A funny story of laughs with your coworkers? A sense of satisfaction for achieving something? Perhaps even joy from working on something you love?
When I was working towards a burnout, I was regularly bringing home stress, anxiety, worry, snappiness, disconnection, and problems that kept me awake at night.
As I slid fully into burnout, all of that had become so normalised that I lost pretty much all sense of the real me. I used to be fun. I used to be lighter. I used to be positive. When did I stop being all of those things? When did I stop being me? It was scary.
Fortunately, with time and distance I’ve recovered physically and emotionally from that experience. I’ve also found my “self” again. With the “fun jobs project” I’m challenging myself to work for fun and to find new lighter ways of working that work for the real me.
It’s not been as easy as it sounds. Old work habits die hard. I still have a judgemental voice inside that says: “you should do more”. Sometimes I find that voice questioning if this project is a good idea. What am I doing “wasting my time” in the opera?
A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that reminded me exactly why I’m doing this. I was awoken suddenly by my 4-year-old son Otto yelling from his bedroom:
“Daddy, come quick, help!”
Of course, I lept out of bed, ran to his bedroom and asked what was going on.
“Poco contante, POCO CONTAAAAAAAAANTE” he sang at me.
I burst out laughing.
“It’s not funny daddy, this song is stuck in my head, it won’t go away”
I realised at That Moment that what I’ve been bringing home from my part-time job in the Vienna state opera as an extra is the joy of music. I’ve been singing around the house, telling funny stories, and infecting my son with ear worms!
This is why I’m working in the opera and why I started the “fun jobs project”. I want to show Otto that work can be something awesome. I want to be a fun dad. I want to be me.
I’ll be sharing more experiences, insights, and stories from the Fun Jobs Project as it takes shape. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Are you bringing home ear worms?