Today was my first day back at work after taking two weeks leave to really dive into editing my book. I learned a lot over the two weeks, but two things in particular stuck out to me.
- If I want to do a good job of editing my book (which I do!) then it will take about three times as long as I initially thought.
- I really enjoyed being out of the morning and evening rush of people scurrying to and from work.
I am one of those people that goes to an office to work. I’m also blessed to live in a country where this is possible at the moment. I work with good people, in the fundraising team of the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand. My particular role is an internal accounting role rather than an outwardly focussed interacting with stroke survivors and their families, but without people processing the donations we wouldn’t be able to pay the people out in communities doing their awesome work. I believe in the work I’m doing, that it helps bring support to those who need it, and I enjoy the company of my colleagues, but it’s not the thing that gets me out of bed. Sharing stories, fact and fiction, through rhythm and words, that’s what supercharges me each day.
Thankfully there are some great stories, whether they be wholesome office in-jokes, or stories of immense strength, of people who’ve been through a stroke and come out the other side even stronger. Some of what I am fortunate to experience even provides inspiration for short story and novel ideas about overcoming adversity. (More on these stories to come later this year!)
None of this changes the fact I walk to work past a lot people looking like they’re about to go to war. I don’t know what each of their separate days will bring, but I offer a smile to anyone who is brave enough to look up. Most days this is a small number and even fewer acknowledge or smile back. But I don’t know what is going through their mind, so all I control is my own action of smiling. Thus there is no obligation for a particular response, but I hope by offering a little kindness people can enter their hamster wheel feeling a bit more capable of running for as long as they need to.
Here, I offer a virtual smile to anyone who is unable to go on a daily commute, and is working in isolation from home. Your strength in doing so, wherever you are, is testament to the goodness in your heart to look after yourselves and others. And rest assured, the rat race will welcome you with open arms if you desire to return. Or, if your life takes a tangent away from that which used to be your norm, I hope you can embrace the peace of different kinds of hard work.
I’m working hard to start earning income from my writing, and to move towards choosing my own hours of work. I look forward to it, so I can when at times there is less hustle and bustle. Until then I will offer a genuine smile to anyone I walk past. There’s enough negativity out in the world without us piling on our own.
Keep on keeping on being awesome friends.