Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A New Life's resolution - Day #51 (Occupational)

If you're just joining us, check out the explanation of my "New Life Resolution"

Day #51 - Occupational

According to www.definitionofwellness.com, "The occupational dimension of wellness is involved in preparing for work in which one will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in one's life through work. Occupational development is related to one's attitude about one's work.' Traveling a path toward your occupational wellness, you'll contribute your unique gifts, skills and talents to work that is personally meaningful and rewarding. You'll convey your values through your involvement in both paid and unpaid volunteer activities that are gratifying for you. You'll know when you're on the correct path for career wellness, when your work and hobbies become exciting."

..Continuing our discussion on what we look for to bring us comfort and health when we're ill in any dimension of our welness.....

When it comes to occupational illness, I have definitely had my down days.  As I've said before, I'm an actuary and in order to become a full-fledged Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, there are a series of exams that need to be passed (think the CPA exam or the Bar exam, only there are 10 of them!)  I have yet to pass them all.....and I'm old.  Okay, I know I'm not really old, but to STILL be studying for exams, I'm old!  Many of the people in my office passed them all before they were 30.  I have 4 of them right now.  That's not so bad, but it's a long way from being done and I am really tired of thinking about them.

When you're surrounded by people who have had success in an area where you have failed a few times, it's easy to get wrapped up in the mindset that you're not good enough.  More than once, this thinking has really gotten me down on myself.

So, what do I do to make myself occupationally healthy again?  I guess I try to get some perspective and remember that I need balance in my life.  For many of the people that I work with, they have concentrated solely on studying for and passing these exams.  They have put off buying homes, having families, finding other interests.  That's great if that's what works for them.  Unfortunately, I know myself enough to know that's not what works for me.  I had a semester in high school where I didn't have any math classes.  I basically finished all of the math classes provided by my high school by my junior year.  So, the first semester of my senior year, I had a study hall instead of a math class.  I was pretty sure I would lose my mind.  There's something about how I'm wired that I need to be doing something mathematical and/or logical on a daily basis.

On the other hand, as you might be able to tell from my list, I feel like life is short and I want to experience as much of it as possible.  That means delving into all of my creative interests, desires to visit new places and need for some (motorcycle) speed.  If I didn't feed those needs in me, I would die a little and, consequently, not be honoring the authentic me.

So, when I'm bothered by not passing those professional exams more quickly, I remember that I used that study time to take an amazing motorcycle vacation or scrapbook for a day with my mom or spend some quality time with "my girls".  That's when I remember that my paycheck may not be bigger, but my soul is overflowing.


Jenny C said...

I get down about the pace others in the office seem to fly through these things too... but your final perspective is the right one. Some people put all of their focus and time into the exams early, and maybe they succeed faster than us, but they gave up a lot to be able to do it. We each have our own pace and our own style and our own outside lives. And most of us have failed at these exams a few times. Some people even gave up altogether and moved on right? And there's nothing wrong with that path either! We'll get there someday :)

Jill said...

Your last sentence is absolutely beautiful! I was thinking about that same idea today--I don't make very much money, but I'm doing what I love, and eventually I'll get to the bigger paycheck. It's just nice to stop and smell the roses along the way!

Melanie said...

I had no idea what an actuary was until I just googled it. Pretty cool. I also love that you have your Bucket List posted for all to see. I need to make one for myself as well!


Joan Young Spotswood said...

You are a fabulous writer. I just had to tell you that.

Regarding your tests...maybe 1 test every 2 years would do it. OK so you'll be old when you're done but hey (believe me) if you're lucky you'll be old anyway and have your tests completed.


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