It’s been a limp to the finish line this year and I hope you may be feeling less weary than me. I have had a very productive year but also feel that all I’ve done is work, and there is more to life than work! I’m lucky enough to enjoy what I do in the main and to be able to make a living from it, which is more than I can say for some people. There are a large number of younger people with university degrees, often way more qualified than me, who find it incredibly hard to find secure employment and I have people who send me unsolicited CVs on a regular basis looking for a break. If you are an employer, please consider taking on someone inexperienced but with the right attitude, who is prepared to work their way up.
I also think it’s important to feel like you can be yourself in the workplace as much as we all have our professional personas, which is what being ‘authentic’ is all about. I dislike that this word is bandied about as something outside of ourselves when its meaning is the exact opposite! Perhaps people are too afraid of revealing their inner selves sometimes for fear that people may not like them but I often tell my children to just be themselves and as I’ve grown older, I find it refreshing to meet people who have a very natural sense of ease and openness about themselves, rather than holding up any fronts.
I’ve also become far less concerned about what other people think about me (particularly those who don’t really know me) and more concerned about what I think of myself, the things I enjoy doing, the people I like to spend my time with and what gives me a sense of peace and belonging. I think beyond having good health, a sense of meaning in life comes from social contact, friendship and connection. Building and maintaining relationships with the people you care about is the most important thing and I’ve said this a number of times on my blog. Work is work, but at the end of the day, it’s the people we come back to at home and in our social life and community, that make it all worthwhile and with whom we should share the best part of ourselves.
It’s been interesting for me too, to explore what younger people are concerned about; mental illness, gender & sexuality, male privilege, climate change and sustainability, refugees and Indigenous rights, generational differences in terms of jobs, housing and the whole gamut of related issues (don’t bring up smashed avocado with Millennials) – they are a thoughtful bunch and some of these things will be covered in my Bold Thinking Series lectures next year, as well as more right-wing topics.
I have actually started exhaling and thinking about other things besides work (!) and I hope you have too. I am extremely grateful to many people out there including my sponsors, Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Macleod as well as Dani and Dennis Ahimastos from Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna – please support local businesses if you can over the summer break. For anyone who has helped me personally or professionally this year – thank you too – it has meant a lot to me and you know who you are. I’ll be taking a break over the next couple of weeks but wanted to wish you a safe and happy festive season – take care, enjoy the food and remember to have some fun with those you love. All work and no play…well you know what they say!