An elusive lotto win? Sure:-). An early retirement opportunity? Absolutely! Who hasn’t had the dream of never having to work another day in their life or coming into a pile of money to last until the end of time? I know that I sure have and I would guess that you have too. Interestingly enough, I find myself in very unfamiliar territory these past few days/weeks of silently wishing, in some ways at least, that I could return to work now that I am off. Hmm….not exactly what I had envisioned thinking. Ever. As in, am I really admitting to myself that I would rather be at work than not? Am I feeling okay?!?
To clear up any questions in your mind, I haven’t won the lotto (darn!) and despite getting older by the minute, I’m certainly not of age nor, most importantly, am I even remotely financially equipped for an early retirement of any sort. Instead, I am presently faced with a medical leave since having had surgery on my ankle last month. Clearly, enduring a surgical procedure is NOT the same as being off of work for enjoyable reasons, such as a sudden windfall. Dealing with pain and immobility isn’t exactly my or likely anyone’s definition of relaxing time-off. However, once the initial post-surgery mayhem has subsided and the actual healing process begins, you get antsy about the idea of getting your life back, which may or may not include the prospect of work. Health insurance and/or benefits, or lack thereof, may of course influence a person’s line of thinking here as well as how one feels about their employment. In my case, I do have sick leave benefits thankfully and I do enjoy my job. As a result, I find myself missing many aspects of it, which ironically does and doesn’t surprise me at the same time. If I didn’t like my daily working life, like many individuals unfortunately, I would probably be happy to clock out, so to speak, regardless of the reason. Naturally, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there are some things that I do not miss, such as all of the back-to-back deadlines and after-hours time that is required of me. Just the same, I didn’t realize until this moment in time just how nice it feels and has felt to be productive all of these years. As a bonus in my realm of work, I have the joy of interacting with and helping others on a daily basis–the not-surprising part that I miss the most. Since providing advice and support to people have always been strong draws for me by nature, it makes sense that my mind would wander back and forth between my health and my life’s passion. Don’t worry, I know which one needs to come first as do you. Without one, you do NOT have the other. As an aside, I am well aware that the workplace is not the only venue in which a person can pursue their passions, i.e. volunteerism, charity work, hobbies, etc.
As the days pass (some good, some not-so-good), I am certainly appreciative that my body has time to heal without the pressure of having to go back to work. Maybe the fact that I have the luxury of temporarily being away from that environment is part of why I miss it too. I might otherwise be very resentful if I was forced back, for example. After all that I have been through, it is of great comfort to know that for the next little while I do not have to compromise my future health by entertaining the idea of returning to my job prematurely. What is surprising to me is that this being off of work business isn’t quite how I pictured it might look/feel, surgery aside. The truth along with that revelation is that I’ve also never had the privilege of not having to work in the past thirty years, so I’ve never really had the time to stop and think about whether or not I would actually miss it. I simply haven’t had a choice in the matter.
Now, is my newfound realization to say that I wouldn’t welcome good fortune and somehow be swayed into a different line of thinking?! Well, let’s not be silly:-). I would happily worry less about money and whether or not I have enough funds saved up for my golden years. If nothing else, a change of luck could possibly afford me the opportunity to work a little less and enjoy more leisure time, which as a typical North American, we could all use a little more of in my opinion. Indeed, from a personal standpoint, it appears that that would be the best of both worlds. Then, I could continue to fulfill my lifelong passion while further exploring my love for travel with my husband as well as spending more quality time with loved ones. All that I need now is the right combination of numbers to hit on the right day! If that were lucky enough to happen, I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that unlike my present self, my husband, would vouch for sitting at home any old day of the week with work being the very last thing on his mind. Maybe you can relate?
Going forward from here while I await my lucky ticket? Quite simply, when I do return to work, I think I will look at my productive years in a bit of a new and unexpected light similar to when my ankle forced me to forgo my beloved activities of yoga and walking/jogging this past year helping me to realize the importance of not taking one’s fitness for granted. Maybe my new way of thinking supports the whole notion that work is work only if you see it that way. I think someone somewhere has quoted something like that and if not, then I will gladly lay claim to it. Nonetheless, I shall chalk up this experience to another mid-life lesson; that is until the doctor signs off on my having to go back to work wherein the deadlines will come fast and furious, and my ten-to-twelve hour days will resume;-). Come to think of it, I better remind my husband to pick up some lotto tickets for tonight.