Best Stressed

I recently read an interesting article ranking the most stressful jobs in 2010 [1]. First off, I’m not saying we should take such lists too seriously. Don’t be offended if your profession didn’t get on the list. Many of the ‘obvious’ professions didn’t either, the not so nice comments at the end of the article proves that. (Feel free to add your voice). Production and industry line workers didn’t make the cut. Nor did the overly-happy-to-see-you cashier at the Burger King counter, who gets to hear exactly how everyone has their burger their way for an 8 hour stretch.  Air traffic controllers, nurses, janitors, dishwashers and garbage collectors didn’t even get an honorary mention.  And while if you’re a Roustabout you might officially have the worst job of the year [2], you don’t seem to have a stressful one. Go figure. So let’s not put much faith in it, it’s all relative. But while working is stressful, which it is regardless of where you’re working or what your job is, is it possible that not working is even more so?

Working allows the opportunity to do many things we sometimes take for granted. If you have the big ‘w’ covered, work, all the other ‘w’s fall into place, the wheres, whats, whos, whens  and the whys. Working means you earn and earning in turn means the power is yours. You can choose where you live, how you decorate and the size of your tv. What you eat, where you eat at and how often. What you wear, who made it and how many colours you own. The phone you use, phone package you have, even what you watch, will be influenced directly by your earning power. Yes, what you watch. Because movies and cable aren’t free. Not legally anyway, but that’s another blog.
It all comes back to what you can afford. But here is where it gets interesting.  If you earn enough to cover the essentials (utilities, food, water etc.) and can still have enough to support a few things in the lifestyle you want, you’ll be content. For a little while anyway.  If you actually earn more than needed to cover essentials and fully support your lifestyle, you should be beyond content and somewhere in the happy zone.  Bear in mind that usually to earn the bigger dollars you work longer hours and seldom have sufficient time to enjoy the privilege. It’s a trade and balance act. Unfortunately this blog isn’t about you people, seek advice elsewhere. I recommend Google.
But if you can’t relate to the contented and happy, that’s because you’re in the other group.  Earning too little to cover the essentials and therefore have nothing left over for lifestyle. These troupers are the strugglers and the strugglers are, you guessed it, stressed. [3]
So while we appreciate the time and effort put into composing these lists and although we’ll keep firefighters, taxi-drivers and surgeons on our nightly prayer lists, let’s not waste precious time bickering over who has the most stressful job. Contrary to what the so called experts say, the most stressful job is not having one. Congratulations all unemployed, we’ve finally topped a list. Get ready for the Red Carpet! We are the Best Stressed.  

[1] Reference: America’s Most Stressful Jobs 2010
[2] Reference: Career Cast: 10 Worst Jobs of 2010
[3] Reading, self help: Understanding Stress

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Laugh loud, love hard and live in the sunshine.

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