We recently completed an employee engagement survey at work. I hate those things. Generally it doesn’t change anything but the rhetoric, and it feels like more of a chore than anything. My team had a meeting yesterday about our results, and after a lot of talk about the past and how we can move forward as a team, I spoke up.
Now, I am very happy at my job. In fact, I LOVE my job. I wake up excited more than I don’t, and I’m usually bubbly the second I walk in the door. My team is amazing, and I am proud to work where I am. Full stop. I’m in love with what I do, and where I am. I get thanked a lot for the work I do, I get a lot of compliments about my attitude and the effect it has, and I haven’t said no to a project yet. Hell. I even had a little birthday celebration yesterday, and got thanked by two directors (including my own) for overtime I put in.
I. Love. My. Job.
All of that, however, didn’t stop me from pointing out that employee engagement results tend to be difficult to implement, that I had the previous results and nothing has changed, and that I didn’t see the point of putting a lot of effort into something that wouldn’t matter anyways. I genuinely believe that effort needs to come from the top – that it’s impossible to say to jaded individuals “It will get better if you work harder!” unless you want to piss everyone off.
Given that I’m generally the happiest person in the office, that statement has raised a few questions and a few compliments from my team. Most obviously, the one I’ve heard 4 times now is comments about my positive attitude versus my opinion about employee engagement surveys.
To that, I say I choose this.
I’m turning 35 tomorrow (what the fuck), and I have to say that the lesson I’ve learned the most since last year is that your attitude defines your life. I have finally learned that I get to choose.
I choose to be happy at work, especially on Mondays, even though it would be really easy to be grumpy and disengaged.
I choose to be happy. Even when reason says I shouldn’t be, I choose lightness over darkness.
I choose hard work. Whether it’s the gym or repairing a relationship, or even cleaning a storage room, I choose to get sweaty and fight through it.
I choose to dance. Even though I’m TERRIBLE at it, even though I don’t know how, I choose to shimmy and shake and sing to honour God and myself, I choose to feel lovely as I move.
I choose love – I choose to love me in all my busted up glory, I choose to love my friends and family, I choose to believe in romantic love and a happy ever after (even though I struggle with that last). Today, especially. I choose love.
I choose to fight for the things that I want. As Sugar says, I want to fight in the muckiest muck and walk out, filthy, exhausted, but still choosing it every time.
I choose, I choose, I choose.
It’s like Choose Your Own Adventure, only in real time. It’s really hard to be this way – I struggle with falling into old habits (“Why does this keep happening to me?!”) and somedays, owning my choices is really fucking difficult. But the more I do it, the easier it is.
I turn 35 tomorrow, and I choose to be happy. I choose to keep living my life without regret, I choose to keep working to being the person I want to be. If I could give you any advice, it would be to choose. Choose what’s important to you, choose to fight for the people you love and the future you want, choose yourself, choose love.