It is Sunday afternoon and I just made a very Sunday afternoon mistake– I checked my phone and stole a quick glance at my work schedule for the week. I should be focusing on the fact that I have a lovely turkey roasting in the oven and that I have no more chores I feel obligated to do this weekend. But now I’m thinking ahead to the many, many meetings on my calendar for this week and am feeling somewhat exhausted by it all.
The think about my work is that I’m pretty good at it. I’ve been working in my field basically since I graduated from college and I still like and am interested in the work that I do. On my best days, I feel like the work that I do matters and is actually, well, important and maybe even makes a small corner of the world a better place.
I recognize that this makes me fortunate.
But sometimes, like on a Sunday afternoon after a long holiday weekend, it feels like I’ve been working for roughly a million years already (I’ve had a job since I was 14 and the only times I’ve had longer than a week or two off is when I was on maternity leave– so that clearly doesn’t count). I’m 38 now, so even with responsible retirement savings and some good luck, I have close to three decades of working life ahead of me.
I don’t want to be dramatic, but, man that seems like a long long time.
Perhaps what I struggle with is that I don’t know what it is going to feel like to be 65. I think I fear that I will feel old and tired by then, that I won’t be able to enjoy the world of life after work. There are things I want to do NOW but that I feel like my work life makes difficult and I wonder if I’ll still want to do those things when I’m in my 60’s. When I start thinking that way, it feels like this whole work for 45-50 years thing is kind of stupid system.
At least I have the prospect of a plate full of stuffing to have for dinner tonight.