In my work, I am not confined to a small cuticle, nor is my work completed in a spacious, finely decorated office. I have a very large workspace though, that spans even down the block at the park and a mile away at the market. My workspace is the place where I create ideas, care for issues, finish deadlines, troubleshoot problems, rearrange supplies, file items, organize expenditures, make calls, have tough, disciplinary conversations with those under me, clean up every kind of mess left by the less equipped, and climb a ton of different ladders to fulfill my many types of assignments. My workspace is also where I live. I work from home, without complaint. I work overtime, without monetary return. I work to present myself well everyday even after all of my late nights. I fill shoes that hurt, often. I handle situations that are uncomfortable and demeaning, often. I wonder everyday if I will make a difference.
I am a parent.
My lifestyle has to be closed off to outsiders sometimes. My friends tell me I am too caught up in my work. Sometimes it feels like an addiction. I can’t get enough of the time I spend investing in my career path. I pour my whole self into my job, caring deeply for the cause I am a part of. I quietly watch for the potential attributes of those under me and aim to bring out their best qualities. It will be decades before, if ever, they realize what my actions will provide for them. I aim to create situations where those in my care will be best served. I create those situations with their best in mind, not mine, no matter what I read in the news. I sacrifice what I think they should be, for what they were inherently intended to be.
I am a parent.
I aim to please my manager. To be available for him, for whatever projects he needs completed. I present myself to him with confidence and poise, while understanding that I still need his guidance and leadership most of the time. I am ready and at his disposal, even with all of the tasks I am presented with. I am sure to work diligently under his direction, fulfilling my assignments and participating with my team well. Some days he is quick to affirm me, just to remind me that I am doing well. Somedays, he hones in on a lacking skill and challenges me to be better tomorrow.
I am a parent.
I didn’t choose this job, in fact, it was handed to me. The job itself needed me, was created for me, my title named because of me. Whether or not my job gets accomplished is not dependent on my performance. I am my career & those under me are effected by my daily choices, whether or not I preform them well. I carry the burden of multiple livelihoods and the future that follows. I bare the weight of generations of people, both my sins and triumphs passed down through them.
I am a parent.
I care for the helpless, feed the hungry, clothe the cold. It’s nice to know I am making a difference in the little things, even if they are just little things. I offer myself, for another, every moment of everyday. Everything I have is poured out and at the end of my day, as my head hits the pillow, though my mind is planning tomorrow and my ear listening for the slightest whimper, I still find myself thankful. Even through exhaustion, unproductive moments, and dreams put on hold, I am fulfilled in my job. I have never felt this kind of fullness with any other job. I have also never felt this kind of sacrifice with any other job.
So no, I don’t have a normal “job”. I don’t clock in and out and I don’t wear all of the nice pant suits. I don’t fight corporate giants and I don’t get a normal paycheck deposited into my account. I don’t drive a nice car, but I’m also not in debt for it. I don’t feel the need to present myself as a perfect specimen of human production and exponential growth and I have no need to impress anyone. We live simply and we have a few nice things. Our office space is filled with love and hugs, but there is also stress and discipline at times.
I don’t look like I have it together, because, well, I don’t. But that’s okay, because the life that I live, my family and I, spend it together.
I am a parent & I like it that way.
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