Office Drama?  How side projects can help us focus on what is important.

I sit here with a glass of wine and a small bag of Peppermint patties.  I want to write something really smart and encouraging so that other people will find joy and purpose in something other than their 9-5 job.

Something other than what EVERYONE in their life is telling them to do, or at least insinuating. It’s often the insinuating that does the trick.  Everyone goes to work, goes home and puts some type of dinner together, does some work around the house, takes a toke of their life coping mechanism, and then prepares for another day.

We get into our cars, drop our children off at school or daycare, head to work and smile and play all the bull shit games that our college books taught us to play.  We work hard and play office politics because at the moment we have to.  This is how we pay our bills so we put the effort into it.  We may get engrained in our job and start to take things personal.  We may learn to love our job and find purpose in it.  Any change in our current position though can cause a life and career crisis.  Our identity is gone and our welfare is under attack.

Day after day goes by and we drive to and from.  Like zombies.  If we aren’t careful years may go by without much thought and we get deeper into the office drama, politics, and mind numbing work that we call a career.  I am being a bit over dramatic, but how often do we get stuck in a career or life that we don’t know how to get out of?  Could we be living and working an unanalyzed life?  Going through the motions because everyone else is and not knowing why.  How do we stay focused on what is really important?

Side projects, art, hobbies, crafts, and creativity.

They are an outlet.  They are that thing that we love and can just do.  They don’t have to have any rhyme or reason.  We can do something we love and do it how we want.  We can pour ourselves into something that is important to us and that is a part of who we are.  This helps us focus on who we want to be and I am guessing that’s not always who we have to be from 9-5.

We were meant for more than what our employer needs during the day.  We can begin to be that person by starting a side project, creating art, picking up a hobby, creating crafts, and being creative.  You have something to offer the world and we need you to share it.  You are not the sum total of spreadsheets, phone calls, emails, office drama and politics.  You are a _________.

I sat in a meeting today filled with office drama and all I could think of was getting home and reading and writing.  I wanted to reach out to others and tell them that we were made for more than a meeting about if the office drama queen got an email or not.  I wanted to give you a call and tell you we can do this.  Let’s start drawing, writing, creating, crafting, rebuilding a car, fabricating metal, making our own art, and you name it.  We aren’t going to get anyone’s approval and we don’t need it.  We need to be who we are.  We need to create.

One of the beautiful things about creating is that it doesn’t have to make sense.  It doesn’t have to fit in a mold.  It can just be what it is.  It gives us the opportunity to open our mind and just do.  In the process we grow and develop into the people we want and need to be.  There are often pieces of ourselves that are not fulfilled and a side project can fulfill us.  Our work and life could never be all to us, but put all the pieces together and it can.

What is missing in your life?  I need freedom to create, time to think and put together ideas, practice writing, read and study, and decorate my home.  My side projects give me the opportunity to do that in a consistent manner and I am more fulfilled because of it.

But I don’t have time.  Neither do I.  I work overtime at my full time job, work a second job, have two kids at home, am remodeling a house, and working on my MBA.  I have no time, but I have a strong desire to do things that matter and are my purpose in life.  What about you?

Marcy Pedersen


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