Since this quarantine started, I have had lots of time to appreciate all the things I was able to do before the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those things was having a job. Just like thousands of others in America, I was temporarily unemployed, and I hated every minute of it. I was able to go home and spend extra time with my family, but not having anywhere I needed to be eventually got on my nerves. We spend so much time complaining that we have to go to work or that we're exhausted from working. Take away our jobs, though, and we complain that we have nothing to do. I guess the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side" is pretty accurate.
I've never been one to say that I have mental health issues, but if I'm honest with myself, I've got a lot to work on. When the entire world shut down and I lost my job, I found that I was anxious for almost no reason, and I let my financial worry get the best of me. This made me realize that working is so good for your mental health even when you don't necessarily need the money. Have you ever seen someone with millions of dollars that for some reason doesn't work anymore? I know a couple of people that have all the money they need to get by and plus some who are totally miserable inside. Boredom is the enemy of the mind. Working and doing things with our hands brings that internal satisfaction that a lot of our souls are craving, especially during this pandemic.
We were literally created to do work. We were created to glorify God and enjoy him forever through what we do in our day to day lives. Right now, it might be stressful because you're working paycheck to paycheck in order to pay your bills and other needs. You might not even be at the job that you want to be in right now, but there is no use in complaining about the situation you're in. I heard a sermon recently and the pastor said, "Stop waiting for what you want and start working with what you have." That quote is so powerful, especially during this time. Currently, I work at a bowling alley in Lakeland. Do I want to stay a server at a bowling alley forever? Absolutely not, but until I graduate and get a teaching job, I'm going to work to be the best server that I can be because that is what I have to work with right now. Serving others has really boosted my mental health because it gives me a chance to get to know people and show them the kindness that I receive every day from the Lord.
When I come home from work, I'm exhausted, but it is that accomplished tired. Anyone who works on their feet all day or all night knows what I'm talking about. When my head hits the pillow, I think about the good interactions (and the bad ones, too) that I had during my shift. I think about the stories I heard from customers that day and remember the looks on their faces when they bowled well in their leagues. When you take the time to get to know your customers and your coworkers, life becomes so much more meaningful. We were created for community. If I didn't have my current job, I would not have met half of the people that I encounter every day, and I am so thankful for them. Life becomes more beautiful when you pursue the people that the Lord has placed in your life.
I pray that anyone who is still unemployed is able to find work soon. I couldn't imagine still being out of work. To those who have gone back to work though, I want to challenge you to look for at least five great things about your job. Be the person that brings light into your work environment. The more I focus on the good things, the more I see how working is improving my mental health status. I hope the same happens to you.