Yesterday, we were on our way home from a weekend away, when my sister-in-law remarked ruefully how "Sunday afternoon blues" always seem to set in as the sun goes down.
Although none of us was particularly upset about the prospect of work on Monday, we all related and spent the rest of the trip discussing just how hard it was to return to the office
once the weekend or holiday was over.
This got me thinking about how we ruin perfectly good weekend or holiday time by obsessing over work the next day.
I fully understand if you are in a job which you hate. In an environment where you feel de-valued. Stuck in that 8 – 4.30 mode like a hamster on a wheel. Yeah – I get that. And have been there myself. However, most of us in the car enjoyed many aspects of our jobs so why were we torturing ourselves?
I think it boils down to choice
. In fact I know
it boils down to choice. Are we choosing an attitude of gratitude from which would flow healthy and realistic recognition of positive areas in our jobs? Or, are we cloaking everything in a shade of grey because we’ve been conditioned to dislike work?
For many of us, it’s the latter. We haven’t given conscious thought to the many benefits
derived from gainful employment. Because attitude determines our altitude, because it is the main predictor of our success, it’s something we cover in detail through modules included in a number of our courses.
Every time I train a course which includes this particular module, I’m reminded of just how much our work gives us
For one, it gives us structure – the very thing we rebel against is the one which gives our lives order and purpose. This was brought home to me when my brother-in-law, who lives overseas and has recently retired, told me that he was feeling really down despite living the life most of us aspire to. He and his wife are extremely fit, comfortably off and experienced travellers, so retirement should mean that work would no longer get in the way of indulging in their favourite past times. They’re both busy, active people with loads of diverse interests and I have to admit, I didn’t feel particularly sympathetic! While I made suitably empathetic noises I was wondering how he could honestly be miserable – spoilt brat!!
However, once I had subdued my green-eyed monster and engaged with the conversation, I kinda understood his explanation that, although he had plenty of hobbies and interests, nothing would fall apart
if he chose simply to stay in bed. No one would call him to find out where he was – in short, he was accountable to no one for his time except himself or perhaps his wife. He explained that not having anyone or anything
dependent on his input left life somewhat purposeless. This sounded reasonable. I also understood his need to be needed and realised that life is full of positives and negatives, and it’s only in experiencing both that we learn to recognise and benefit from that which we take for granted. Most often the very jobs about which we constantly whinge!
The least appreciated activity and yet often the place where we grow the most – if we have the right attitude
. Can’t get away from the fact that we often make things difficult for ourselves – we can be our own worst enemies.
So I want to challenge you to sit down, now that the holidays are over, and make a list of exactly what your work gives you, starting with the opportunity to feel needed, wanted and valued.
Please understand - it is a choice. You can choose to acknowledge and enjoy the benefits derived from your job, instead of noting only the parts you dislike, or you can spend every Sunday dreading Monday morning. Not much of a choice really, is it?
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