Why do we work? Well, if we think about this question carefully and answer truthfully, most of us will answer that we work to earn a living in order to pay for things like a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, and food to eat. But how many of us really, I mean really enjoy our work enough that we would do it even if we weren’t paid for it? Let me tell you a story.
For twenty-five years I worked full-time at a local hospital. I was a registered nurse, working in a busy operating room where we performed many different surgeries – from tonsillectomies to brain surgery. There were many emergency surgeries and I could not even tell you the number of times when I was part of a surgical team that saved a patient’s life. My work could be very awesome and rewarding; it could also be very stressful.
I led a very busy life. Every day, after working an eight-hour shift at the hospital, I would rush home to my “other” job as wife and mother. Our three children kept my husband and me very busy. We had to chauffeur them to all their activities, wherever they may be. Our children were involved in many activities from sports to dancing and music lessons. We spent hours upon hours in hockey arenas, on baseball and football fields, in dance and karate studios and in gymnasiums for gymnastic classes. I cannot even count the number of times we attended boy scout and girl scout meetings, school plays, orchestra concerts, and cello recitals. Our children loved these extracurricular activities and we felt they helped to make our children well-rounded. In addition, my husband and I were active members in our church, and we volunteered for many ministries. We were so busy; and now, many years later, it is all just a blur to me.
It was during this time, while our children were growing up, when I fervently wished I did not have to work. I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom instead. I told my husband of my feelings, and so we sat down and took stock of our financial situation. After much juggling here and there, we still could not find a way to make this a reality. Our finances just could not support my wish of being a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t even cut back to part-time! So I accepted this fact and begrudgingly went about the business of being a full-time working wife and mother.
Then a few years later, when our youngest was in high school, our world came crashing down. I was diagnosed with a serious illness which soon took its toll. After several attempts of working even though I was ill, I just could not do it anymore. It was simply too painful to continue working. I became medically disabled. My wish had finally come true – I could not work any more, not even part-time.
It was not long before I discovered that staying home from work was not all it was cracked up to be; especially if you were sick and in bed most of the time like I was. Truth be told – I missed my work; I missed my friends; I missed the busy schedule; and my husband and I really missed the salary I had been making.
And now, instead of waking up every morning, jumping out of bed, and getting ready for work, here I am – sick at home with the days stretching out before me with really nothing to do. I am so lonely sometimes I go into an internet chat room just to have someone to talk to. And talk about being bored to tears! I have cried so many times and have often wondered why I have been given this lot in life. Now I know it is just part of our heavenly Father’s plan, but sometimes this fact is not so consoling.
With all this time on my hands, I do a lot of thinking. I think about those busy days when the kids were growing up. I think about the nursing job I had and all the worthwhile work I was doing, like saving people’s lives or making people’s lives better with the surgeries that we performed. I think about the conversations I had with my friends at work during coffee breaks or lunch. I think about the days when I could buy something new and not have to worry about the expense.
Thinking over the past twenty-five years or so, I realized something. I realized that all I had done was wish my life away – instead of appreciating the life I was living at the time.
So my advice to you is this: Enjoy your life. Live in the moment. Learn how to take the bad with the good. And make wonderful memories. What they say is true: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone!”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.” ~ Benjamin Franklin