Daughter of mine, what a conversation. Isn’t it so strange that we can let our communications become tempered and modified by not wanting to offend another person or not wanting to upset? How easily we dilute our honesty because we fear that should another consume it undiluted it will be bitter and unpalatable.
But now we have served it neat and, I hope you agree, we are better for it. We understand each other. We do understand each other?
I have decided to write this letter because I want to say again, I would never want you to be in a job that you’re really unhappy about. I say “really” because there are those who are work shy, who are just plain unhappy about work in whatever form it comes and grow that unhappiness by inappropriate attitudes and behaviours. But those aside, if your job brings you down on a continual basis…yes, time to think of change. I witness so many people who exist rather than live and the main factor in causing this is the nature of their work. I’ve told you before I followed a career that left me more miserable than happy but I got caught by the responsibilities. Now there’s the kicker!
Responsibilities are not a bad thing. They are often the result of meaningful relationships and as such affect others.
But sometimes we let them become our jailers. Think, many enter employment with the expectation of a regular income. Perhaps the first regular income. Money. Sometime spent many times over in our minds before it ever hits the bank. Then, fuelled by advertising, fuelled by peer pressure, fuelled by desires to meet the expectations of others we commit to spend. Responsibilities lurk. We take mortgages. Hugh responsibilities for 25 years or more.
Even bigger, we start families and the responsibilities come no larger. Then the job goes north. It’s no longer good to go to work. But responsibilities drive us forward.
I got caught by my responsibility and a dream I picked up along the way. You know, the one that tells us that if we just get a bigger house, a more prestigious car, eat in the right places then we will be happy. What it doesn’t seem to remember is at what price. As you know I built the dream, drove the dream (I’ll always remember the first time you drove it and mounted the pavement. I think I was very calm and collected?), and some would say, lived the dream. But there came a day when enough was enough. I quit the job, surprising a number, and sold the dream. I have been happy ever since. I get asked if I miss it. In your dreams!
Like you I was working long, long hours. I didn’t have the level of demand you have but I still experienced sleepless nights as the concerns mounted at times. So I get it, I really do.
Right back at the beginning when I encouraged you to stick with your job it was because we all need to give things a fair chance. Like a new shoe (and you know all about shoes) sometimes things are uncomfortable until they are worn in. Even our favourites. And, hey, you’d already committed seven years to the journey. You owed yourself a good shot.
Now you have done that and are in a position to make an informed decision. I honour that. And no, you are not letting me down. I was proud of you when you achieved what you did. I watched you fight your way through. And I’m proud of you now. So, move on. You are gifted in so many ways. Find that thing that makes you smile and gets you out of the house in the morning. But always temper this with the responsibilities you have assumed. I am sure you will, so I am really saying this for anyone else who reads this letter. There is more than enough damage in the world caused by those who don’t. Sometimes it takes courage to shoulder responsibility but I know God honours this.
There, have we set the story straight, enough so you can start to write a new chapter? I pray we have and you are finding the freedom to do so. God bless you in the coming days.
Yours, with a humble heart,