At Work Again

I started a new job yesterday.  I am hesitant to mention it as I have had great difficulty finding my purpose as of late.  I have been lost at sea, if you will.  I have decided that I am too old to not be doing something with a deeper meaning and yet that meaning has been elusive.

I have been unemployed for several weeks now and it has left me feeling all kinds of things. Mostly guilty for not bringing in any money for bills. That is an extremely heavy, self-imposed feeling. A feeling of worthlessness because I haven’t been able to stay at a job. I am always thinking what is wrong with me.

I just want something to do as work that makes things better for people. Being unsure of what that is in actuality makes looking for it difficult. I have found myself trying to find this hidden gem under every stone but keep coming up empty-handed.

I have had jobs I have loved, ones I have hated and the worst of all, ones where I felt indifferent. When you are younger, you do what you have to do. I have always done that with the intent that someday, at an undisclosed time, I would find what feels right.

As you get older, you start to realize that time is not infinite. Although it never is, but youth is unaware for the most part. Aging brings the fact to the foreground.

I no longer want to just show up and get a paycheck. I still like to eat and have a roof over my head but that struggle, for myself at least, of making money has always come up short. When I was a complusive shopper, I could never have made enough money. Money crippled me in so many ways. It held my entire life hostage. I no longer want to live like that.

Luckily, I have had a reversal in that area of my life. Gone are the obsessive days wandering a mall with an intense need to buy something, anything to fill my soul. Working just for money was like being in jail for me. There was no visible way out except to work more, get a second job and so on.

I still have bills but I try to not let them own me. Since I have had that shift in thinking, my thoughts on work have also shifted.

When I started working on the train, I adored the work. I felt a passion about it. I could not get enough of it. Then when I got a little better at it and started making more and more money in tips, my view changed. I could visibly see the difference in the days I went to work for the money and the days I went to work to have fun. The more money I made the less fun I had.

I am not sure if this is a normal experience. I have never followed any particular norm anyway. But this was a truth for me. Any time I focused on making money as my priority, I actually made less and I had no joy.

Here I am at almost 60 years old and no real options for retirement. So working is still what I have to do. But I want it to be purposeful. I think I may have finally found that. In the interview, I never even asked what I would be making, it seemed unimportant. In the interview I was more interested in the work itself and the people I would be working with.

The interview was full of laughter and sharing of views. Our views differed slightly but that was ok. The goal was the same and that, I think, is what was to be the tipping point for me. Being a part of helping the community is what matters most.

Money comes and mostly goes. I could chase money the rest of my life and never find satisfaction. But making a positive change, no matter the size, in the crazy world today seems like the better option. Maybe that time I always looked for is finally here. Maybe my perspective is finally correct. Maybe I can find my joy again in doing something I love.

It’s only been one day. I hate to overflow with optimism but the feeling is good. No pit in my stomach. No tearing of fingernails. I guess I had to do what I had to do before. Maybe I just was not ready for this leap. I hope I am ready now.

Opportunities sometimes just appear. The proverbial door is opened. My track record is splattered with wrong doors and wrong turns. Maybe it is time I finally get it right.

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