Every job is hard. Some jobs are physically hard, like construction workers. Geesh I don’t know how they do it in the middle of the summer or the middle of winter! Kudos to everyone who has to work outside because God knows I could not do it! Other jobs are mentally difficult. I imagine it is mentally difficult to be an astro physicist. I surely couldn’t do it. My job is in the third category. It is emotionally difficult. Most days I come home one of two ways: the first is on top of the world. If I just had an awesome day with my kids, or feel like I really connected with a client I will be on cloud nine! The other way is in the depths of the ocean. Some days are so emotionally draining I don’t know if I can handle another day. I will be so down in the dumps for whatever reason. It could be that I had to tell a client some bad news. It could be that one of my kids had a really bad day behaviorally, and I’m at a loss on how to help them. Maybe someone was rude to me that day, or maybe I feel like I am being taken advantage of. Sadly, what usually makes me the most upset is the latter, when I feel as though I am being taken advantage of. (Disclaimer: I am a woman of faith, and definitely could not get through life without Jesus. If you don’t believe the same way I do…thats okay! I love you anyway!) So anyway, the problem with this is that for 2015 Jesus is teaching me about 2 things that are very important but also a little contradictory. The first is boundaries. Boundaries are so very important. Boundaries keep us sane! Now, when I say boundaries I don’t mean stone walls that keep everyone out. I mean healthy boundaries that allow us to interact with all types of people, and not allow them to take advantage of us or steal things from us, such as our joy, peace, love, and kindness. When you have healthy boundaries you realize that YOU are SO IMPORTANT! YOU matter. YOU are special. YOUR needs are just as important as everyone else’s. Healthy boundaries teach us to truly LOVE ourselves! Jesus is teaching me that it is okay to distance myself from people who it is not healthy for me to be around. He is teaching me that my clients cannot rule my life. He is teaching me that if my clients are going to change THEY have to do it. I can’t do it for them! My only responsibility is to provide them with the tools they need to make the change! That’s awesome!
On the other hand, Jesus is also teaching me about perspective. My director said something today that really spoke to me. She said, “We have to remember that our job is not to do what’s most convenient for us, but what is best for our families.” And even though I am learning healthy boundaries, she is RIGHT! This job isn’t about me. It’s about my clients. It’s about my kids! I have to learn balance. I have to learn that I NEED healthy boundaries, but I also have to remember that this isn’t all about me. I heard a quote once that said “There is a spot in the middle of the universe that everything centers and revolves around. That spot is NOT you!” I had to laugh! So many times I get mad and frustrated because it’s 8:00pm and I’m STILL WORKING. So many times I get frustrated because I feel like I work harder than others, and don’t get the recognition I feel like I deserve. Many times I get frustrated because I definitely do not get paid the correct amount for what I do. However, while all those may be very fair statements to make…they aren’t right. Because even though I have healthy boundaries, I have to remember its not about me. It is about the kids. When I leave work I have a home to go to. When I leave work I get to call my beautiful mother and talk to her on the phone. When I leave work I am still whole. However, my kids do not have the same luxury. My kids lay down in a place some of them don’t want to be. All of my kids have to wonder why their parents made the choices they did. All my kids wonder if it is their fault they are in foster care. All my kids wonder when they will have a place to call their forever home.
So, will I still get frustrated and say things I shouldn’t? Yes. Will I get frustrated and think that I work harder than others? Yes. Will I get frustrated because I don’t make enough money? Of course. We all will. We are humans. There is grace for that reason! But what I will also do is remind myself during those times that it is all about my perspective of the situation. I get to choose how I view my life. I have the power, and I choose to believe that my 12 hour days aren’t for nothing. My perspective is that Jesus has called me to be a social worker for DHR, and that even though it is emotionally draining, Jesus is my strength. My perspective is that my kids NEED me, and the deserve for me to be the BEST version of myself. They deserve for me to sacrifice what is convenient to me for what is NECESSARY for them.