It’s funny how, for me, I let the environment in which I work control the way I think and feel whilst at work and whilst away from it. I recently went on an overseas holiday with my family, we had a fantastic time eating, swimming, shopping and even managed a bit of surfing. This holiday may have been more significant to my wife and I as it was perhaps the last family holiday we would have all together, we were trying to replicate earlier when the kids were a lot younger and a family holiday was really a ‘family’ holiday. Things went well, we all shared some memorable experiences however, the surf was not we were expecting and our oldest was somewhat disconnected from the family via an electronic communication device. Alas, I comforted my wife by saying such a thing is inevitable as our children get older and change occurs, taking us both away from the familiar family closeness that one experiences when children are younger, C’est la vie.
I share this story in an effort to explore the struggle we all experience in change or indeed when there is a lack of change. My wife’s and I experiences with our children growing is indeed inevitable, its happening right before our eyes. Although we may sometimes struggle with it and reflect on our shared memories of the children, we have this internal acceptance of their growing into young adults, not to mention the fact we both are growing into our middle ages! The point I’m reiterating is that change is constant and unavoidable. In fact there are times when we strive for change and others it is inevitable, we are all part of the ever changing universe and change we must.
For me, on return from our family holiday my internal talk was centred around moving forward when I returned to work, moving forward with a positive energy, to be grateful for the job I had and to leave beyond the negativity my job has brought me in the past. Every day for a week I would say to myself “no more looking back, its time to look forward, no more looking back, be grateful for what you have, no more looking back its time to excel at my work”.
Guess what, after all this positive talking, attempted change in attitude and gratitude for the job I have, by day two I was not far from becoming depressed and smothered by the monotony of the job I have been doing for many years. In this case I was attempted to change, to change my experience of being at work however, it failed, it failed like the multitude of times I’ve tried in the past.
The result was the same as it ever was, Id go into a moderate depression, begin to tell myself how hopeless I am, how I would never be able find another job, I was old (at 46) and was doomed to work in this job I hated for the rest of my natural life! This went on for a week, it affected my daily interactions with my family, I became grumpy, grew silent and missed a lot of my children at being with them during this time.
Now I would love to tel you that I tossed in that job and found the dream job or alternatively that I put my head down and earned a new promotion and everything at work became super! However neither are the case, I’m still struggling with the day to day grid, I’m still looking for other opportunities and still thinking about ways in which I can train in another profession to bring about the change I desire. What I have done however, is talk to a learned friend about my struggles and the support he offered me was enough to pull myself out of the depression and get back on the horse again. He also gave me some food for thought so I can work on making the changes I desire.
Become the witness
The witness place inside oneself is simple awareness, the part of you that is aware of everything — just noticing, watching, not judging, just being present, being here now. (Ram Dass, September 2013).
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. (Dali Lama).