Being that my birthday is only a few days away and the one-year anniversary of our move to Jakarta is in August I am in a mental and emotional frenzy. My life is usually measured in terms of achievements over different time periods and I am not sure I will like the upcoming results. The weariness appears in my husband’s eyes from time to time when I ask him, “what have we achieved in our relationship this year?” I think he is somewhat tired of having to measure growth in our relationship but given that he is a Monitoring & Evaluation guru I am sure that on an academic level he sees the value in this exercise.
Right now though my focus is not on our relationship but is steadfastly pointed towards my career or lack thereof. My greatest fear in life is death, followed closely by a fear that at 65 years old I will regret not having done more with my life. Unlike so many others I never dreamt of being a wife and mother but instead dreamt of being a kick ass lawyer while representing my constituency in Parliament. There is longing for politics but no regrets that I did not go to law school or that I chose family over an
opportunity to sit in Jamaica’s Parliament. That said however, I am concerned that I do not have a career per se. Being a ‘trailing spouse’ it is hard to have a career but at the same time I feel the need to have a professional identity outside of wife and mother and certainly additional income is never a bad thing. But should I start my own thing or should I head back out there and get into an International agency or a Consulting firm? It is thoughts such as these that have gotten me thinking about types of workers.
Personally I need freedom on the job as I get bored quite easily. I need to be able to leave before 5pm (flexibility ro work from home is key to my happiness) and to be able to come up with new ideas and initiatives every few weeks. Paper bores me, routine drives me bonkers. While I need to leave before 5 pm note that my work output is always seriously high because while I am working I am completely focused and my brain works at mass speeds. Without tooting my own horn too loudly I can get things done and done well but I dislike sameness, endless meetings and too much structure. So I guess I have just limited my own options and really need to build my own
There are other people who seem to fit well into the mold of work even if they hate working. My husband, for example, is a model employee. On the surface he may be described as a workaholic but I know deep down he doesn’t like the concept of going to work. His story is that his work ethics are unbelievably high – they are at a height I never knew possible. This sense of ethics manifests itself in a way that overrides everything else given that it is underpinned by a colossal amount of professionalism. I am always amazed by his ability to put aside everything and get the job done while motivating and demanding high standards from those he leads without driving himself and them crazy. As I told a friend recently when she asked how he liked his job in
Jakarta, “he has never met work that doesn’t thrill him”. After I wrote it I
reflected and realized that it’s not true. He has met work that attempted to steal his
soul but he stood like a force of nature and worked at it as though his life
and last mango depended on it (those who know him, know his love for mango).
Every task and person is treated with equal importance and sensibility in his
world while in mine I become impatient and bored and feel the need to move
along or to challenge the system in very extroverted ways because of my belief effectiveness and sameness are not synonymous.
All in all we get the job done at a high standard but in different ways and with different mind sets. I am a whirlwind while he is a calm lake running through the beautiful hills while the tribal people are at war with nature and themselves.
Who are you and what defines your way of getting the job done? Do you enjoy going to work? Would you miss it if you stopped? Am I crazy for wanting to give up my current lifestyle as a stay-at-home expat wife?
Until next time……One Love!!!!!