My new job is a big challenge, and I think I've posted about that. It was a good increase in salary and I'm coming to realize it pays as well as it does because it's hard work. It is no fantasy job. I get into work with a list of things to do that I've put together at the end of the prior day. Then I start on that list and all sorts of other events take place and I have to address a ton more things. By 10AM I am overwhelmed. Then I just start a list going and dive into whatever I can. Sometimes I prioritize, other times I look at something small that isn't as important but just do it so I can get it done. By the end of the day, I manage to get 95% of what I was supposed to do done, in spite of it being stuff I wasn't even aware of before I got to work. Sometimes I think my motto should be "Plug and Chug," just take in the work, plug away at it and chug on to something else. This goes on for five days straight, then it's the weekend and I've got two days to sleep in. Yeah!
The work I do is project related (I'm a project manager right now). I don't manage people in a supervisory role, but I do manage processes and see that work gets done. My PM colleagues are all ages, gender and have a variety of personalities. No two of us are the same. We all have a lot of work to do, and we all get it done. My company is expanding so I can guess our ranks will just continue to grow.
There is a point to this post, and that is that I'm constantly amazed at how much of a disconnect there is between how the average working man or woman is portrayed in media and in politics. I'm not here to take sides with regard to the current election cycle either. Just to say that I don't see a lot of attention paid to people who work hard, get paid adequately, do a good job and use their brains. The sad truth is no one wants to make a movie, TV show, or write a book about how most people live because it's not very exciting. I can't imagine a musical crescendo would have started this morning when I had a call with a account exec turning a project over to me admitting the business partner I was going to work with touches something and turns it to crap. There could have been some snappy music when I informed a fellow PM who worked with her that it was my turn. Maybe my life needs a laugh or sound track, I don't know. But it's work and it's what we get paid to do. If nothing else, the assignment will qualify as interesting.
The thing is, I have a good job, it compensates well, I have a nice little life and we don't suffer any real hardships. In fact, we are doing better than we ever have before. Each year our life improves. It is continually getting better and it's because we work hard and live realistically. We will be able to retire in seven years and probably not have to adjust our reasonable standard of living at all.
I worry that too many people buy into hype or have a fantasy of how easy work should be, that we all deserve to live like Kardashians or Real Housewives. It is possible to work hard, afford to live within your means, and not feel like you are a drudge (ok, some days I fill like a drudge -- but an educated/capable drudge). I think we live in a great country and times are good. If I thought otherwise, then my job would mean less to me. But I see having a lot of work to do the symbol of a good economy. The difficulty/challenge factor means I'm not under-employed. The fact that my business sector is a success and is growing signifies that I'm not living in a time of decline. The job I left sucked, and I was not scared to look for something else -- and now that company has a hiring freeze. I have the satisfaction of knowing I will be missed and my role can't be filled any time soon. The chance I took paid off. Things get better if you're always on the look out for opportunity and know how to work for it.
In other words, I'm trying to set my mind set to being happy and refusing to be held captive to a fantasy. I don't know how others feel in this day and age, but my goal is to feel satisfied to be where I am and not waste time imagining anything ideal. Reality is just fine for me!