How many times this week have I heard around the office “did you have a good break?” and every time it was followed by some type of moan about ‘being back at work’…which occasionally was completed with a comment like ‘still, shouldn’t complain.’
I seem to be different to most. I have to be honest and say I have had a brilliant first week back at work. But to be fair, last year, and all the previous years pretty much throughout my entire life, I have been like everyone else. I too used to get a sick, pit-of-my stomach kind of feeling the day before going back to school/uni/work after the summer holiday. I too used to turn up a bit blurry eyed because I had not slept at all well the night before.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my work (admittedly I didn’t always love school so much). I am grateful to have a job that expresses my gifts and gives me real job satisfaction. It wasn’t that I was dreading doing the work… I think it was more that I was dreading the impending onslaught of the term ahead.
Maybe it was a sense of the inevitable exhaustion to come, the never-ending-ness of some terms, the feeling that my life had got put on hold and for the foreseeable future I would now be a slave to my alarm clock, and effectively be a slave to my boss. I didn’t have a job: my job had me.
So what made it different this time? How is it that I slept like a baby right through and got up easily on the first day? How have I had a sense of appreciation to be back again? What happened that I should have quiet bubbles of joy in my stomach instead?
I think it all comes down to dreams. What I have been learning over the last many, many years, is that dreams can come true. But dreams don’t JUST come true. Fairy godmothers don’t appear and sprinkle you with dust and wave a wand and everything is how you want it. Even if you pray…God doesn’t just flip the switch and do it all for us in an instant. Dreams in us are part of us. Dreams are there to be listened to. We are the ones who can choose to ignore them and keep bemoaning our situation or acknowledge them and start to move towards making them happen. Dreams are a journey.
I decided that one of my dreams was to own my own life. To work because I wanted to, not because I had to. To work in schools a few days each week and give all I could to each child and adult I was with, knowing that I had time to re-balance and replenish on the other days. I wanted time when I still had emotional energy to pour into new initiatives and dreams…
I wanted that. I worked out what it would take financially to make it happen. I got creative, I established another income stream… And today, Wednesday, I am home from my first 3-day week as an employee, and I have to tell you, it feels GREAT!!