It is easy to be unhappy with one’s job or lot in life. But, in today’s dismal economic climate, being employed should be a cause for gratitude. The following is a reflection on being thankful for what one has:
“On this, the day before our national holiday, a friend of mine will learn whether or not her job will be ‘going away.’ Her husband, who works for another firm, is poised to bring a justifiable lawsuit against his employer. Regardless of the suit’s outcome, he will no longer be employed by the corporation that has signed his paychecks for the better part of his career. Compounding this situation is the fact that this decent, hard-working couple has a young child that they adore.
Thanksgiving is as much a time of reflection as it is celebration. This year, I will reflect upon my friend and all those like her whose financial futures remain uncertain. Tomorrow, as I have all prior Thanksgivings, I will lead Grace with my family before we partake of the turkey and trimmings. As in previous years, I will begin the blessing by recounting the things for which I am personally grateful. I’ve been most grateful, in recent times, that my family was spared on 9/11, that I have been blessed to discover great new music in an industry that honors the formulaic and the soulless, and that I have made strong new friendships with others who love real music as I do. This year, I will be adding something to my list. I will give thanks for my job and fact that my husband is also gainfully employed.
Do I have the perfect job? I like what I do, but it is not perfect. Does my husband have the perfect job? Pressed to take up the slack of his myriad downsized colleagues, my husband works long hours and some weekends. These days, consideration of one’s job equates to the deliberation of the proverbial glass as half empty or half full. Everyone complains about his or her job. We grumble about bosses masquerading as slave traders, backstabbing co-workers, demanding clients, workdays that begin before dawn, and sub-par salaries. Among the disgruntled there is not one of us who does not fantasize about living carefree on some sunny island, hitting the links five days a week, or pulling a “Nine to Five” on our bosses, a la Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin.
But unless we were born privileged, these desires are but fantasies. In this sinking economy, with more than 10% of the workforce jobless, those of us still drawing paychecks may wish to do as I will be doing tomorrow: giving thanks that I am still employed.”