I had pegged out the third load of washing of the day and as I watched it blow in the warm breeze that arrived with all that glorious spring sunshine in April, I felt an immense sense of job satisfaction. Working methodically through a list of household chores; of starting, doing and getting a job done has brought with it a new and different feeling of achievement.
Much kudos is given in this world for professional achievement; for climbing the career ladder and reaching the top; for running a successful business; for superior qualifications and board appointments. But kudos really should also be given for the day-to-day achievement of simply getting through life at the moment – and given to those who are enabling us to carry on in straightened times through their dedication, hard work and selflessness. Why? Because in a changed and challenging world, carrying out practical day-to-day activities such as washing, cooking and cleaning should surely hold as much reward as a promotion; and the people who are keeping our country running right now deserve as much admiration, praise and gratitude as a successful corporate lawyer. I’m thinking about the delivery men, the refuse collectors, the bus drivers, the payroll officers, the hospital cooks…the list goes on and on.
Now feels like the time to reassess and celebrate all that is valuable to society – not just in a time of crisis but always. Maybe the shift has started already – clapping for our amazing NHS workers has now been extended to giving thanks for carers and the dedication of teachers. People have been leaving thank you notes for their postman and getting to know their local supermarket staff rather than simply answering the question ‘Cash or card?’ There is great dignity in all employment, whether that is paid or unpaid, whether in service to others or in furthering one’s own ambitions.
Now is a time when we should stop and reflect on the role that each of us plays in our homes, our communities and society at large, and appreciate the invaluable contribution of those who have had to carry on when so many of us have had to stop.
So keep well and (whatever your role/s in life) give yourself a round of applause. Peg out that washing and remember that you are brilliant.