Working hard

My life continues to revolve around coping with work. It’s going fairly well still. I’m working the full eight hours, and while I do have real low points, I’m managing to surf past them to safer waters of productivity.

The lows are often to do with tedium. I hate boring work, and have a fear of being boxed in by really stupid, low-value tasks. However, into every job some tedium must fall. I had to update an Excell spreadsheet, comparing tasks with complicated numbers with another document, cutting and pasting to make them match. Drudgery that went on for a day and a half. But I coped. Though it was depressing.

I kind of panic in those situations. My family is a high achieving, aspirational-type family, of which I am a black sheep, who is not achieving. In their view, ordinary jobs are pathetic and a total waste of life. So even though I reject that view, it still permeates my being in some way.

My job can be challenging at times. I am trying to figure out complex documents and make them better without being an expert in the content. Plus there are formatting issues and various computer issues that arise. You do need a certain amount of skill and problem solving ability to do it. But in their eyes, it’s just all unutterably boring and not worth doing.

So when the job deteriorates to more menial tasks, I panic. I think they were right, I wasted my time when I was younger, I should have worked harder and become a brain surgeon or rocket scientist.

Well, it’s too late for that now. And I had too much depression and anxiety in school to go further than I did at that time. It really was the best I could do.

So now I am earning a living, and it’s hard, and it’s good enough. Why should I be ashamed of what I do?

But all these issues play out for me every day at work. One day, hopefully, I’ll be over them. Most people have ordinary jobs, as I do, and it should be OK. I think it is OK. I just need to believe it deep down in my bones. Compared to not working, or working part-time as I was, I am doing fantastically well at the moment.

Note: Posts with photos will resume once I am less tired.

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8 comments
  1. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,It does sound like you are starting to get there and tackling each issue as it arises. Seeing these problems for what they are and having a positive response to them is a great thing. You really are doing great.I can relate to tedium at work. I used to have lots of those and the worst thing you can do is put them off. And like you I loved to problem solve. Give me a complex problem and I was in my element. I used to think I knew a lot about Excel but it just keeps getting more and more complicated with every release. It sounds though as if you know what you are doing.All the best and I hope that when you are comfortably into your routine your body will tire less.Nechtan

  2. Em said:

    hi ellenyour doing more than well, your doing really well. i know you families opinions must echo in your head. but what about you, and what you do as a person. i think coming this far with the problems you have is a great achievement for anyone. do what you have to do, its your life.xxx

  3. diver said:

    Hi Ellen. O well, at least with 'contract' work you know it's time-limited. I always found that made the tedium a little more bearable.I totally relate to what you said here – '… My family is a high achieving, aspirational-type family, of which I am a black sheep, who is not achieving. In their view, ordinary jobs are pathetic and a total waste of life.' My own life change from white collar counsellor to arteeste sure won me little praise back home. Still, a black sheep's gotta do what a black sheep's gotta do, right?

  4. Ellen said:

    @Nechtan – Thanks, I think I am doing pretty well considering…Yes, problem solving makes the day pass faster that's for sure – you get all into it. I don't know what I'm doing with Excel at all (including spelling) but in other respects I do. @ Em – Thanks for the feisty opinion Em! @diver – He he, your comment did make me smile. Here's to black sheep everywhere!

  5. Paula said:

    Ellen, you are solution-oriented. That is a lot. I strongly dislike Excel. Have no hang for maths and whilst I had my own business for many years, I insisted to work, improve and maintain those sheets myself till I got the hang of it. No one could understand why I struggled through whilst having a Excel wizard working for me. It was important to me Full Stop. You are solution- oriented and take pride in your job. That is more than many people can say about themselves. Without you the daily running wouldnt be as smooth. By now after long months of struggling with Excel – I became fascinated by it. I found creativity in these darn sheets and I like to match and maintain. However I have other tasks I used to dislike strongly; attending receptions and doing small talk whilst I was so shy and introvert on that stage. However these times are over and I emerged stronger and wiser. Thinking of you. Mill of hugs

  6. Susan said:

    I know how hard it is to quiet those voices from the past so I applaud you for every step you take, every keystroke you type and every accomplishment of every day, Ellen.

  7. Ellen said:

    @Paula – Thanks Paula. Interesting – I think of you as very successful in the working world, so interesting that you too struggled with Excel! Perhaps I too will learn it in the end…@ Susan – Yeah, thanks. Kind of like some of the things you've discussed too on your blog Susan. Old tapes.

  8. Susan said:

    Ellen; you are going through some challenging times it sounds like. thank you for the comment back and I hope you are well. You are so courageous to stand up to those old movies and mark your own path today.

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