I find it interesting how stressful it is to change jobs. I see so many people stay in one job for way longer than they should because they fear change For them it’s easier to just stay in an unsatisfying job than to deal with the stress and uncertainty of change. Others seem to embrace change and hop from job to job to job looking for the one that will satisfy them and make them happy.
I’m somewhere in between. Constantly looking, rarely accepting. I’ve attempted to start a business on the side several times over the last 8 or 10 years, but none of them have ever panned out into something that made money. I’d have to classify them as hobbies at this point, fun to work on, took a lot of my time, but ultimately they went nowhere. I still love the idea of working for myself, building web apps that attract thousands of users who need the solution that I’ve created. There’s just something about that idea that sounds massively gratifying.
I’m changing jobs for the third time in 12 years (2nd this year) and it feels very strange. I know I’m doing the right thing by leaving my current job (lots of resistance from the CEO for me even being here..it’s a complicated story), but there’s a looming fear that I’ll be unhappy with the new job 6 months from now even though it looks promising on the surface and they really want me there. I should be able to immerse myself in my work, show my value and probably find avenues for promotion since the company is growing fast. But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s still not the thing I’m supposed to be doing.
So it looks like I’m one of those people who fear changing jobs but not the way most people fear it. I fear changing from having a job to not having one and working for myself. In all honesty it’s the fear of losing my house and comfortable way of life that my family has come to enjoy. If I were single and didn’t have so much financial obligation it would be an easy choice to make. I fear change just like the guy who’s afraid to change jobs, our fear just looks a little different.
Over the course of my weekend I had several opportunities to “interact” with my kids. And by interact, I mean yell at them for doing things that I found to be annoying. And by annoying, I mean normal things that all kids do like dump ALL of the school supplies that my wife had worked so hard to separate out into one big pile on the floor. I’ve also begun to really notice just how much kids talk. OMG, they ask questions all the friggin’ time, it’s freaking ridiculous how much attention they demand just by exhaling and engaging their voice box.
Anyway, as I was driving in to work today I was reflecting on my weekend and what it was like in regards to my kids and I started to feel bad once I realized how I had actually “talked” to my kids. I asked myself if I’d still use that same tone of voice if the person, who had done whatever it was that the child in question had done, wasn’t my child. What if it was a coworker or my spouse (well that’s not fare, I yell at her all the time too ;)) that I was talking to? Would I approach them the same way or use more tact? Obviously (I say to myself) I’m not socially uncouth so I know that I would have used a more….amiable tactic to try and achieve the same results.
Which quite succinctly brings me to my simple point. Just because my kids are my kids and just because they do stupid kid-like things and just because they talk all the friggin’ time and get on my every last nerve does not give me any more right to talk down to them or “yell” at them than I might normally have. So I put myself in their shoes for a minute and here’s what I came up with.
What happens when people yell at us or talk down to us?? We get angry. I’d have to imagine that my kids get angry with me too when I don’t control my tongue with them. The Bible tells us to not provoke our children to anger.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.- Ephesians 6:4
A simple way to obey this is to talk to our kids with respect, always. Even if that means that for a while you have to pretend that they’re a coworker or our spouse, or to put it another way, someone with whom we wish to earn respect. Just treat them like they are people, because ultimately they are their own person, otherwise they wouldn’t use that little mind of theirs to do things that annoy us.