Thursday, July 19, 2012

Work Can Be Rewarding

Work itself is the reward.  If I choose challenging work it will pay me back with interest.  At least I'll be interested even if nobody else is.  And this attempt for excellence is what sustains the most well lived and satisfying, successful lives.

                                                  ~ Meryl Streep

I am a big believer in working hard.  Besides getting a lot accomplished, working hard makes you challenge your brain and your talents to the best of your ability.  Dirty things become clean and disorganized piles of papers and clothes become organized.  Working hard can also give your mind something else to think about when you are processing your grief.

When my husband died a number of years ago, I continued to work outside the home because I needed to support myself and my son and it also kept me moving forward.  It brought structure into my daily routine at a time when most other things were constantly changing.  There were times when it was jarring; especially when it was time to leave work and go home.  For a split second while walking to my car, I would always think about calling my husband to tell him I was leaving and then I would remember that he was no longer here.

But work continued to be cathartic for me during that time and I was very happy to have it.  Given the ups and downs of the economy in the past several years, I'm still thankful to have a job.  I know there are some people who take their work to an extreme and lose themselves in it after they have experienced the loss of a loved one.  This is easy to do because you don't want to think about what is really going on in your life and constantly working helps you block the pain.  For my son's sake, I was careful to make sure I didn't go that way.

That said, it's important to do something you really love or something that makes you feel as though you are always learning something new.  I have a job where I work in an office downtown and I am paid to do that work.  But I am not paid to write this blog.  I write this blog because I enjoy it and because I need to write it.  I started Cry, Laugh, Heal in December 2010 to help people become more comfortable talking about grief and how you can rebuild your life after losing a loved one. 

People can tell if you approach your work with a certain amount of pride or if you could care less about what you do. I hope you can tell how much I love my readers and how much thought I put into trying to help others who are also on a grief journey.  I never want anyone to feel as though they are alone or that there is no hope for the future.  There is always hope!!!!!!!

Whether your work is mental, physical or a combination of both, it can feel so good to put in a hard day's work.  Once in awhile I do wonder what it would be like if I didn't have to work.  Of course, it would be great, but I would still need to find something meaningful to do.  I know I would still write Cry, Laugh Heal.

As the wise and wonderful Meryl Streep says, work can be a reward in itself especially when you achieve that "good tired" feeling.

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