I was pumping gas into my car this morning when two other drivers pulled up alongside me to refuel. One of these men acknowledged the other by saying, “Hello, how you doing”? And the reply of the other driver was, “Gettin’ by!”, a colloquialism often spoken at gas pumps.
It struck me however that “Gettin’ By” these days may be a good thing, or it could be settling for your current life state. It all depends on what it means to you. You need to know that I am a native Minnesotan, and in Minnesota it is customary to say, “Not so Bad” if something is actually good. So, what is said is not necessarily what is meant and interpretation is quite often required and important. So assuming that both of these drivers are employed here are some interpretations…
Interpretation Number 1
“Gettin’ By” in this instance means that the gas-pumping person is pleased that they can buy the gas to fill the car, to get to their job that they enjoy, to make money to support their family, and pay the bills. They are grateful to have enough to meet their needs and are truly happy with their job and with getting by.
Interpretation Number 2
In this instance, “Gettin’ By” means making ends meet too, but the driver is unfulfilled and putting in his time until he can either quit his job or retire. He believes that this is the only job he can get and he better hang on tight, although he hates the daily grind and his boss, and is gulping antacids to attempt to calm his stomach. He has given up and is barely getting by and paying a big price for it. The spark plug is barely igniting.
While I acknowledge that the unemployment rate is high and the economy is not what it used to be, settling to spend the precious hours of your life at a job you hate has consequences that are quite expensive. On your relationships, physical health, and sleep to name a few.
A Movement is Underway
What I am hearing and seeing is that many are no longer settling for jobs they dislike. They are seeking to improve things by doing the groundwork to go for the job that speaks to who they are while working their current job. Others have opted for two part-time jobs that they like vs. one they cannot stand, or have changed a hobby into a “side-shuffle” business to bring in more happiness and income.
Time to Refuel?
Some have decided that it is okay to want more and to go for it even when they already have a job. It is a personal decision for each of us that is worthy of reflection.