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September 25. 2019: The Wonderful World of Work

Just how wonderful is it? That is, the world of work. Work satisfies some innate desire. Get ‘er Done. This was the rallying cry of Larry the Cable Guy and most on the planet took to this. Work for the sake of working – the excuse being, “I need to provide for my family.” The larger the family, the more one feels compelled to work. And so, some are working and not working – I think of construction workers, standing by asphalt roadsides, moving shovels back and forth. Or the road crew guys, this fall going round and round the loop, many times, when once would do it. They go home with a check – they pay their bills. And if they have money left over, they spend it on toys. Men, purchasing mechanized vehicles, they are the worst.

Alys mucking
Alys mucking

We once bartered. This led to our using money – paper and coins, to pay for goods. Thinking in terms of money made us more regimented in our thinking. We became more work obsessed. And we took to specializing in what it is that we do. Our jobs are now our identity. Certain judgements are placed on what it is you do. A brain surgeon affords more respect than a street sweeper. Schools, most highly regimented, prepare us for the world of work. We are taught to be in certain rooms at certain times, and when a bell rings, we head for another room. It’s no wonder the kids who work in the recycling area at the fair depart exactly when their shifts are over.

I thought hard yesterday about the above as I was working around the place. I wasn’t getting paid to do what I do – I could easily have stopped doing what I was doing and gone for a horseback ride. But no, I instead tackled the things on my internalized list – I cleaned the goat pen and surrounding area, repotted basil that was given to us by our friend Karen, cleaned the horse pen, got them some willow branches to chew on, and as well, did some other seemingly mundane tasks.

The first task, cleaning the interior of the goat pen, led to another, another, and another. All things are connected, right? On the surface, I can say that I did what needed to be done. But I was also acting in an innate fashion – making our immediate environment more habitable for us and for the horses, goats, chickens, and dog. And each task that I took on was ultimately deeply satisfying.

I frequently do what I did yesterday. However, I don’t, when people ask me what I do, say I spend considerable time at home making the place habitable. Nor do I write this in the category marked “Occupation,” on forms. Rather, I say that I’m a writer because this carries more cultural cache, even with me. Saying I’m a writer and work at home carries maybe a few ounces more weight in the minds of most, but just a few ounces. If I added, “I have come out with several best sellers,” this would translate to my being a paid writer, and therefore, in their estimation, make me seem even more credible.

The Wonderful World of Work – really, is it all that wonderful?

Next: 266. 9/26/19: Fall For Real

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