The way we live

Almost half your life is spent at work, which makes it central to your experience of joy. But if your days are anything like mine, most of your work might feel more like a burden you can’t wait to get out from under each day or a distraction from all the things that really matter. For me, those things that really matter are good food and family, the tomatoes in my garden, walking through the woods, or sitting somewhere next to water.

But our lives don’t ever compartmentalize. At least, if I do segment out the parts, they don’t ever seem to stay separate. Whatever I’m worried about at work seeps into my dreams and shapes my social interactions. Sometimes I’m so stressed I can’t bear to be around people. Sometimes I’m so stressed that I just need to be around people.

It’s a paradox.

The thing is that your well-being depends on you having a source of income. But what if that job were also a place you could find joy, experience happiness, benefit the earth, and be surrounded by supportive community?

If only :)

I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m reminded that the job I want isn’t necessarily someplace other than where I already am. After all, the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is greener where you water it.

So I’m trying to water the grass while I’m at work. Several times this morning, I stopped what I was doing and paid attention to the tension. I took deep breaths, turned away from my computer for a moment, and thought about the email I’d been writing (whether there might be some way for me to offer comfort to the human being on the other end of my message).

Also, I’m trying to learn how to find joy at work. Is this something you’re working on too? I’d love to hear what you’ve tried.