Works for me.

My journey through the cancer seas.

Last December all the work I defined myself through just fell away. It was a necessary component of dealing with the breast cancer diagnosis. The odd thing was that I had been seeking a way out of the endless trips overseas and to London to do clinics and teach. Wanting to find a way of integrating the away time with the home and personal life. Then there I was. Endless days of working on getting myself well. Not really knowing who I am any more in relation to the world, as this new version of me emerges.

I got to thinking that we are all in a similar story. The pandemic has rendered business as usual redundant. And with it our definition of self is changing. I hear more folk talk of a need to slow the pace down and reshape their working lives as we all tentatively raise our heads above the Covid parapet. I can’t help but think that that is a good thing. Work in and of itself is not bad. Not at all. Though I reckon our definition of it has needed an overhaul for years. I believe there is wisdom in finding a sense of purpose through work, that much is true, but how much of what we do for work actually gives us that? And how much of it is a means to an end to keep the finances flowing?

I loved my work, a shiatsu practitioner and teacher of all things body, travelling the world meeting amazing people. I am just not sure I will have the necessary stamina on the other side to do all I did. Therein is the issue. That being what I do to fill up my days if I am on a necessary part time work schedule. Do I find random work in order to make up for the financial short fall? Sure, this is the question many ask, but here is the thing. What if we change the what to the who. Rather than what you do for work, ask yourself who you want to be. The things that make our heart sing are often linked to creative endeavours, to our relationships and sense of connectedness. So, in this crazy pause perhaps its time to ask whether our work lends itself to who we are becoming or not.

I am still pondering the question of what comes next for me. Though one thing I do know is that the cancer diagnosis has gifted me with time to understand my creative nature and it’s not something I can easily put down in pursuit of financial gain. Work is as much about time well spent following our creative dreams as it is about money in the bank. Perhaps simplifying the way we live is a better choice. Who knows, my creative nature may bear financial fruit one day. Certainly working at being me adds meaning and joy.