At 9:15 one recent morning, while sitting on the toilet (where writing ideas seem to pop out), I silently and reluctantly admitted to myself that in some ways I’m tired of my job. I love my job, but I’m burned out on the quantity and constantly frustrated by the multi-person scrutiny of much of what I do.
Problem: I’m not in a position financially to leave this job. Psychologically too, because some of my ego and identity is tangled up with career.
However, like I mentioned, I love my job. That definitely complicates this line of thinking.
I’m at the top of my game. I get regular praise for some parts of my work and my confidence level is pretty high. I know my weaknesses as well as my strengths and I rarely assume I know it all. I’m always ready to learn new things and I’m fairly open to change.
Hooray for me.
The search for purpose and meaning in life is a common characteristic of boomers. Many of us hit our ‘coming if age’ point back during the ‘age of Aquarius’. Idealism, dreaming the impossible dreams and expecting to live those dreams were often part of our sociological DNA.
Boomers were often ambitious dreamers who thought up some crazy shit, then made it happen. I’m writing this essay on my phone. Go back in time to 1968 and tell somebody you’re writing an essay on a phone and they’ll say you’re crazy.
So every day at work I willingly and happily write scripts that showcase the excitement of being in a crowd at a Luke Bryan or Keith Urban concert, obsess over which song clips in my promo commercial will motivate fans to spend crazy amounts of money to be in that crowd and second-guess myself as I edit those things together in a way that will lead the listener to keep listening to my radio station for a chance to win free tickets to those shows and meet the singers.
I high-five myself when one of those promos sounds great and I thank God that I actually get paid to do this stuff. Then sometimes I wonder what propose or meaning there is in making the perfect edit between “Crash My Party” and “That’s My Kind Of Night”.
I’m happy if I can successfully create that audio image and I try to visualize the joy on a fan’s face as they meet Keith or Luke. I try to remember that one perk of my job is that I have met Keith and Luke. And Brad, Toby, Blake, Miranda, Jason.
So why am I whining about my job? It’s an awesome job and I’m lucky to have it. But is there propose or meaning in it? There are people in my county and country experiencing homelessness, domestic abuse, gun violence, cancer. Am I helping them by obsessing over audio edits for 40, 50, 60 hours a week?
Is there a better, more meaningful way to spend my time? Have I earned the right to retire? Can I live on part time pay? Am I not realizing that making those audio pieces might actually be improving somebody’s life, maybe entertaining them a little, giving them hope that they might get to go to a concert that they otherwise couldn’t afford to go to?