I’ve been mulling over writing this blog post for awhile, and then my coworker Steve read my mind and wrote a similar post:
(Read it. He’s awesome.)
Spending the majority of the first 20 years of our lives in school conditions us to accept that lifestyle and schedule for the rest of our lives. But it just never sat well with me, and become a big source of resentment in my life.
But finally I have a job that I love — but my life isn’t my job. My job fits into my life, when and where I want it to.
That means I don’t have an alarm clock. I don’t have a commute. I don’t have a dress code.
I don’t have to pack a lunch. I don’t have to ask permission for time off. In fact, I don’t even have a supervisor.
I work at least 40 hours a week, but it doesn’t feel like it. I work when I want. I work where I want. I am in charge, with no restrictions to damper my enthusiasm, or my productivity.
Lately I’ve had 4 working places in our house. Only one of them is a traditional desk. Another is a chair and collapsable tv tray table in front of the basement wood stove. I also work from our arm chair in the living room, sometimes even with the tv on. Other times I work on our couch, while Jeff is watching something on TV I’m not into (like football).
Sometimes I work with loud music, other times in complete silence.
I can work in sweatpants. I can work with messy hair. Heck, I can even work without a bra.
I can also go to town, and work from a restaurant, or the library, or sometimes even from the front seat of my car. Or, if I’m feeling scatter brained, or have something else I’d rather do, I can just not work. Weekdays lose their meaning, as I can work (or not) on any day I choose. I don’t dread Mondays. I don’t count down the hours or minutes until my next coffee break. And I don’t know how many weeks it is until the next statutory holiday.
I’m never lonely at work. All my coworkers are right along with me, from their own nook of the world, and our text conversations continue 24/7, as coworkers log in and out around the world. We joke, we laugh, and we also help and encourage. What we don’t do is complain or whine. There never seems to be any reason to darken the day of our coworkers. There are no “black clouds”.
It isn’t just that I’m lucky. I wanted this, and I made it happen. It took me a long time, and a lot of miserable jobs, to realize no one was going to come and save me. I had to go get what I wanted. And it seems I’ve found a growing group of people who sought out the same freedoms.
It is neat to look back now and see all the dots connect, to see how all my past jobs and experiences have lead to this job, and my current role. I’m now specializing in enforcing the rules for the users of WordPress.com, handling legal requests, and evaluating trademark and copyright infringement complaints. So many of my past experiences enrich my job every day, from the skills I picked up sifting through public company filings each quarter for reporting on ForestTalk, to handling all the scary legal letters and threats I received during years of working online, to the 15 years I’ve spent affiliate marketing. All my experiences have enriched my decision making skills, and allow me to see through the threats when bullies try to silence people or take away their hard work.
I love my job. If you can’t say the same, do something about it. Life is too short to be miserable at work.