Valuing your Self Worth.

I could see she was trying to help, “value your self worth” she said.
I didn’t take much notice of the phrase when she said it and it’s certainly something many people have said to me before, but this time seemed to hit home. I’m just not sure why.

I enjoy my job, in fact I love it. It is like my little baby, I have a role that with in a small structure, I get to work totally autonomously. I make my schedule, I come and go as I please, so long as the work gets done. I enjoy the team I lead and the people I work for.

Quite often than not, we have one role that has been very transient in nature in the sense, that we can’t seem to hold down a dedicated staff member. In the three years I have been here we have seen at least ten people in this role if not more (but that is a story for another time). As a result, I am quite often doing two jobs at once. Do I get paid extra? No. I don’t get extra time or space to account for the second job and it is very rare that I ever get overtime. My contract has this very ambiguous statement in it that, “working every second Saturday and every other Saturday where required” which has meant for the last 2 and a 1/2 years, working every Saturday. In fact in the 2 and a 1/2 years I have had a total of 13 Saturdays off with six of them being force annual leave and public holidays.

My sister says it all the time, I call her/my parents as I drive home each day, often at odd hours of the night and I hear my sister in the background every night, “if you only get paid till 5:30pm why the hell are you staying there?”.

My partner says it too. “What time will you be home babe?”, he says. “Oh, normal time”, I reply. Through conditioning of my constantly late arrivals he knows not to have dinner ready before 8pm. I simple won’t be there to eat it.

No one is tying me to chair or forcing me to stay but I seem to have this unspoken yearn to be there and push myself.

But when she turned around to me and said “it’s about valuing your self worth” and I finally took the time to absorb it and take it in. I realised how self destructive I had been.

So in taking the time to impress everyone, help everyone and never say no- I had disempowered myself. I had made people believe that my time was not worthy. Those I love, who had passed comment were often ignored or shunted away. I didn’t want to hear it- I am trying to build a career here!!

Then I realised, I am here- I started my career roughly 4 years ago and I started as a receptionist and grew to a department head. I had made it, what was I still fighting for? Why am I still working the same way I did when I first started, when I have well and truely earnt my stripes?

I sit here now, taking the first lunch break I have taken in over 3 year, a full forty five minutes away from my desk and I realise just how much time I have given away. I don’t know why I still feel like I have something to proven. I remember feeling this way growing up too. Whenever she could, my mum made me read this poem over and over again- she had it framed above the kitchen sink. Desiderata. I remember it still. I read it over and over and whilst haven’t seen it in a while I could still recite this poem word for word. I don’t think I ever fully understood it till now though.

It is about valuing your self worth and making those around you realise you are important, your time is important and you matter. If you don’t demand respect, you will never receive it.

Annual Leave

I am a workaholic – there I said it!! I am that neurotic person who walks out of work at 5:30pm and by the time I have walked to my car (about 1km away), I have already checked my emails about a dozen times. It’s not unusual for me to get home after a full on day in the office and work another 4 – 5 hours. I have my personal mobile calls on a permanent diversion to my work mobile, so I only need to carry around the one work cellphone. I always field calls after-hours and like to be accessible to my clients, I am always there if they need me. Most days I am always on the go.

This week I have taken 5 days on annual leave, not because I need it, but because everyone around me keeps telling me to slow down – if I didn’t take some annual leave soon, I think my bosses would just change the locks to the office… although, knowing me, I would just climb in the window… Only one problem with taking time off – I am not good at it. I am not good at taking time for myself. I don’t like time to think and patience is just simply not a quality I possess. Then about two years ago (prompt by a crazy old roommate- although I would never admit it to her), we got two cats.

They are the funniest, craziest, most loving little creatures. We have two female cats from the same litter, one who was the oldest (BMO) and one who is the runt (CatBug), and if you know your Land of Ooo and your Bravest Warriors, you will know where we pinched the names from. We got the two cheeky girls when they were just seven weeks old and have been caring for them ever since. In that time I have learnt more about unconditional love and living in the moment.

They fight, like cats and ermmm cats (felt strange to say dogs), in fact, they fight like sisters, but no matter how much they have torn each other to shreds, they curl up at the end of the day together. No matter who is “in charge”, when one of them is down they comfort each other. They also seem to have this sixth sense about them, whenever me or my partner is feeling down or having a bad day, they come and curl up with us – they not only comfort each other, but they comfort us too.

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I find the two of them completely fascinating and it was when I started to care for them, that I learnt to appreciate smaller things. When we first got our cats, they were tiny – so small they would curl up in my shoe. Watching them grow forced me to slow down as it made me realise, I didn’t want to miss some sweet moments with them. Especially when they are feeling affectionate and cuddly.

Yes I know, they are not children, but your pets aren’t some possession that you love, they are little creatures you fall in love with. They have personalities, likes and dislikes, and little moment that make you appreciate some of the more important things going on around you.

I once had someone ask me, what will you do when they go – (horrid, horrid question, by the way) – will I be devastated, of course – you would hurt just as much, as if you were losing someone you loved. Seriously though, who asks a questions like that.

So even though taking a little time off is completely against my nature, waking up to these two gorgeous little fluff-balls does make a little bit easier.