Yesterday I had to wake up from a perfectly good sleep in order to go to work. Among the initial grouching and cussing at the alarm clock, I ventured out of my nice, warm bed and into the kitchen to make a coffee. While I was waiting for the water to heat up I was suddenly struck by how lucky I am. No, I wasn’t again musing on the fact that I won this awesome coffee machine (although that is an awesome story, click here if you haven’t read it), but I was thinking that I am lucky to HAVE to get up and go to work.
See, many people around the world aren’t in this same situation. While it’s true that some people are out of work because of choice, the overwhelming majority of unemployed people don’t want to be. They want to be out in the workforce making a difference or at least earning their own money. But because of the economy or other circumstances they are left trying to make ends meet on their limited savings and ultimately useless unemployment benefits. Some people are unemployed because they have a disability and they either cannot work or cannot be hired because someone is afraid they aren’t up to the tasks at hand.
I am not disabled (migraines aside), and I spent a great deal of time trying to find paid work in the writing industry. When everything I found was too short term or paid too little to cover the bills I decided to look elsewhere, and was fortunate enough not only to find a great job in the retail/finance sector, but also one where I work with great people.
I am also lucky enough that I can legally be employed. It wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things that women weren’t allowed to hold jobs. Someone thought that women could only marry, run a household, and tend to children. I am lucky enough to live in a time and place where I can not only be given a job but it is downright encouraged for me to have one.
Now, I’m not saying that there is equality in the workplace when it comes to the gender gap, and women are still paid less than men to do the same job, but we have come quite a ways in a short time, and I can only see things getting better.
So while I hate the early mornings and having to commute through peak hour traffic to get to work, I am grateful that I have work at all.
Now please excuse me while I enjoy my day off.