The gift of ‘work’
I think I was born loving ‘work’. I know that sounds like an odd thing to say but I really think my DNA has been infused with a predisposition toward work. I even recall one of my favourite games as child was playing with a post office set! That’s not to say there aren’t days when the idea of work feels somewhat draining or unappealing – that happens for sure but thankfully not very often. When I consider my career as a working person (which started when I was 13 in the official sense of the word work) I know that I have been particularly blessed to be involved in work I enjoy.
This has me wondering whether that’s just luck or whether something else is at play especially as I wouldn’t describe myself as a person with a specific career plan that I was following or a vocation that demanded to be fulfilled. Also I believe that largely you make your own luck, so for me it feels like it’s more than just ‘happenstance’ that is responsible for over 40 years of enjoyment of work.
What I realise is that my relationship with work is one of identity. Not just in the obvious ‘image’ sense, although at some part of my working life I would say that certainly played a part. As a ‘three’ on the Enneagram, work is most definitely part of my identity. However, I feel it’s a deeper relationship of identity – one that has to do with, for me, a much more spiritual expression of the idea of work. Work as an expression of being human, being a soul and being part of a global family where having everyone contributing is part of what makes us strong and healthy.
Work as an expression of our talents (of whatever nature or ‘level’) feels to me like a gift; a chance to express parts of myself that don’t get the opportunity to be expressed in other contexts; a chance to hopefully add some value (and feel valued) through the use of those talents; and of course the opportunity to earn some money which, apart from dealing with the essentials, also affords me the opportunity to continue my own learning and exploration whether that’s by indulging my love of travel or by taking part in more traditional development opportunities.
What I notice as I allow myself the opportunity to consider my relationship with work is that it doesn’t have the often ascribed ‘negative’ connotations of something to be endured so that the other parts of my life can be enjoyed. For me it’s a privilege, a gift and a core part of my life. Does that make me odd?