a member of staff. I called over said man of green, to which he barked at me that I could ‘Just click the ‘add bag’ button’ before he stalked off to contend with a product weight issue (I assume, based on the most likely contender). My lasting feelings about this encounter was this man really did not like his job.

Having just experienced the glorious highs epic customer service compared to this equally epic low several thoughts occurred to me.

  1. If you don’t enjoy something, find something else.
  2. The people in my local farm shop are always chirpy.
  3. The self-scanning machines are taking jobs. And customer sanity.
  4. Maybe supermarkets breed unhappy people.
  5. Maintaining happiness and motivation must be really hard for big organisations.
  6. People who represent a company are in the precarious position of being human.
  7. If people’s only motivation to work is money, can that ever be enough?

When I have been in jobs that I haven’t enjoyed, I have rarely stayed long. A job that doesn’t sustain you in some way is not something that should be a long term commitment. My most favourite jobs (other than what I do now) were highly physical jobs. They came with the perk of diabolical pay, but I came home covered in mud and physically tired and that felt good. And working in an office, looking after a filing system. This was good money for a job where my primary focus was to track down missing files. I have never particularly linked how much I am paid for a job to my happiness. If I enjoy something, then to a large degree, the money feels immaterial. This is likely because for a long time I wasn’t happy, so if something provides happy, it is precisely where I want to be!

And then there’s the subject of worth. Maybe my lack of connection to finances is down to ascribing a monetary value to my time, to me. It feels uncomfortable at some level having to decide my worth. That I have worth. But it is curiously empowering when I do. Recently for a job that I have been doing for around three years, the company suddenly decided that they only wanted to pay half of what I had been charging. I said no. I didn’t get excited or cry (shock or anger generally provokes tears.. then people think I am sad, and feel sorry for me. I am not sad, I am a ball of magmas rage, in liquid format!), I simply explained my worth. If someone wants my time, wants the skills and experience that I have, then that comes at a price. Knowing what I will and won’t accept in employment feels like a huge thing for my self-esteem. I have inherent worth and getting paid well to do something I love is a muchly beautiful thing.

Map Point. What is my inherent worth?

 

Hongry

My daughter makes me things and this has a massive sentimentality. This means I now have scrapbooks of pictures that she has drawn for me. I think the current total is four. They are A3. Possibly my favourite was a note she left for me after she had a minor strop ‘To Mum, I am sorry, I am hungry.xx’

‘I am hungry’, ‘hangry’ (angry and hungry) and ‘hongry’ (angry, hungry and too hot) are all definite variables that exist in my house. I am also a redhead, thus burn easily. But feeling hungry I think for me trumps feeling hot. If I feel at a body temperature of reasonableness then life is good, but if I have a full belly of food, I feel awesome. And this is important.

Food is incredible. It is too easy to get into a rut, but since I last had a moment of rut, a friend lent me a simple cookery book and have now upped my salad offerings from good to mighty! I am also attempting to eat down all the existing food in the house in new and exciting variables (tonight whilst cooking pasta, I felt a little reckless so through in a hand of frozen sweetcorn, go me!).

I find shopping for food either completely dull (having a list can be particularly arduous) or amazing. It is mostly amazing if I go shopping slightly hungry because I arrive home with a much better selection of food. These food types may not necessarily go together, but I can then be somewhat more adventurous with my cooking. And there is generally at least one thing that I will buy and then look at in the cupboard for several months before it goes out of date. Some of my food selections have been somewhat unpredictable. Shopping whilst hungry and tired is not a good combination. I know where my limits are!

Map Point. How can I start to look differently at the more challenging things?