This Thanksgiving, I wanted to take just a few minutes to discuss the gift of work. I know it’s easy for many of us (myself included) to forget that work is indeed just that: a precious gift.
I’m currently in the process of doing a major home re-organization. In fact, I’m hoping to share some of what I’m doing in a video later this week, so stay tuned.
Anyway, part of that process involves decluttering…going through everything I own to figure out what I need, what I want, and what I can do without. Turns out, I have a lot that I don’t need or want. I’ve collected piles of stuff I can do without already, most of which I purchased with my own hard earned money, some of which I got as gifts from loved ones, and some of which I have little to no memory of how I came to have them in the first place.
It’s a lot of stuff, I assure you. Stuff I’m ready–even eager–to let go of.
So I’ve got these piles everywhere. Bags and bags of stuff. And tomorrow I’ll be packing it all up in my car and hauling it over to my local Arc Thrift Store donation center.
I’ve only recently become familiar with Arc. In fact, I had never heard of it before my sister joined their marketing team a few years ago.
One of the things I love about this organization is that they help people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to experience what they call “the gift of work.” They help these wonderful individuals live meaningful lives, part of which involves having a job–a place to go each day where you get to contribute and provide value to the people of your community.
Work is such an important part of what we all do in life. I think those of us who have been lucky enough to have it for a while forget that. We focus on what we want, rather than what we have. But really, we already have so much. It’s not wrong to want more–the better job, the promotion, the raise–but we shouldn’t take what we have for granted either.
Today, I’m very grateful for my life and my work and all the material possessions that clutter up my home. It’s really because of my work that I have most of them. And I’m grateful that some of those things I’ve been accumulating over the years will now go to help Arc and support others in experiencing the gift of work. It’s truly a precious part of life. Not just because it provides a means of affording more stuff, but because it provides meaning in and of itself.
Work may not always feel joyful, but there is joy to be had in it. Let’s focus more on that.
Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends!