Monday, November 30, 2009

Work and Despair

Wretched Songbird and Uisdean Ruadh! This is all their fault!

In a burst of epiphany last night at 10 PM, I think I figured out why we're here in New Home, why we picked up and moved halfway across the country - or at least one of the many reasons we did so.

It all started with Songbird on Thursday night. "I'm worried" she told me. "You're sad. I can see it in your writing. You're cyclical too. Maybe the big "D" word - depressed."

Depressed? Me? Other than the fact that The Ravishing Mrs. TB would confirm that in a heartbeat, and (apparently) I meet most of the criteria for a melancholic major depressive event (8 of the 9 items), I had no idea what she was talking about.

Depressed about what, I wondered.

Enter Uisdean Ruadh last night.

"I think I'm depressed" I said.

"Really? Odd, I hadn't noticed" he replied. "Give me some of the signs."

I went through the list. "You know" he said, "You've had most of those since I first met you 28 years ago."

"Your point?"

"You've had this problem for a long time. Trying to live the dreams of others, coast on the enthusiasm of others. Of all the things you've tried, there's one - your harp playing - that has always impressed me the most."

"My harp?"

"Yes, because it was the one thing that you did for yourself. No-one else was doing it and you decided to join in. You just picked it up and went with it yourself."

Silence from my end. "You know I don't really care for my career field."

"I've known that since you started in it " was the semi-smug reply.

"Kind of unfortunate, it being a recession/depression and all to figure this out."

"Yes, but tell me: how is your family life? How are you?"

"Not good. Not good at all."

"Then it's not really worth it, is it?

Compounding this sense of a fork in the road was a book that I picked up yesterday called "How to Find the Work You Love by Laurence G. Boldt. Yes, I know I always go bonkers over new books, but it came at the right time for me. Essentially, the book posits the truth that we will never be truly happy until we find the work that reflects who we are - quoting Aristotle, "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation."

A few so far:

"Spending most of your life doing something you don't enjoy or believe in to buy a little freedom on the weekends seems a terrible bargain indeed."

"The individual who continues in work that he hates, is bored with, or is merely indifferent to, or who resigns himself to being treated like a cog in a machine loses self-respect. His self-confidence evaporates. He beings to feel bitter and resentful or beaten and depressed."

"We are not here to be someone else or just to be with someone else. We're here to be ourselves, to make our unique contributions to the world".

Yes, I know that this is not the end all/be all to my problems - but is it conceivable that, failing to get my attention any other method, God decided to uproot everything to make me focus?


  1. OK, so you acknowledge the wake-up call BUT you have done this before and yet there has not been any change. What are you going to do this time that will be different? A career counselor? Perhaps a therapist? (No shame to go to an expert for advice). You told me a long time ago that you did not like working in this industry but you don't have any clear idea of what else you could do besides this career field. Maybe it's time for a different approach.

  2. I can ask about a career counselor locally, although I actually went to one some years ago and it did not really turn into anything - in fact, I have done that twice in the last 10 years (the other time being when I applied for the pastorage). Oddly enough, I know what my interests are - teaching, writing, music, history, theology, agriculture. The question is, how do I mesh these into a career?


Your comment will be posted after review. If you could take the time to be kind and not practice profanity, it would be appreciated. Thanks for posting!