While that may be true, I am happy that one of the things I have been busy at is putting together the new Learning Garden for the hospital. Unfortunately, it has meant my other work has been piling up, including the still unfinished book, and other projects. And I will no doubt bitch, er write, about being too busy again soon.
But, at age 50, I am happy to finally have work that I feel is meaningful, and that I think can make a difference in people's lives. I am happy because I spent a lot of time both in graduate school and on the job, working towards a career that ultimately made me feel less than important, and like I did not make a difference.
I certainly didn't start out thinking that. I started out thinking I would make a huge difference and I kept ignoring the red flags that told me that I never would. As I have written here before, I seem to excel at ignoring red flags, not just in my professional life, but particularly in my personal life (lest I digress too much, I will not go into that here, that is for another post). Ignoring them, or minimizing them has meant a great deal of unhappiness and confusion. And, I spent a lot of wasted time trying to fit into a career that clearly I did not fit into.
So, the lesson that my 50 year old self would give my 18 year old, or even my 25 year old self, is this: you spend a large percentage of your time at work, and while it is not your whole life, it really is a big part of your life so do something that you are passionate about, and that you are good at because even though you hate something, you are a hard worker, and are overly responsible even when you don't want to be. You give up a lot of yourself to work, so find something that doesn't require you to compromise who you are and what you believe in.