What brings you enjoyment?
This was on the list of questions being asked of young doctors at an interview skills practice session for their upcoming promotions.
One of the young women enthusiastically told me not only how much she enjoyed her work but also the stories behind how the interest started and developed and then narrowed itself down to a specialist area, the places her aspirations took her to and the inspiring people she met along the way. Her eyes shone like sparkling diamonds as she spoke and her smile beamed. Towards the end of her answer, there was a brief mention of tennis, friends and cycling.
90% of her answer was her work. Her honesty was clear.
That was me. My work has brought me great joy over the years. I have spent far too many hours at work. It gave me self-esteem. It was something I could hide behind. It gave me meaning and purpose. It made me look and feel successful. It was fulfilling and satisfying and everyday was challenging and exciting. I loved it.
It took away all my energy and I came home spent. It took up a lot of space in my head for many long years. It made me loose my balance. It sucked me in so completely that I couldn’t see the aspects of it that were draining me dry. It deprived me of sleep for years and it drove me crazy. Yet, I loved it.
If I could go back and change what it meant to me, would I?
But I would cut the number of evenings and weekends I spent away from home. I would conserve more energy for home. I would say ‘NO’ more often. I would claim some of my life back.