Sunday, September 21, 2008


I love autumn -- it's absolutely my favorite time of year.

Which is why I feel so especially out of sorts this autumn. Every area of my life sings "Joy!" except my work. Sitting here on Sunday evening, thinking about getting up for work tomorrow morning, I feel as if my head is going to explode.

I don't feel as if I'm creating work of value.

I don't feel valued at work.

I have too many bosses and too little direction.

I feel that I'm part of an entire system, reaching all the way to national level, that's broken; that needs to redirect its mission and its means, but is too hidebound by bureaucracy and politics to be fixed.

I feel that my work stress and disillusionment negatively impact my mental health, my physical health and my relationships.

I'm tired of the smallness, on multiple levels, of my weekday world.

And I feel guilty for feeling all these other things, in the midst of a near-depression.

All the positive-thinking happy-talk in the world can't change the way I feel. My former therapist once suggested to me that maybe I needed to be satisfied with being and doing "good enough" at work; what's good enough of nothing? Because that is what my work feels like to me: a dead zone, a black hole that sucks the life and heart out of me.

My head and heart are both screaming, "GET OUT! GET OUT NOW!" while my inertia and fear and need for financial security keep pushing me out the door every morning.

I don't know what to do. Eight hours a day, five days a week, doing work I hate in an atmosphere I hate, feels like time stolen from my partner, from myself, even from God.

And the contrast between this emptiness I feel during the workday and the happiness I feel in all the other areas of my life, simply underscores the disconnect.

I really don't know what to do about this other than pray for some kind of insight into where to go and what to do for a living.


Questing Parson said...

Prayers that you. I've been there and know how frustrating this is.

Dora said...

I don't know what will become of this but this morning when I was praying - your name/blog came up in my thoughts. I prayed for you without knowing why. I haven't visited here in over a year, I think.

When I signed online, again I saw your blog listed in my recent visitors (but I know not if it was you or someone coming from your site). This was the 2nd time in less than 3 hours that your name has been placed before me.

I've never met you, nor am I sure why I'm supposed to email you; however, I know that I am. Perhaps it is just to provide encouragement or support or an alternative to your path/rut. I don't know. I also know know your email :)

Follow your heart. God Bless You.

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

Well, my husband changed jobs after 28 years [three years ago.] If he can think outside the box, so can you. Maybe your writing skills and talent could be put to use somehow.

Dr. Rural said...

I don't know you (except through your blog) and you don't know me at all. But your name often comes up in my prayers. Good luck with resolving your "disconnect."

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

Just in case my comment, above, sounded snotty, I didn't mean it to. You'd have to know my husband to get it, I think. He is one who plugs along. Finally, to help him find new direction, he went to a retreat about Vocation and read various authors, including Luther. Then he tried harder to change the current system before leaving. But, Leave he did, even though the new position is no bed of roses and has lower pay, but fewer frustrations.

revcathyellen said...

What I have noticed consistently is how much joy you express in preparing to lead in worship, so I can't help wondering if this current job angst is a not-so-gentle nudge from God towards a future in the church. Just a thought...(and I say that realizing that the church itself has days that feel like your description of work, and of course there is the as yet unresolved issue of our don't ask, don't tell policy in V & E).
But still, if you are having that sense of call bubbling up, that would be wonderful!
peace, Pastor Cathy in Queens