Work is more fun than fun. – Noel Coward
There’s this thing on the internet, perhaps you can call it a trend, called the ‘morning routine.’ If you’ve never come across it, good for you. If you have, heaven help you.
It’s one where you inevitably wake up at 5 a.m. sans puffy face or frizzy hair in your perfect IKEA apartment. You go for a run and watch the sunrise in shorts that expose half of your cellulite-free derriere. You come home and make your smoothie bowl or your avocado on toast. You also have your coffee, just to add a touch of sin to your certifiably perfect life. You give a kiss to your partner whom the audience distinguishes not by their looks but by their support of your lifestyle. The audience does distinguish your pet cat/dog by their looks though, and they are uncritical in the extreme.
What does this have to do with work, you say? Well, all this occurs before it is 7 a.m. It sets you up for the working day, and you know you are winning in life the moment you have your smoothie bowl. You might be detecting sarcasm in that last sentence but, sadly, my case is worse. My case is that of envy.
I stopped ironing my clothes less than a month ago. That is an achievement for me. I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, because that would mean I am able to achieve perfection in every area of my life. No, I aspire to, and there lies the difference. It’s like when you’re late for something. Most people are only worried insofar as they might get penalized if they are late. I don’t need any external punishment. Even when I don’t receive any, I go over everything I could have done to prevent it, or give up and blame myself for essentially being a hopeless slob.
I like to work. I can’t think of anything in life that I don’t take seriously. I do joke a lot, because I also take humour seriously, but I can’t think of a single element in my life that hasn’t been subject to serious thought. When it is good, when I am checking all the boxes on the list – for I make lists/plans for every task – then there isn’t a happier creature around. I have been on this planet a while, but my inner perkiness has managed to remain shielded from the meaninglessness of existence. Sure, I doubt the point of it all everyday, but there’s always the next thing to find out, mull over or do. I am also one of those workers who not only loves the feeling of getting it done, but also that of doing it.
You may think that would mean employers are causing a stampede in a bid to hire me. Falling all over themselves because here is someone who wants to work, likes to work, doesn’t mind working, will do it as well as it can be done and is often oblivious to how much she gets paid for it. But, that is not the reality, and it would make me a very obnoxious person talking to you if it were. You don’t drop by Of Opinions to feel bad about yourself watching my morning routine. You drop by to be confronted by fallibility, vulnerability. Basic ineptitude at life. I’m just a no-longer-teenage dirtbag baby, like you.
I genuinely believe if I learnt to relax more, I’d get better job opportunities. I’m always a nervous mess in interviews, but that just makes me turn ultra-posh. I can’t make people relax around me, and that is most likely why they’re put off. Enthusiasm doesn’t always sell. I would be the richest person in the world if it did. It isn’t only a willingness/ability to work that makes you a desirable person for the job. It is also making it look good. It is being able to show the perfectly lit finished product – the smoothie bowl – without sharing all the steps that went into making it, of which there are many.
But, I can’t do that. That beauty, that sense of balance, is alien to me. I’m all scattered in the rubble, trying to put the pieces together into some semblance of an understandable object. I try to focus more on progress than perfection (only motivational quote I allow in my flat, that too written imperfectly on a post-it), but I’m yet to find value myself in the work I do or am capable of doing, let alone convincing the world of it. Once I do, I wouldn’t need to google “how to find motivation” and watch morning routines.
What I need is a calling. Jobbing simply won’t do. Jobbing requires other motivations, mostly noble ones like family or happiness or both. For me, happiness lies in purpose. In not having to think why I’m doing something, but simply doing it as much and as best as I can. They just don’t seem to advertise for those in the classifieds as much.
What is your work philosophy? What is your ideal job, if you don’t mind sharing? And dare I ask, what is your morning routine?