Get Email Updates
Demented Diary
Going Wodwo
Crochet Lady
Dan Gent
Sky Friday
Kindle Daily Deal
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

2410012 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Working for a Living, Working for a Life
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (7)

Ask most people why they work and they will tell you to make enough money to be able to support their real life—mortgage which is being paid for (why?)—for vacation they never have time to take—for their kids’ college education—to have a beer after work and a barbecue on the weekends, all of which they consider their real life. Work is just drudgery to support a few hours of real life.

That doesn’t make any sense at all and it is a dichotomy invented nearly out of whole cloth by post-Industrial Revolution (if there ever was such a thing) workers who found the assembly line and the desk job alienated them from any connection to the fruits of their labor and the integration of those results into everyone’s lives, making the work that they did meaningful, useful and of worth.

It has become de rigueur to say you hate your job and to pant in expectation of the weekend when you can be yourself and do what you want. Another myth. You always have a social façade (seldom are you yourself) and seldom can you do what you want, if you frame what you want in terms of asocial behavior. The other required complaint is about “honey dos” and the entire negative structure of work life combined with home life is used as an excuse for escapist behavior down at the local bar or the racetrack.

And it is so deeply embedded in our social mythology that there is tacit approval of all the above behaviors. Well, of course you drink to get away from that nagging wife, “Honey will you do the lawn?” And of course you have to get away from that awful job. The amount of self-pity could choke a horse.

If you think this is an exaggeration, try saying that you love your job. If you escape with only raised eyebrows and sniggered comment about brown nosing, you work in a tolerant group. Many will risk total ostracism and loss of vital information in the workplace data network as a result.

Try saying that you enjoy tasks done with, or for, your spouse and you may be called hen-pecked if you’re a man. If you’re a woman it is taken for granted you will do what your spouse asks and work around the house on your days “off”—that is what a woman does. Any degredation of cleanliness or organization at home is laid at her door, except for the lawn, which is his. No wonder he resents being asked to do anything else. He has worked all week and deserves to do what he really wants to do, which is to be irresponsible and childlike. Her work outside the home is not noticed, not counted, below the manly radar.

Can you imagine how alien all this would have seemed to my Swedish great-grandparents who worked the farm sunup till sundown, raised a family, went to church, occasionally went to a church or village social for a break and called it a “good life.” Their attitude was—of course, that is what we do. We do work that sustains and enriches our lives, our children’s lives and the lives of our neighbors. And it is a worthwhile way to spend our days. The corollary is that we give it our best effort and don't count the cost.

That was their legacy to me. I found a job that was a worthwhile way to spend my days, because my life is my job plus my home plus my friends and the fun we have. I do not sit in my office, tapping away the hours and considering them wasted till I can get out. . I’m not just waiting for Friday to come around again. These are my life’s hours, too, and I live them as part of my total existence, part of my contribution to the larger society, of value to me and to you and your children.

Read/Post Comments (7)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 JournalScape.com. All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.