I think I lost some of my purpose in my job and home life over the last couple of years. I just feel like something is missing that used to be there. I have been trying to pinpoint what it exactly is and think I finally figured out that it is that feeling of purpose or accomplishment.
When my kids were younger, that feeling was always there, they needed me all the time. It was constantly tiring, but rewarding. But as my youngest is going to be entering the teen years soon, I could tell I was losing that feeling between all of them.
As they get older and more independent, the less I felt needed all the time. I have always been around for them. I pick them up from school, give them rides, take them to appointments, whatever they need, I am around to help them with after school. I am so grateful that I was able to do that for them.
So, I started to think more about the future,realizing that I did not feel that accomplishment or purpose either at work. Was this what I wanted for the next 20+ years?
Work was changing, there were less pats on the back or even a word of gratitude. The last year changed a lot with COVID due to how hard our industry was hit. And I have been in this industry for about 25 years, so it has been a huge adjustment for me. No longer a feeling of a team atmosphere. Instead I felt most days of being on an island alone. I missed being with a team and having co-workers. I missed getting any praise or approval from all the hard work that we put in day after day. I realized that I am the person that needs to hear that “pat on the back”. It motivates me and keeps me focused.
The feeling continuously got stronger at home and work. I felt like I wasn’t getting back what I needed.… there were no warm fuzzies. I felt like I was being pulled from both directions but neither one gave me anything back.
As my kids were getting more independent in some ways, they were also getting so dependent in others. They were starting to be too dependent that I could just take them wherever they needed to go and do what they needed for them. I felt like they took me for granted a lot of days, but I am guessing that is the teen years. I felt like most days all I did pick up and wash all the dirty dishes. The more I was around, the more I felt like they just assumed we could run here or there without any notice.
Both work and home were pulling me in directions that didn’t give me any feeling of accomplishment or that feeling of being needed. I needed to feel that purpose again. I had to find the self worth again. I just remember how that feeling of purpose used to make me so much more productive and focused.
I knew that one might have to give more than the other to start with. I might have to give up a little with one to gain more from the other. Either way, I knew I needed to gain that purpose back. So it was either going to be at home or at work.
I decided to take a job in a new industry. I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. However, I knew that I needed to do this for my own self worth. It wasn’t so much about the job as it was about me and what I needed. I was more about being excited again, learning new things, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. I needed to find all of that again that I had so missed over the last couple of years.