Sometimes a post idea comes to me and I struggle for a title. Sometimes I manage to come up with an idea and a title together. And sometimes I just get a title. Today, I was thinking along the lines of repetitive tasks – there is a world of lather, rinse, repeat beyond shampoo – and this title popped in.
It seems as though we think, as children, that we will put thought into what we want to be; get the appropriate training in our early adult years; get the appropriate job for that training at a good company; achieve regular gains in pay and work load based on experience; and retire at the right time. Ding, work life recipe complete. And perhaps that did work for a chunk of the population for a space of time. (I hear tell that the Millennials have different ideas of a career – do share.)
We do need to have a balance of the expected – certainty – to go along with all of the variables – marry or not, and who? Where to live? Children? And somehow our working segment seems a reasonable portion to place our hopes for regular, certain, blissful sameness. We can handle life’s changes when we know there will be familiar expectations here and there.
While I have been aware of this sort of assembly line progression of career, I have taken a different tack. I understand why this notion can appeal. Just for fun, I make lists of all the bits and pieces of life that we are supposed to keep up on and it is eye-popping. Also, not feasible – something must go on auto-process. Something has to be chosen to fend for itself. Benign neglect.
I am not suggesting that people don’t take pride in their work, don’t want to be valued. Not at all, just that there isn’t a necessarily a conscious review of current status versus a planned trajectory. The focus is on the set of regular tasks. It is expected that completion of tasks will carry up to keep on that trajectory until retirement.
Does this work out? Yes, for some. Certainly it has led to a rude awakening for others. So the question comes down to deciding whether it is working for you – is your current activity meeting your expectations? If so, repeat until retirement, with occasional re-verification.
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