Human Nature?

I’ve been restoring an old Cessna 140A (from 1947) with a close friend from work for about a year and a half now.  We usually meet on whatever day we have off, once a week or so, in a hangar out at Ryan Field outside of Tucson.  Today, as I was reassembling the engine’s left-hand magneto, it occurred to me that I was really, genuinely happy to be doing that.  You know the feeling–you get lost in your hobby so thoroughly, and all of a sudden there’s only fifteen minutes to pick your wife up from the airport.  (Sorry, honey.)  This morning was fun and cathartic for me because I take a lot of joy in tearing something old and beat-up apart, and putting it back together all shiny, and with all-new parts.  I would have felt quite proud to explain exactly what I’d done if my wife surprised me and came home early to find me tinkering.  I’m proud of the mechanical, critical thinking, detail-oriented set of skills I’ve developed all around, actually.  They’re not the best, but they’re mine.

So why is it, then, that work has become as monotonous and boring as I feel it has lately–when I sometimes do exactly the same things on my own time?  I imagine my attitude would change if I wasn’t looking at it as a twelve hour grind through the day, and I probably wouldn’t resent being there if I didn’t have to in order to pay my bills…but is it human nature that colors our thoughts the way they are?  Is it more the fact that I’m not being challenged at work as much as I was when I was new and a sponge?

Just a strange little thought that hit me as I was riding my motorcycle home from the airport…it’s almost comical, if you look at it from far away.  Have you ever had this feeling before?

    • Robin Laws
    • November 27th, 2009

    Ok, so I shouldn’t laugh-but in the last year-while I have enjoyed living life, I have not been “living”–you know-chasing your dreams, so enthusiastic to go to bed because you can’t wait to get up the next morning to go to “work”. When I say “work” I mean that job that you can’t believe they pay you for….the one you REALLY enjoy and could do every day without actually feeling like you are working? That job.

    This post makes me smile because I know how monotonous life can be. I enjoyed working for Delton because it’s Delton–what’s not to love!? He’s a great mentor and friend, despite the monotonous secretary job that was not remotely challenging. While I did learn some important skills, the “flavor” (if I can call it that) of life was bland. Same old….wake up, put your time in, get off work–GET to fly and enjoy every waking minute…followed by going home and eating dinner with the love of my life…just to be able to do it all again the next day.

    I have learned, in my short year and a half, that it is not what you do, it’s what you make of it. I decided that I would be “the best DAMN secretary” I could be. And it has made all the difference. I used my people skills with the staff in that building to make my day more enjoyable. I learned that making coffee (fresh, ground coffee–like all good secretaries should make!!) is a great way to start off the day, not to mention encourages good people tto drop in and start the day off right. (Bryan, Delton, and I would have coffee time at 9am almost every day. It was a nice time to relax and BS a bit before the crazy day got started)

    In an effort to make life “better” I jumped right into another job I knew nothing about. Yet again, this job has its minuses, but it also has its plusses. While I could really care less about what I do, I make it a priority-because I know that I am what I put into my work. If i only put 1/2 of my heart into it, I only feel 1/2 full at the end of the day. So–I take each day at a time, knowing that I can only accomplish so much by the end of my time at work…and while I may not be able to impliment things I think of, I am good at dreaming…so I should never stop. Dreaming is something that keeps me going throughout the morning-when I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel–So that’s what I do. When I hit that brick wall–and there’s nothing I can do to change it…I dream…if this were MY company-and I weren’t dealing with all the BS and bureacracy, how would I change the situation? How would I run this company….

    And that’s what keeps me going…

    So-while you may not ENJOY what you do, try to find that little thing that you do enjoy…that thing that makes you YOU. That thing that lets you leave work smiling, and able to be the wonderful husband and person you are. I know I have a hard time leaving work at work some days–but I remember that my job does not define me…it helps me realize what it is that I want out of life…and what I’m working towards. Who knows….maybe my jobs are giving me the experience I need to get one step closer to what I want to do with life…and giving me the opportunity to realize what I don’t want. So, at the end of the day, I can come home to my wonderful husband and be the wife I can be–that person he fell in love with.

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