I woke up this morning and couldn’t get out of bed. The sun was still down, and no one in my household was awake (except maybe my kitten). It was dark and cold in my room, and there was nothing that motivated me to get out of bed and prepare for the day. I have an hour-long commute to work and much of it is traffic and waiting at stoplights. Aside from my new-ish car (that I borrow) fighting to heat up its insides, there’s that dry slush that sprays up from the car in front of me that threatens to blind me, and send me off course. My windshield wipers persistently squeegie off the muck until the next 15 seconds when more slush kicks up. I get to the office and the hunger in my stomach makes me want to pig out on the box of Oreo cookies I brought with me (d’onnn judge) BUT I don’t because I’m practicing this self-control thing. I fix a breakfast in the kitchen after saying good morning to the two other early birds in the office. Back at my desk, I sip an overly sweet almond-creamer coffee, and squint at the calendar wondering why it isn’t Friday yet. I write for the next eight hours until my wrists ache and the clock strikes three, before making my way home in equally as much traffic as my commute to work. Next day, repeat.
What’s the Point?
It’s no wonder we struggle to stay positive, motivated, and passionate. If the seven to three weekday routine was all I had, I would wonder what the purpose of living was too. The struggle is real. We work to live, and live to work–it’s the only way to get by with our bills, emergencies, daily expenses, and lifestyles. If you’re not taking time to step out of the cycle, you’ll get lost in the worries of money, miss the point of life, or get depressed. Neither of those results are things we want, so what do we do about it?
Change Your Mind about Your Work
Remember that you work for a purpose. Remember that the nine to five is not all you have. Here’s how to put that into practice: When you get out of bed, breathe in gratefulness for another day to be alive. When you drive to work, be thankful that you can afford a car, and when you get to work, be thankful you arrived safely. When you make your breakfast, thank God you live in a country where food is within reach. When your hands hurt, thank God for the ability to use them to their limits. When you drive/commute back home from work, be thankful that you have a home to go to. And when you think about your life, be grateful that you have one.
I know how it feels to find that nothing in this world is ever enough. But once we take our eyes off ourselves and look outside, the problems we think we have seem much less significant. When I catch myself with a “complainy-pants” attitude (as someone likes to say), I think about my loved ones who are fighting cancer and still encouraging and inspiring others. I think about my friend who stuck it through with her husband even when the easy thing to do would be run away. I think about the children in Limpopo, that my friend told me about, who have so little yet are so full. I think about the refugees who were welcomed into people’s own homes because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. I think about the cops who play basketball with the street kids and know them by name.
Accept Where You Are Now
I may not be exactly where I thought I would be at 27–in fact, I know I’m not. But this world does not revolve around me. I have a role to play in it, sure, and I have a responsibility because of the life I’ve chosen. I don’t get to fuss and complain about what I don’t have because I have SO much. So even though work feels like a drag sometimes, I remind myself that what I’m here on earth for is more than paying the bills. It’s to believe in, hope in, trust, and love God, and everyone He created. And if that means my seven to three is where He wants me to work in this 27th year of life, then I will. I say “yes, Lord.” Because it’s not about me. It’s about Him.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
– Proverbs 16:3