This I Believe

Sara - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on August 23, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity, work
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Growing up it was easy to see my mother didn’t like her job. She didn’t like working weekends, graveyard shifts or holidays. But hospitals never close and being the low woman on the totem poll was something she’d had to settle for, working only part time. She did this so she could spend time with me and my brother, and all of her various volunteer organizations.

She stayed at that job for over ten years. Ten Christmas days ending at noon, ten winters digging her car out of the snow at 5am after working all night, ten years of resentment at the system that didn’t grant her seniority because she was only a part time employee.

I still don’t understand why she stayed at that job for so long. We didn’t necessarily need the money my mother’s job brought in; my father worked full time and we could have managed on his income. Perhaps it was the sense of independence or monetary contribution that the job gave her.

Whatever her reason for staying, I grew up watching my mother go to a job that she hated every day. When she finally did quit, our house became a much happier place, and I determined that I would not work at a job that made me miserable like she had done.

I believe I can find a job I love. So much of the adult life is spent at the workplace and I won’t waste that time on something I can’t enjoy. It may take me a while to find that job, and it may not be the best paying one, but if I can wake up every morning excited for the day ahead, well that’s what really matters and everything else will fall into place.