Appetite for Appreciation

I wrote this yesterday morning, and then an incident occurred in the evening that has left me feeling frustrated. I’m not feeling angry anymore (a rant to my mum sorted that out!), but I’ve become so tired of it all that I simply can’t be bothered to feel angry anymore. I’m almost a bit blasé about it. I really can’t be bothered with holding onto anger.

Lately at work I have been feeling unappreciated, under-valued and worthless. I haven’t received a ‘thank you’ for my work and it’s been bothering me why. Thank you’s have always made me feel awkward and I don’t really like receiving them. Why is this ‘thank you’ so important?

And then I realised why.

Because I WANTED it.

I’ve invested a LOT of time and effort in this job, and to not receive a ‘thank you’ or any show of gratitude and appreciation really makes me angry. I was especially riled at not even getting a card at Christmas or even a ‘thank you for all your hard work this year’.

I feel like I’ve put my life on hold to care for M and to help her try to become independent. Even though I’ve not seen the manifestation of any results, which in itself is incredibly frustrating, I hope some of what I’ve given M has sunk in. Only time will tell.

I’ve tried so hard to help her realise that being disabled doesn’t mean she’s limited and that if she’s willing to put the effort and hard work in, then she can achieve anything. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have made any impact on her self-belief levels.

Although I’m a feeling a little…bitter about putting so much in and not seeing results, I have to remind myself that I CHOSE to take this job, and think of the multitude of personal growth opportunities it’s given me. It’s made me VERY aware of my shortcomings, it helped me get settled financially, and it really kick-started my spiritual journey, and numerous other ‘little’ things. All of which I’m thankful for.

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It has taught me an incredible amount about myself so even if I don’t see any results with M, I’ve definitely seen some in myself.

I also realised that my desire to receive a ‘thank you’ or some show of gratitude has led to my suffering, i.e. anger and feeling under-valued.

You see, in care work a ‘thank you’ is unbelievably important (as it is in all aspects of life). We’re looking after people’s family members and taking on the responsibility of that person’s health and well-being, and sometimes it can feel as though there’s a huge amount of pressure to do it ‘right’. In care work you’re so busy looking after everyone else that one day you realise you’ve forgotten to look after yourself. Suddenly you’re the one who feels as though they could do with a carer! We all try our best to help and sometimes when your effort isn’t realised it can lead to some self-doubt and worry about whether you really are good at your job.

Now, I’m only a carer by profession, but there are people who are carers because they have to be, and it’s these people that I hold a deep respect for. These are the people who selflessly look after their mother/father/sibling/partner/grandparents/children etc. I think these people deserve a massive ‘well done’ and a holiday!

To me, it’s their devotion and unending loving service to others that deserves recognition. In my eyes they’re heroes and saints – they give up so much to be of service and to love even during the tough times.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And, if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ~ Dalai Lama.

From a Buddhist perspective these people are helping and doing their service to others without the need for validation. They do it for love – the highest kind of service.

I haven’t reached that level yet, although if a family member required care then I would of course be their carer.

I think I’ve become entangled in care work being WORK. It pays my bills. I’ve never had to care for someone for pure service. I got into care because I wanted to make a difference to someone’s life and help them. Although my intentions are good, a part of me feels that because I’m doing it to earn money I’m being selfish.

If I had a never-ending supply of money I would visit hospitals and chat to the patients, I’d go abroad and find somewhere/someone that needed my help, I’d help communities, I’d help get the homeless off the streets, I’d do so much! As it is I don’t have that never-ending cash flow – yet! – and sometimes I don’t think having the intention is enough. Or maybe it is…I’ll let you know in a few years!

Too often we hear of people who feel worthless, under-valued and unappreciated. Sometimes all that’s needed is a ‘thank you’- a genuine ‘thank you’ and not an empty habitual utterance.

They’re two simple words, but they make SUCH a big difference.

Having had my share of ‘low’ jobs I know how important it is to receive a genuine ‘thank you’ from someone. It really does make a difference. Especially in today’s society. We’re becoming contactless and more detached from each other. We all crave closeness and yet technology has played a role in distracting us.

It really is frustrating when someone judges the barista at their local coffee shop as “just a barista”, or the bus driver is “just a bus driver”. They’re more than that: they’re a human being trying to find their way through life.

No-one is a “just”. Everyone IS.

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Today I ask you to make an extra special effort to say a genuine ‘thank you’ to all who serve you, whether it be the barista, cleaner, bin man, banker, store assistant, nurse, receptionist, a family member, even your pets! Say ‘thank you’ and let them know EVERYONE is valued no matter what they do in life.

No-one is above or below another.

We are all equal.

I am. We are.

Thank you all for reading! 😀

Be happy. Be you.

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4 thoughts on “Appetite for Appreciation

Add yours

  1. I think this is a Universal sentiment, I’m going through the same thing right now at my workplace, to the point where I’m starting to fear for my position.

    Beware of those who will not pat you on the back, as they know you thrive on this. It’s a tool for some as they believe it will squeeze more loyalty and work out of you.

    J

    Like

    1. I think they know it annoys me. Especially when the other day M’s mother was purely focused on what I do ‘wrong’ in the job when the issue doesn’t lay with me and isn’t my fault.

      I’m leaving my job next Friday so not long left! I just keep reminding myself of all that I do have and as my nan says: “Rise above it”.

      I hope you find the strength to rise above your situation and not allow these people to bring you down 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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