Sunday, June 5, 2011

I am more than the sum of my parts—and I’ll keep saying it until I believe it


It’s difficult when you’re itching to get something off your chest, but you know you can’t.  I’m not talking about family matters, or something juicy confided to you by a friend who’s sworn you to secrecy, I’m referring to workplace drama.  But in a time when people are losing their jobs because of an off-color joke emailed to the wrong person, or grumbling about things a little too loudly on social sites like Facebook, I certainly don’t want to write anything here that will cost me my job in the process.

All I can say for now is that things have been less than merry in my little corner of the office these last few weeks; whether it’s the assortment of fact & fiction about big changes on the horizon, or the recent realization that a certain person of importance isn’t impressed with me as I thought they should be, my professional life lately hasn’t been as rosy as I led myself to believe.

So after a couple weeks of worry and frustration, I’ve come to a couple conclusions:  nothing’s going to be changing anytime soon (I mean that in both a good and bad way) and I’ve been focusing too much energy on that one part of my life, and not enough anywhere else.  All work and no play has made me a pretty dull boy. 

Awhile back, I remember reading how most men tie their personal identities to their jobs, much more than women seem to.  Why is that?  One psychologist theorizes it’s because  men have the ‘provider gene’ hard-coded into them (even if most women today are out there ‘providing’ right alongside us).  All I know is, I’ve been relying on my job to define who I am for the last 20 years.  I’m sure that even Picasso considered himself more than an artist…is any of this making sense?   I’m just saying that for too long now I’ve only seen myself in one light—that long fluorescent one hanging above my desk.   For as long as I can remember, my evenings and weekends have been nothing but intermissions until I can get back on the job.  (In fact, the last time I took off more than 2-3 consecutive days was in 2003, but I had to break a leg to do it!)  I often tell my sister that if it wasn’t for the office, I’d have no social life.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my job—and I’m thankful I have enough wits about me to get paid to flex my brain, but I need to start giving more priority to things besides my paycheck.

So I guess you could say I’m having a midlife crisis of sorts, but when you don’t have things like kids, a spouse, a church or even a sports team to invest that extra part of your life in… what do I really want to do besides read books and watch movies?  Oprah just aired her final show and there’s only so much history on the History Channel, y’know!   

I keep telling myself that I’m going to do all sorts of fun & different things after I retire at an early age (well, that’s the plan) but who am I kidding?  What’s going to be so different then compared to now?   I just need to come up with some ideas.   Or buy a bigger tv.

Well, I know this was a pretty lousy blog, and I apologize for that; I just wanted to share what’s been going on in my head recently.  (I tell myself that maybe there’s someone out there than can relate.)  I’ll write more again very soon, I actually have a couple things in the works.  (I’m about to dive into vegan cooking, and who doesn’t want to read about that--right?)   But for now, I’m done.  


  1. Doug, you definitely need to have something outside of work that makes you happy. Maybe it means making some new friends that are not connected to work. Maybe it means volunteering somewhere. Maybe it means investing time in something like writing or something. The key is finding an outlet that gives you a release. Then you can flip the script and think of work as that thing you do inbetween the other stuff that you love.

  2. Thanks very much for your input Martin (and I couldn't agree more with everything you said); I just need to "get out there" and start looking. I appreciate you taking the time to read this & respond, you're a good guy :)

  3. Doug, I think about stuff like this all the time. It is part of the reason I left my full time job. It was a great job and my dad always said "Find a job and stick with it" but after seven years of two hour traffic, late hours, a whole lot of stress and having to miss numerous activities for Tyler, I made the decision to actually get a life.

    I have taken some time off to enjoy Ty's baseball season and I am trying to figure out my next move. School? Becoming that Doula that I have always dreamed about? Writing more (which has always been my outlet) or just chillaxin (as Ty would call it) with the two most important people in my life? I don't know that answer yet but I feel your blog more than you realize.

    Thank you for sharing what is going on in your world. I hope that you find whatever it is that you are looking for...

  4. Becca, as always--thank you for your kind words here, they mean a lot, especially coming from a friend who can relate. I know it can be difficult, deciding on a course of action, but I'm glad you have choices. Keep me posted.


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