Month: February 2015

If you have a life partner, you won’t be able to go to their funeral…

…if you die first.

That’s a bit of a odd ‘weird thought’ so I apologise to the gentle-minded in advance. I don’t mean to offend.  I was at a Governors’ Newsletter Meeting today at my sons’ school and that is the weird thought I had (so not in the usual place) during the meeting.

We were talking about death and the dead bodies we’d come across. This led us to imagining our own deaths and remembering the deaths of others. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I’d like to go to my husband’s funeral. Yet I only have a 50% chance of getting to go. How cruel is that? I’d like to be able to say goodbye when the time comes. I’m sure he feels the same way about me. He also only has a 50% chance of getting to go. We can’t both go. One of us has to die first.

I want to be there.

I want to be there.

It just seems so unfair.

There isn’t much I can do about this problem, except try to die second. Not that I want him to miss out either though. We’ll have to have a 10p bet on this I think. I’m quite competitive, I hope I win!

What brings happiness – work satisfaction or money?

Today I found myself in a discussion with two friends about careers. The discussion started off about the choices you make as a teenager (so around about the time you are choosing your GCSE options) and how you need to balance choosing what you enjoy with what you might see as useful for your future career (incidentally, I chose the subjects I enjoyed – there was no such GCSE as a GCSE in Online Publishing in those days).

Decisions, decisions.

Decisions, decisions.

This discussion morphed into a deep philosophical debate about the nature of happiness. More specifically, we asked each other: is there a positive correlation between money and happiness? Should you consider your career choice based on where the work and the money is or on what you enjoy or feel passionately about? Or in other words, does job satisfaction levels skewer the graph?

We reach a point of optimum happiness

We reach a point of optimum happiness

One friend argued, without any obvious doubt in her mind, that in her opinion so long as you are earning a good wage, even if you are doing something you don’t enjoy, you’ll be more happy than if you are in a fulfilling job for peanuts. She added something along the lines of ‘If you want more than you have, you know you’ll be happier when you get it so it makes sense to try to earn more money to get it’.

On one level I see her point. I do work harder to save up for something to buy. However, I’d expect this to be a temporary state. In more general terms of how important (or unimportant) job fulfillment is though, I disagreed with her. I know that I couldn’t do a job I didn’t enjoy (i.e. spend at least 8 hours a day, five days a week doing it) even if it made me rich. In my mind, money and things are less important than feeling satisfaction and pride for the work I do. But perhaps I am being naive. I suspect I am. I’m lucky in that I do a job I enjoy AND it pays quite well. Perhaps if I were faced with the choice between job satisfaction and money more starkly I might opt for the boring, well-paid job.

Would you work in a boring job for this?

Would you work in a boring job for this?

Perhaps the key is the get the balance right. We can’t survive without work (for our mind, physical and mental health, and survival) but we would soon be disillusioned doing a job with no fulfillment for lots of money (it happens to a lot of people). Equally, we’d soon tire of doing a worthwhile job, changing people or the world, for peanuts (that happens to many too).

I think I will just plod on helping to spread scholarship around the world, and try not to moan about being too busy because at least for me, more work means more money.

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

However, my advice to someone choosing their GCSE options today would be: do whatever you want – choose the subjects you enjoy. Seize the day and all that. But work hard at those subjects, as hard as you can, because then you will have the luxury of the choice of work fulfillment vs more money.

You can almost hear Robin Williams whispering in your ear, can’t you?

 

We are food for worms, lads

We are food for worms, lads