Friday, 8 November 2013

Doing what you love and loving what you do

I found this quote from Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) in one of the Senscot bulletins which pop into my inbox every week;

 “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.”

I do love what I do, I believe I’ve done great work over the past two years, and yet what I do seems to have filled an ever increasing part of my life, until there’s almost no space left for doing anything else.  I had an enlightening conversation this week with someone doing a similar job on Fetlar (Shetland), experiencing similar challenges and feeling the same strain.  When I described my struggle to separate work and not-work, he asked if I'm single.  I said yes.  “Ahhh,” he said, as though that explained everything.  Perhaps it does.  Everyone I know here is in some way connected to my work.

I think perhaps I need to distil the parts of the job I enjoy – working together with people to achieve social change & community empowerment – and ditch the parts I find frustrating or exhausting: feeling as though I’m trying to drive the bus, navigate, and carry out essential maintenance all at the same time, while each passenger is calling out different instructions, requesting a toilet stop, or asking why we’re not there already.  

 We’ve had confirmation that Highlands & Islands Enterprise is committed to securing funding to continue the LDO project.  It’s been massively successful over the past 3 years, with at least 75 projects led or supported by LDOs across Highland attracting more than £800,000 into local economies and making funding bids totalling over £2million.  It’s been really helpful to be part of a network of people doing the same thing, encountering the same challenges, and to be supported by Highlands & Islands Enterprise with easy access to match funding for projects that fall within our “Growth Plan”. 
However, I’ve decided not to continue my contract when it ends on 31st December.  It feels good to have made the decision, so I know it's the right one.  I’ll probably sleep for a week, and then I’m interested to see what it’s like to just be another person who lives here.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide what I want (what I really, really want) to do next...

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