So far as jobs go, not many have it as good as me. Maybe backup quarterbacks in the NFL, and Air Force jet pilots. But they are about it.
For some, work satisfaction is a product of the intrinsic value of their profession. That is to say, for example, that Tom Brady probably enjoys very much being a quarterback. (And not even a backup, at that) Good gig.
While enviable, Tom Brady is not my hero.
The target of my own admiration is less toward Mr. Brady, and more toward those with a much less glamorous profession: my coworkers. Four of them, precisely. Two are peers in my branch, another is a partner with whom I work closely. And, fortunately, the fourth is my boss
They all really enjoy their day-to-day work. In their estimation, their efforts are important. At least within the scheme of those things our work affects. And the work they do is, quite frankly, astounding.
As for the significance of our work: I feel differently. Slightly.
They enjoy work. Take value in it. I, on the other hand, appreciate work.
If my trade dictated that I, say, remove animal waste from backyards, I would strive to be the best pooper-scooper out there.
However, I would never claim scooping poop as a world-changing activity.
I'd like to think that my current occupation has me a few levels advanced above excrement removal. But the analogy works in my estimation.
The analogy is important. I work hard. Because of the pride I take in myself. Not necessarily because of the pride I take in my work.
My appreciation, however, is in what work provides.
I have an amazing boss. The second-most amazing thing about her is the depth of her business knowledge. Most amazing, however, is her steadfast dedication to her subordinates.
She nurtures us professionally while granting astonishing latitude. In such a way that work seems less of a burden to my happiness than it has ever.
No one has better instituted a healthy life/work relationship than my boss. I'm convinced.
Becoming a backup quarterback may not be in the cards. Nor are other more realistic professions. But the career I have, given its flexibility, is a pretty good one.
Maturity is discovering happiness in one's reality. Instead of endlessly lusting after some unattainable state of bliss in unreachable dreams.
I feel mature right now. And, happy.
It's no longer about the work I do. But the life that work provides.