When you watch your company plummet to the ground like Fat Man and Little Boy in 1945, it really get’s you thinking… Who am I, and why has my job become… ME? It got me wondering, where exactly did I lose myself and become my paycheck?
Recently my kids have been asking a lot of questions. Probably not any more than they usually had, it’s just that now I’m here to answer all of them. All. Day. Long. Every. Day. Before I got to share my children’s questions with their teachers, friends and cousins. Now, it’s all me. I used to take the “high road” and answer the annoying, never-ending questions with, “because that’s how God made it”, but now I have an even better response that my kids understand… “Because, Coronavirus”. This could never backfire, I thought to myself…
This worked for a solid week before it backfired. My son started walking around the neighborhood with us, stopping at the edge of every friends driveway, calling them until they came out to give them the news… “so, I have coronavirus”, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, “NOOOOO, no he does not, he is just joking!” Eventually I realized that he actually thought he DID have coronavirus. Why do you ask? Because his sister told him he did. FOR WEEKS HE THOUGHT HE HAD CORONAVIRUS, quarantine is fun, but I digress.
I’ve always loved working, being a part of a team, creating excitement, uniting people, and somehow it became a part of my identify, and quickly it took over. Over the last two years I have become short with my family in the mornings, rushing to get to work because optically I “had” to be there by 8am, which is tough when you have two kids to get ready and school does not even start until 8:30. I put meetings above everything. I put earning my keep above all, and the few times I put work second, I was quickly made to feel as though the choice I had made was wrong. How did I get here?
I have taken the last 10 days off of work and focused on my children, and on what I want. It’s funny, because the moment I stepped away is the moment I got clarity (well the kind of clarity that is still pretty fuzzy, but you get the picture). Work does not define me. My title does not define me. My paycheck does not define me. How much time I spend at the office does not define me. So what what does define me? How I live on this earth defines me. How I do my job with pleasure and to the best of my abilities define me. How I treat the ones around me, how I teach my children, how I learn through the ones I respect, and how much joy I get out of the things I do and why… those things define me.
So, before I said it with sarcasm and snark, because that’s what I do, but now I say it with gratitude and sincere excitement for what is next to come for me. Thanks Coronavirus. It’s not easy, and I don’t always like it, but I’m learning and growing from you, and that’s the most valuable gift to be given. So teach me, learn me just don’t fucking kill me and we can kick it.