To get on

Be content, I must remind myself daily. And be grateful too. These the conversations with my wayward self as those morning blues descend. I sit down to start work early, to do an hour before the kids arise for school, but soon my mind wanders…

Pondering upon all of those contemporaries of mine, who despite significant socioeconomic disadvantage in their youth, have far surpassed me in their careers, rising to the top of their respective fields.

This is where I cast my mind back to my first decade of work, post-graduation. Did I do anything at all that required a degree, let alone a Masters? Here follows more gloom, recalling the struggles to get my foot in the door for even the most menial of work.

It’s a cause of acute shame and embarrassment, actually, such that I can only be humbled and amazed that I was granted a companion so patient and understanding, who would stand by me through that decade of turbulence. Contemplating that, how could I not be grateful?

But then there are many reasons to be grateful. Many epidemiological studies indicate that the chromosome disorder I have been bestowed with is often associated with lower socioeconomic status, which includes lower levels of education, employment and income.

So perhaps in that sense I am doing just okay, holding down a steady job for several years now. Certainly, my diagnosis and subsequent interventions correlate to greater success in developing a more satisfying career.

Here I must remind myself what is good about my job. What is good in it for me. Forget socioeconomic status. Forget job market competition. Forget family expectations. Is it sufficient for me? Removing all of those external pressures, does it make me happy? Does it meet our needs?

If so, why not then be content? And be grateful too? Why let these blues hit you at seven in the morning, as you sit at your workstation, engaged in work which, if you’re honest, you love? Why let it knock you off course, in pursuit of opportunities concomitant only with the expectations of others?

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