Work as support during rocky times
Earlier this week I wrote a personal blog, soon after I received many messages, texts and phone calls. From friends asking me how I’m doing and if there’s anything they can do to help. Not only friends took the time to reach out to me. I also got messages and calls from my co-workers to see how I was doing.
My blog was about the battle I’m fighting right now. My wife is ill, she has been for 10 years. The last year and half things got considerably worse and it happened really fast. There is a lot of insecurity and no guarantee for a cure. So we are left with a huge feeling of powerlessness and a life that’s stuck. We can’t go back to how things were before she got ill and right now we can’t look towards the future either. So it’s like we’re stuck in limbo. And I have, without fully realizing, become her caretaker. Being 27 years old I did not plan that my life would go in this direction. And I woud be lying if I said it’s easy. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, but I do it, every single day, because I love her. Because I want to be there and offer help wherever possible. That’s what I wrote about, and it clearly touched people.
Work as support
One of the first people who contacted me was Els. She read my blog and wanted to know how I was doing. The person in me, not the employee. She said that working at the moment must be hard for me. And that even though they would miss me, there were solutions. I could take time off to be able to fully focus on taking care of my wife. When she said that, I realized it had never even occurred to me to stop working. My work is not a burden, quite the opposite actually. By being at work, I get structure in my days. It gives me satisfaction to cross of to-do after to-do on my list. The tasks distract me and are a reminder that I matter too, something I often forget in my caretaker role. But first and foremost I like to work, because I get to be myself here. I can be honest about the harder moments and about the days when concentrating is difficult. I don’t have to hide anything. And if sometimes I feel doubt it’s almost immediately silenced by a message ‘we’re thinking about you’. That’s the greatest gift I could wish for in this rocky times. Awesome colleagues with whom I can be myself.
touches me deeply to be surrounded by people in my personal as well as in my professional life who care about me. And who make it clear that they are there for me. I hope you’ll never end up in a situation like mine, but if you do I wish you a work-environment that acts as a source of strength. Where colleagues are there for you. And where humanity is always valued above work.