I had to do all that boring stuff. You know, the personal admin papers that come in the mail? They were pilling up, and I kept hiding them in my little to-do/bullet journal/black notebook. I had to do something about it.
Looking at my new and fabulous Lunar Planner , I thought I could put to good use that Monday Full Moon energy to get things done. As I recently decided to prioritize my work days by setting one, clear, major to do per day, I used that strategy and planned my week with one exciting task per day.
I have to say: I’m so glad that week is over. It was exhausting. Going through it, I tried to understand what really bugged me in those tasks. I soon realized that it was quite likely the possibility of having to deal with customer service. The wait, the Indian VA, the confusion: you know the drill.
Then I realized I was so spoiled. I was the one dreading the call, when in fact I only have to do these calls a few times throughout the year, while these people on the other end of the line have to answer them EVERY DAY.
Now let’s call this a job. I know you can for sure find a way to have fun whatever you do, and the sweet receptionist at the hospital where I had to take a blood test proved me right. She was so much fun, I almost wanted to stay to see what would happen next with the people coming in even after I was done.
But it’s still a job. The main purpose for jobs are usually to pay the pills. That’s why I love much more work.
The difference between a job and work
Work is the thing you cannot not do. Work for me is sharing, teaching, writing. I thought at the beginning of this blog to monetize it. I did all the research, learned so much about it, and in the end, I decided to know nothing about it. I chose to create the most simple personal blog. I don’t even want to know about the Google Analytics, or any other metric. I just do it because it’s fun, and because really, I can’t help it. I just need to do it, like the urge I feel to practice yoga to clean my mind and feel good in my body.
I am lucky enough that I never really had to take a job to pay the bills. I started working when I was twelve and never stopped ever since. Back then, it was just the thing that seemed to be right (blame our capitalist society for child work). I never felt like I had to, I just wanted to do something, learn, and pay for my personal expenses. I always have picked my jobs based on how much fun I thought it would be, and it ended being exactly that most of the time. When I considered leaving a job, it was mainly because I was finding myself bored, not because I wanted more money. In fact, I refused some positions even if they were paying more, just because they didn’t seem as interesting or fun.
Why it all matters
I guess my point here is that I never felt like I was working for the money. I told you, I am very spoiled. As one of the most insecure folks in the world, I was lucky enough to secure my position in the public function at quite a young age. For some people, it may seem like a golden cage. For me, this is the foundation I need to be able to expand and work for fun, doing some other projects like this one on the side.
Doesn’t mean I don’t care about money. I do care a lot. What I care the most about though is what money means. Money is not just an exchange of energy. Money is a way to recognize your value in an universal language. Not in an absolute way though: every business is different just like every person has different means. The few times I worked for free with businesses who could have afforded to pay me, I hated the experience. I felt exploited. I hated working for someone, giving them my best ideas, and this person or company making profit using them. Therefore, it’s more a matter for me of « Paying-what-you-want », or « paying-what-you-think-my-work-is-worth » than giving be more.
I think this is why I like working for the government so much. Nobody’s making any money on my back. Everybody’s pretty much treated equally. The population is indeed paying me, and therefore I have no problem giving the government my best ideas to make our society a better one, and saving some lives along the way. Plus they pay me well and they give me four weeks of vacation per year, which does help. Sounds like a fair trade to me.
Why does it all matter right now? Because I will soon be done with paying my mortgage. I could simply leave my actual position if I wanted to to work much less and still live a pretty decent life.
Let’s talk about real abundance
Why stay then? Because part of my job is related to what I consider my work. I choose to work because I want to contribute and create, and I choose to work in an organization because I do not want to do it all myself. I chose to work for the population, in the public function, on projects that I believe can help save lives.
So it’s not all about money. But having more money makes me reconsider. It means having more freedom to make choices about the kind of work I want to do. It means having the freedom to work to create stuff I like. It also means having the possibility to go freelance, or start a business.
That’s scary. If you are a creative like me, if you love your work, your craft, and wants people to benefit from it through your personal vision of what it should be, you might end up being very happy as a business owner. However, I saw so many people starting a business expecting to be rich, and it’s not working. I’ve also seen a lot of passionate people not able to make ends meet.
It’s clear for me : if you’re in it for the money, I’m telling you, it will end up being a mess. When your primary intention is to be rich, it makes things more complicated. I’m telling you, it probably won’t work. People sense it. The Universe knows. I’ve got no scientific proof for that, I just know, and you know it too. As Danielle Laporte once said, “If you are doing something for the money and you are not attached to the joy, that disconnection creates a lot of stress. That stress is blocking real abundance.”
Where it gets more complicated is that even when we are well-intentioned, when we try to reconcile work and money, making money doing the work you love, it might not always end up working. Some seasons you’ve got to do the job to put some butter on your bread (yummy), and sometimes (for me it’s quite all the time) you’ve got to work because you simply cannot not do it (creative people, you get me). The first one can help you secure your foundations, while the later is clearly part of your mission as a human being, if there is such a thing. You cannot always work, sometimes you only get to be paid to do the job.
So let’s be clear on that moving forward: when you do something because you need to get money, that’s a job. When you do something meaningful, that’s what I call work. In a perfect world we would all be working with a clear intention and money would flow. Now we have to compromise. I am sure though that even when you do a job, you can find a way to make it part of your work in the bigger picture. In everything you do, let it be a job or your work, take a moment to reflect on the purity of your motive, with love being the metric for as pure as it gets. Then do the work you need to do. And if it doesn’t pay enough, take a job, having faith that one day your work will pay off.