Money for nothing

Yesterday I took my 3 year old to see The Wiggles.  The supporting cast came first, bright and bubbly as always, and then we got to see The Wiggles themselves. First of all Jeff leaped out from behind the curtain, looking for all the world as bouncy and enthusiastic as he was in their first video. He did handstands, leapt about on trapezes, and generally looked as though he was having a good time.

One by one the rest of the Wiggles appeared, all looking equally vigorous and cheerful. What really impressed me, though, was the intense sparkle that flowed from Anthony. From the start it was clear that he was the troublemaker of the bunch. He would announce that Jeff was about to do some crazy thing, like leaping over 8 people at once, which was clearly news to Jeff, and then rev up the crowd until Jeff had no choice but to try it. Jeff, of course, pulled his punch and collapsed (but gently) on top of the people he was supposed to be jumping over, but it was obvious that he was ad libbing furiously to get out of the tricky situation Anthony had landed him in.

This went on throughout the show, with Anthony getting crazier and crazier, until the point where he actually stopped himself: “AND NOW!… er, no, we won’t try that today.” Apparently he does have some sanity filters in there somewhere. What really came through, apart from the fact that his colleagues were clearly enjoying the unexpected predicaments they kept getting landed in, was that every single person on that stage was having an absolute blast. I know they get paid to look as though they are enjoying it, but I don’t believe they were faking it. They love what they do, and Anthony’s tricks and affectionate torments were helping to keep it that way.

It’s money for nothing in the best kind of way. How many of us can say of our jobs, “I love it! I’d do it for free!” Of course, I wouldn’t say that in a forum that my boss might read, or my pay might drop with distressing speed. But it’s an ideal that many of us have given up striving for, which I think is very sad. It was while I was on maternity leave with my oldest child, watching Playschool (another show clearly populated by people who love what they do) that it dawned on me. That’s life! That’s what it’s all about. Love what you do.

I recently resigned from one of my jobs when I realised that it involved too much boring and tedious work, and not enough of the things I enjoy. I wasn’t thrilled with it, or excited by the prospect of a work day. Whereas my other regular job has me all but bouncing out of bed in the morning, excited and enthralled by the challenge and variety of what it involves. It was suddenly clear that there was better work out there for me. It was a risk, stepping out of guaranteed income in order to look for something better, and I am fortunate that it was a risk we are able to take, financially. Looking for a new job while still doing the old one is notoriously difficult, because any effective job search takes a lot of time and energy. But it is SO worth it.

Do you bounce out of bed, eager to get to grips with your working day? Or do you drag yourself there, staring mournfully at the clock as the hours tick by, just waiting for the moment when you can legitimately make a run for it?  Maybe it’s time to aim higher. Maybe there is a job out there that would have you bouncing, rather than dragging your feet. Think about that.

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