They say dogs take on the personalities of their owners. I'm not so sure; perhaps we choose dogs that are already like us?
I grew up with golden retrievers -- really pretty blondes and redheads who are terribly sweet but kind of goofy. (Although I loved them all, my parents chose those dogs.)
And they become destructive when they don't have a job to do.
I can relate.
It's now been nine months since my layoff.
And while I do enjoy having the extra time, becoming a real OC housewife is a lot harder than it looks.
First, I'm not spending nearly enough money at the spas or enough time (or any time at all, for that matter) at the gym. I'm not having an affair with the pool guy. (We don't have a pool; should I get one?) I don't even have nannies to supervise. (Do pet sitters count?) And who really cooks, these days?
Not that I'd go back to billable hours; I don't have the stamina for that even if someone would hire me.
But like my dog, I do crave having a sense of purpose. But what exactly does that mean, anyway?
I've been studying "life purpose" materials for more years than I'd like to admit; at one point I even felt I was an expert of sorts and offered seminars on the topic. The message was simple, and I know you've heard it many times before: if you want to feel happy and fulfilled, follow your passions and use your talents in a way that serves others.
Sometimes it is. But right now I'm still feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under me; I haven't figured why I invested all that time, energy and money to become a lawyer when I'm now just sitting at home living on disability benefits (plus support from Husband, of course) and writing the occasional blog post.
I never thought MS would play any role in my life, much less dominate (destroy?) my professional life.
So ... I now need to ask myself, has my entire concept of life purpose been too closely tied to my earning potential? Is my ego really so completely wrapped up in labels? Am I really that shallow?
I don't have the answers yet, but did find a few quotes I find inspiring:
The purpose of life is happiness.
Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.
- Ayn Rand
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?
It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.
And my personal favorite, an excerpt from Max Ehrmann's famous poem Desiderata:
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
By the way, Mr. Ehrmann was a lawyer too, as was Gandhi. Funny how no one remembers either for that though.
Perhaps there is hope for me yet?
* * * * *
How much do you equate your career success with fulfillment of your life purpose? Do see your work purpose and spiritual purpose as intimately intertwined, or are these completely separate realms? Have you ever felt a loss of identity through the loss of a particular role or relationship in your life? How did you grow from that situation?