Pitfalls of Loving Your Job

I love my job. I don’t mean my “writing” job that I do at home after my day job. I mean I love my plain, old work-a-day job. And I’m coming to discover that’s a problem. I know, right? Aren’t we supposed to do what we love? None of the meme-ified Hallmark sentiments hint at a downside, but they sure are there. I wasn’t prepared for what having an actual, full-on  career would do to me.

I find myself tempted to define myself by my job. I love it, I work hard at it, and I spend at least 40 hours a week doing it. My work successes are personal successes. But my work failures (or even mild setbacks) are also personal. It’s hard to roll with the punches when I feel them like a physical pain in my gut. Things won’t always go right and I feel those downturns reflect on me as a person – there’s no such thing as “it’s just business” for me.

Sometimes it’s hard to roll with the pats on the back, too. Since I love my job, I want to share it with everybody.  Yet everybody hears me crowing about things that sound suspiciously like work. Dull, boring work. And for those who aren’t my co-workers, I’m pretty sure it comes out sounding like “blah, blah, blah, tech stuff I heard mentioned on the news once, blah, blah, blah.” I’m that guy talking about TPS report at a party. Not that I get invited to parties after I trot out the exciting TPS report discussion.

And since I don’t get invited to parties, I have time on my hands. What do I want to do with that time? Work. I want to develop new ADA compliant interactive e-learning methods. I want to update the registration log for more accurate class attendance reporting. I google javascript for fun. Even my hobbies resemble work. Think writing is fun? Sure is. But it’s also work. Time consuming, meticulous, detailed work.

Come to think of it, no one likes it when I talk about writing at a party, either.

So I don’t need to get a life. Apparently, I have one. What I need is to step away from the keyboard and stop having such a good life for a few hours. Maybe watch some TV, or go see a movie. OK, go see a movie that isn’t part of the franchise that defined my childhood. Or I could go see the new Star Wars movie again. Yes – I should go see Rogue One again! If I promise to talk about Rogue One, then can I be invited to a party?

Nope. Spoilers.

I guess it’s back to work.

 

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