So for those of you who don’t know me, I work in the caring field. As a student chipping away at a degree in Social Work, this seems appropriate. My job revolves around a series of unique tasks that are enjoyable at times and less than enjoyable at others. But I wouldn’t do it, if I didn’t care.
I’ve just spent the last 4 months in a role as a manager/carer. It was a great summer filled with challenges, frustration, pride and of course fun. This last week, I ran into a particular challenge that required me to work several hours past when I should have finished, resulting in a long, stressful and exhausting day though I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t cared. The day was so much in fact, that as I finally disembarked my bus in White Rock (from Vancouver) and nearly 11 o’clock that night, I stopped in at the local beer and wine on my walk down the hill to my house and grabbed a tall can of Kilkenney for the walk. It was a clear night, I could see the stars and the moonlight reflection off the water below.
I found myself sitting, alone, late at night in the middle of a (non-busy) road down a huge hill, watching the sky and the reflection on the water. It was lovely and I truly wish I had a picture to capture the night sky. I realized how little I allow myself to slow down and breathe. I barely wanted to peel myself up off the ground to keep walking (but a car came eventually) since it was so peaceful.
I realized how I need to care not only for my loved ones and the people I support at work, but I also need to care for myself.
Today I had a conversation with a colleague I respect, about the past summer and the events that went on through work. I’ve had some pretty mixed feelings about my job as of late – I like what I do, I do not like the organization I do it for. I justify this contradiction by affirming to myself that I am going to work purely for the direct people I am supporting. So, during this conversation about the organization I work for, I really realized how easy it is to be managed and overlooked and walked over. Not ok right? New lesson learned: Do not go quietly. If something doesn’t sit right (for example, if you experience something morally or ethically wrong in your beliefs) than it needs to be said. Speak up! Fight the good fight! That’s what I am currently planning to do.
My theory is if I can make an inch of difference or raise any sort of awareness on the subject of social justice, the well-being of real people or a lack of moral standards in the workplace, than I can move on a happy clam.