I still have this expectation that if you work hard, do more than is asked of you, try hard, produce good stuff, etc., etc., that good things happen to you in return professionally. And so, I was totally expecting something to happen at work, something good. But it didn't. And I'm a bit. . .surprised? Stunned? It didn't just involve me--it involved a number of other people who also worked hard, who are good people, who were deserving of good things happening to them. And yet. . .good things didn't happen. I am more surprised and disappointed for them than I am for myself.
When setbacks like this happen, it makes me question the wisdom that hard work brings rewards. I think that idea comes from my Puritanical New England roots, and in moments like this, I start to think it's a bit outdated. I think I probably do not give enough credit (and attention) to connections and networking and good, old-fashioned sucking up, and the rewards those things bring. Which is also a bit cynical.
In any case, I was initially very disappointed. But then, it struck me that I did everything I could. EVERYTHING. Except maybe spending a lot of time sucking up, but I can live with myself not having done that. I worked really hard, over an extended period of time, and I gave it my best. And this time, perhaps my best wasn't good enough for someone else to recognize, but I am good enough for me. I am satisfied with a job well done And for today, that's enough.