I keep coming back to one thought lately. I’m damned lucky. For whatever complaining I might do, and often get caught up in negative thoughts (and then get hyper-focused on the stupidest little things that go wrong), I am lucky.
- I have people in my life who genuinely care for me. Not just family. Not just friends. No, I have family, friends, co-workers, and customers who have shown and continue to show true love and care. The kind of people who will ask “How are you doing?” and expect an honest answer (time and circumstances permitting, of course). Each day this week I’ve had a different customer has asked how I’m really doing. Some I’ve known for several years, even before I took this job. Some I’ve gotten to know fairly well just because one of us has taken the chance and opened up that door. Anyway, how many people have that? Tack on people who are genuinely concerned about my mental health struggles as well.
- I have a job that I really enjoy. Yes, in winter it can be pretty gruelling. It’s not always easy battling the elements, my depression/anxiety, and still slap on a happy face for the customers. But this week has been good. The warm weather helps, but I just keep thinking about how much I really do love what I do. I love the positive work environment. I love the unique vibe we have at the store (mashup of “five and dime”/convenience store/gas station/carwash/deli all wrapped up in a friendly “small town” atmosphere. I love our customers, especially if I can encourage someone, or help them, or make someone laugh. I’m quite happy to go home at the end of the day — sometimes because I’ve had my limit and need to just refocus myself and “introvert” for a while. Days like today I had a blast pretty much from start to finish. I chatted with a few staff members and was happy to be headed home. Not to get away from work itself, but to get rested up for tomorrow so I can rock and roll again. Fridays get busy and crazy and sometimes a little stressful, but usually its mostly fun busy/crazy. Especially with our BBQ Fridays. An extra element of business and co-ordination, yet at the same time it adds an extra element of fun, and it’s a great way to kick off the weekend for customers. Yep I’m usually pretty beat by the end of a Friday shift in summer, but chances are I’ve got a smile on my face.
How many people just chase the dollar? How many people just get eaten up by their career, working endless hours, working even when they’re not at work…. losing friends and relationships as they go, and just feel trapped because of it? I’m pushing 40. I’m sure I could upgrade my education and move up a bit in the world — but why? Would more income be nice? sure! Who couldn’t use a few more bucks in the bank? But I’d rather be a working poor and love what I do, then be middle class income and be stressed out about mortgage payments, car payments, this, that, and everything else. No thanks — I’m just finally shedding a bunch of stress and working on getting me back together. I’d rather live simple and love what I do, then have stuff that I need to work crazy hours just to afford the payments on it.