Today I’ve had a good day and nothing extraordinary has happened. I’m writing this blog on a Wednesday. What does it mean for me to be happy on a Wednesday?
Well, I started the day making time for reflection and some exercise – and a great cup of coffee. I have a scenic and short commute to my office. I approached my office door appreciating my comfortable and creative work space and looking forward to my day.
I spent my day doing work that allows me to use my gifts in a way I can see makes a difference. I am well compensated for my work and I feel appreciated. I work with people I enjoy, trust and respect.
I tackled some tasks I like to avoid head on and I just got them done. I left my office at a reasonable hour and I felt good about what I accomplished. I paused a few times throughout the day to connect with a few friends and I had some good laughs with my colleagues.
At the end of the day I’m tired but I’m not depleted. My transition from my work self to my home self isn’t jarring. I don’t have to become a completely different person on my way home from work.
There is a harmony between my work and life that works for me. I’m in the right work and living a life that fits for me. This is what I call finding out how to be happy on a Wednesday. How did I find this harmony?
In my 20s I was making career and life choices with an audience in mind. I was more concerned with what my life looked like to this imaginary audience than to my experience of living it. I tried to solve the question of finding my purpose by fulfilling other people’s definitions of success.
It was a shortcut that didn’t deliver satisfying work for me. I spent a lot of time planning vacations and exit plans to get through those Wednesdays. But all of this shifted when I was ready to become honest about what was really important for me to be happy in my work and life.
And then I needed the courage to make choices and decisions in line with what I really valued. And what’s important to me has changed over time. I have to keep looking at the question: “What’s important for me to be satisfied at this stage of my work and life?”
And I need the courage to act on those answers. Sometimes answering this question honestly has made me say yes to an opportunity, sometimes to say no, and sometimes to wait. What’s true every time is that accepting every choice and decision I make has a tradeoff.
And this can be more humbling and challenging than it sounds, but it is worth it. After all the hoopla of a promotion, the praise or the rush of impressing someone else dies down – here you are again – on a Wednesday.
What makes for a good Wednesday for you? Are you living it?