On Working

Does anyone truly love to work?

I mean, the actual act of working, not the side-effects: satisfaction, sense of purpose, feelings of accomplishment. I mean, let’s be honest: wouldn’t you rather be having a glass of wine with friends in a nice, sunny garden instead of surveilling a parking garage, polishing your story draft, or pulling weeds? I know I would. But without the work hours, the wine hours feel a bit hollow and unearned. I mean, what to talk about between sips of wine, if not the day’s accomplishments? Besides which, if you don’t pull the weeds, the sunny garden tends to look a bit…weedy.

Maybe you’re different. Perhaps you’re actually one of those extremely driven souls who thrive on long days at the office, negotiating, litigating, or typing your heart out until moonglitter streams into the windows. If so, I commend you. But I’m also slightly wary of your single-mindedness. What are you trying to avoid? Do you fear human engagement outside of the cubicle? I mean, what’s the work for, if not to find a sense of meaning inside a life that’s larger than the work itself—and by larger, I mean full of people, friendships, laughter, travel, feasts, and not a few glasses of wine?

Or maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s me. Is it possible that I’m simply devoid of the Great American Work Ethic? That I love wine and summer and song a bit more than I should? Because right now, all I know is, sitting down to write sometimes feels a whole lot like sprinting uphill in a driving rainstorm. In rickety stilettos.

Not suitable for uphill sprints

I stumbled across a quotation in one of my favorite books this morning that seems to sum up what I’m feeling about my novel manuscript right now. I’ve sent her out into the world, and I tensely await the world’s feedback. Writing those 60,000-or-so words has taken many thousands of hours over a period of about two years. There were moments when I loved the actual hours of dreaming up words and sentences. And there were hours when dragging a single phrase out of the mental quagmire felt like a slog in swirling, waist-high water. And when I thumb through that stack of pages, I feel surges of emotion—pride and disgust, terror and thrill. To sum it up, love.

My Preciousssssssss

Here’s Marlow, from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, on the “twisted, ruined, tin-pot steamboat” he’s fighting to restore for his epic river journey:

“She was nothing so solid in make, and rather less pretty in shape, but I had expended enough hard work on her to make me love her. No influential friend would have served me better. She had given me a chance to come out a bit—to find out what I could do. No, I don’t like work. I had rather laze about and think of all the fine things that can be done. I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work,—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—for yourself, not for others—what no other man can ever know.”

That pretty much sums it up. Which is why, as my husband Hal put it earlier this morning, that 240-page stack makes me smile, even if the world, when all is said and done, declines to care about it with me.

 

Related post: All Cats Are Sociopaths

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343 thoughts on “On Working

  1. I am a full-time writer by profession — and while I love to write, I love to interact more … with my children, boyfriend, blog readers, friends, etc. I only wish there were a profession that centered on interacting.

    Oh wait. Maybe that’s writing — as long as you share that writing with the world!

    Congrats on your novel. I’m putting together a book myself, based on my blog, and I know how overwhelming/scary/wonderful the process is! I’ll send good vibes your way, and perhaps you can send some mine?

    Thanks for the great post — and best of luck to you!

    Mikalee

    • Thanks so much, Mikalee! One nice thing about writing for radio and magazines is that I have to go out into the world and find new people to learn about and understand. It’s wonderful to write about what other people are doing, and then retreat into my head again and write about MEEEEEEEE. That balance is much needed.

      Can’t wait to hear more about your book! I’ve only sent out a small handful of queries so far, but a few agents have asked for more—exciting and scary.

      K

    • You cannot be more right on. I am studying to be a journalist and that requires a lot of late hours. I do it for the love however. I love writing and video editing. There is nothing else that compares. Maybe the family. Great post keep it up.

    • Indeed. The more you live, the more you have to write about. Jack Kerouac would not be known if he wrote “In the Cubicle” or “On the Sofa” (both of which I feel are splendid titles for books).

    • Mikalee, you seem to have found your passion. I love writing and the challenges that come with it, while you are merely being creative. I have recently started a blog that will soon become a book. Please take a look at my work, leave a comment or two, and follow. I will do the same for you!
      http://krischronicles.wordpress.com/

      THANK YOU

  2. This is beyond brilliant! You’re writing skills are outstanding and your particular intelligence is has left me flabbergasted! Absolutely loved the post and can’t wait to read more. This creates an interesting argument as to whether people do enjoy work or try to find a pass-time that gives their life a false purpose. It is an argument many are incapable of solving.

    Katie
    http://katieraspberry.wordpress.com/

  3. Just what a fresh graduate looking for a job needed to read. I think I would love working if what I’ll be doing is what I really want. I’d like to be a runway model and well, walking around while all eyes are on you is something lovely(for me at least) so if I get that as my job, I think I’ll enjoy it. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can achieve it right now so in the meantime, I have to work and do some things I don’t really like to do.

    • Cathy, sure you can make it happen! I know, and believe that you can become a model! “What ever the mind can concieve and believe, the mind will acheive.”

      Best

      Micah

      • I gotta say—going into an NFL locker room (for a radio story assignment) was far more terrifying than it was fabulous. I should say that the fellows were most respectful, but it’s pretty disconcerting to interview huge men who are wearing only skivvies or towels.

        But whatever floats your boat! :)

      • Yep. I guess it depends on the context. My mind was in “must complete radio story” instead of “must check out extremely young males.” Also, there’s the whole issue of respect. Some athletes really don’t like female reporters coming into their locker rooms, which I can understand. But I still had to be there. So I wanted to be completely professional and appropriate.
        I know, sounds pretty stuffy. But really, fantasy is fantasy, and reality is all about my sexy husband Hal.

      • I think if you approached any guy and said ‘How about quitting your current job, and make the same amount of money being a Playboy photographer?” or make even more money?

        I think that’s every man’s dream.

    • I am a fresh graduate as well and aspire to be a model but I am looking for an internship as of now to get into the ‘real world’ and learn how to deal with work pressures. Maybe once I’m ready- physically and mentally- I will pursue my dreams of modelling!

      • And after being jobless for so long I CAN’T WAIT to get a job! For once it would be nice to wake up with something to do other than aimlessly sitting around,stalking people on facebook lol

  4. “…pride and disgust, terror and thrill.” Ick. That’s the same heady cockail of emotions I swallow down every time I read my work. It’s kind of exhausting, but I do it just the same. Enjoyed the post!

  5. Your sleepy kitty drew me in but I also enjoyed your post. For me, a career was just the means to justify the end. Now semi-retired my day brings fullfillment in a different way. Never bored, but never stressed. Lucky me!
    I do think though “the problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you’ve finished”. That’s why I will accomplish something meaningful each day. Good luck with your manuscript.

  6. I think that I could genuinely enjoy my work if I felt it had a true purpose. And, that the purpose of my job aligned itself with what I enjoy and strive to do. But, that could just be me thinking the grass is greener on the other side. My only work experience is in jobs that I haven’t enjoyed and which have been unrelated to my studies or other pursuits.

  7. Heart of Darkness was one of my favorite of the “classics” I had to read in college. Lovely quote choice.

    On the actual topic, I love the stages of grand conception. The nitty-gritty details of proofreading and double-entry data entry fatigue me. In other words, the nature of the work determines my state of mind.

  8. I’ve been putting off a collection of essays (I know, a collection of essays could be completed in a week), but the thought of working drives me crazy. I’d much rather blog here and there, sip Merlot and watch reality tv. I’ve been trying to wait for “inspiration,” but I know that’s just my laziness talking…

    Awesome post!

    • It’s the getting going part that’s tough, huh? Once you get going, it’s fun, like a long jog or bike ride. But the event horizon of getting started can feel a little insurmountable when you’re curled up in a nice patch of sunshine. At least, that’s what Otis the Cat says.

  9. Awesome post! I saw your post on the WP front page and thought I’d check it out considering I just left my job. However, I didn’t leave work. If you don’t engage in work, you will not accomplish anything. Thus, I think work is inevitable. However, a job isn’t. If you engage in work you love, you don’t consider it a job, for that’s what you love doing. Anyways, great writing! I hope I can write as fluid as you someday. Keep it up (:

    -Micah
    I’m an 18 year old blogging his travels and F’ingTW! If you’re interested, stop by and check it out (:
    http://friendtheworld.com/

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I was having a mid-twenties crisis this weekend (do I really have to work for the next 40 years??) and you made me remember that we work to live and not the other way around. Even the things we love doing are going to be grueling sometimes!

    Also, congrats on finishing your book! What a great accomplishment! :-)

    • I remember the mid-20s crisis. I was in a job I hated. But at 28 I got my dream job: teaching people to fly. And life got much better after that. I loved being a flight instructor. But even it was tough some days. (When it was 100 degrees outside; when it was 15 degrees outside, etc. And when my aircraft engine threw a valve and cost me thousands of dollars…)

    • I actually *do* love the work I do. I guess what I’m trying to say is, one loves to do a thing that’s hard, even if the doing of it is painful in the moment. Writing a radio script, for example, makes me bang my head on the desk. But I am happy to have done it and to hear the finished product. And then I’m *really* happy to pour a glass of wine after the work is done.

  11. Great post! Really enjoyed reading it. I totally get this as I’m finishing my undergrad dissertation and feeling the same way. I want to enjoy the coming summer days after working hard all term :)

    Congratulations on your book and being Freshly Pressed!

  12. Lovely post. Makes so much sense. I am an accountant and for a change, i like my role. Mainly because of the ownership and responsibility i have. But yes, i’d much rather be spending time with my fiance and cats, watching Grey’s Anatomy. I’m writing exams next month to get an accounting qualification, but plan to take up writing seriously right after.

  13. I really love the quote and it resonates with the notion of hard work. Yes, we can work hard but there is such great accomplishment, even if unseen, knowing that we have wrought something ourselves. We have filled in the gaps somewhere…for someone. Writing is VERY hard work. To form those emotions, places, and senses into words….to get the phrase JUST RIGHT. I wonder how long it took to write that quote! Hard work and laborous to be sure!

    • Ha! I hadn’t thought of the work of his writing it…somehow you don’t think of Conrad sweating it out, but of course he did. Nice point.

  14. Ah, timely words for a fellow writer struggling against the swirling, waist-high water. Thanks for the Conrad quote and for reminding me that the pages do make me smile, sometimes if only because I’ve put them down for the time being. (Done is good!)

    I wish you success with your novel, and even more success beyond it.

  15. Gosh. I still commend you for finishing something. There are people (like me) who start things but don’t finish it. I also have a book I started years ago, until now, I haven’t finished it. I dunno if the manuscripts are still alive (or perhaps it’s in the computer). The thing is, being a writer requires a lot of passion, inspiration, and yes – all those words that you need to weave into a perfect artwork does get you tangled at most times. I want to be a writer too. But my job is so far away from being one. Yet still I know my hibernation will stop at one point in my life. I hope it’s soon.

  16. As a full time something else, but a wanna be writer, I think the best part of that work is the observation part. I am amazed what floats into my head when I am writing that has been dragged up from my person experiences, and then, when I am in full flow in a writing period, I see and hear things which I think “i must jot down” as they make great content. Not being as lucky as you with publishers but still plugging away, and yes my cat does that too!
    http://www.nolanparker.co.uk

    • Plug away! And I’m still waiting for a lot of publishing luck—I’ve published as a book translator/editor; but as for novel writing, I’m in the querying stage. Several agents are reading manuscripts now, which of course, is very exciting and scary. Still need *lots* of luck.

  17. While there are fleeting ideas of mine for novels (based on horrible dreams), I’ve convinced myself to self-publish a cookbook. I started and all my work was lost on a fried hard drive… so I must begin again.

    Congrats on your book and being FP today :)

  18. Haha, love the pic of Otis the cat.

    Right now I’m working a job that has absolutely nothing to do with what I went to school for, and while I don’t think anyone gets over the “I don’t feel like working today” experience, I hope that once I find a job that’s in line with my main interests, that feeling will diminish enough so that dragging myself out of bed in the morning isn’t TOO much of a struggle. :)

    Nice post!

    • Tough times—it seems like so many folks are stuck doing less-than-pleasing jobs right now, if they have work at all. I’ve had those kinds of jobs. I wound up finding meaning elsewhere for the time being—friendship, flying, etc. Or working towards something, so the days didn’t feel like a futile grind. That’s nearly unbearable.

  19. I think it depends on what you do. Some people genuinely love their jobs.

    I’m still a teenager. I might seem a bit naive, and maybe it’s not my place to comment, but I’m probably going to college in a few years to become a gamekeeper, something I’ve always enjoyed doing.
    But I can understand why constant working could become annoying after a while. There’s nothing wrong with a break every now and then.

    I’ve always worked outside. I go helping out on local farms and shooting estates, and I have done since I was a kid. I often walk up on weekends and holidays to help.
    Most of the work is outside. There’s nothing quite like working outside all the time. Even with the rain. I would rather work 24/7 in the countryside than 9 to 5 in an office. I guess that’s just how I am.

    Maybe I’m a bit naive though.

    • Working outside sounds lovely to me! How fabulous that you already know so much about what you want to do. You’re very wise, not just for your age, but for any age.

      My first jobs were horrible, and I hated them—especially the ones where I was trapped inside a hospital or a cubicle. Then I started teaching people how to fly. I was in the sky all the time, or outside at the airport. That was wonderful. And now I get to take my computer out into the garden to write, or I get to go and visit someone and interview them. I love those things, too.

      What I mean to say is that work is fulfilling, hard, frustrating, wonderful, awful, tiring, and anything else you can think of. It can be pleasurable at times, but often it’s tedious or hot or cold or boring or just plain difficult. Simple pleasure—like eating or hanging out with friends—is easier, which is why we choose it over work so often. But work can potentially give meaning and structure to life; I don’t think life could ever feel quite whole without work of some kind. But it’s also not enough to build a life out of, all by itself. It’s one paint color in a whole, grand palette.

      Thanks for your note, and best wishes to you!

  20. I used to love working. Or I said I loved working, I don’t know. These days I love doing non-work work. Like, volunteering when I’m supposed to be studying. I guess you’re right though – doing nothing is only fun when you have something to do.
    As for that picture? “Sorry, I will not be able to respond to any emails today. Something has crashed on my computer and the mouse is missing.”

  21. Great post. Let’s just say there are some kinds of work I enjoy more than others. I liked being on film production, but I didn’t care much for the grocery store promotion I worked (lots of sitting, boring, little accomplishment).

  22. You don’t have to be driven to love the work you do. There are more than two options here. I don’t like everything I have to do to stay in business, but I do love anything that allows me to NOT interact with people–the writing, analysis, document design, web design and more. Those things are as good as play to me…in fact, for fun, I write. I make my living as a writer and I write for fun, so I’m definitely not fitting into either the “live to work” or the “work to live” category.

    • I get it—it’s certainly not a black and white situation. Some love, some hate, some sluggishness, and a lot of rewards.

  23. I am also a writer and in my story writing I feel bored and sluggish on occasion so I know what you mean by not wanting to work; yet the satisfatory feeling is always worth it. ^-^

  24. I definitely agreed with this post. Fun is boring without work, or at least doesn’t feel very satisfying. After I really work hard, I notice it feels great to sit on the porch and do nothing for an hour, whereas that’s boring on Sunday.

  25. I really liked this post. It makes me kind of worried. Not directly of course. It just reminds me that I have to pick a career. I get that I won’t always like working, but I’m really hoping that I can be like you and your writing of that manuscript. More love then hate :)
    I also appreciated the “Heart of Darkness” quote. That story was tough to read, but once done, I felt really accomplished… kind of like Marlow and his ship lol

  26. This is wonderful! I love that line, “I don’t entirely trust you. What are you trying to avoid?”. That’s how I feel about workaholics (excluding myself of course).
    Very nicely done!

  27. You have expressed the motivation behind working well; there truly is a fine line between having a creative inspiration and creative desperation; I have often thought that the only way I would enjoy writing and getting paid for it is if I called all the shots….so for now; I find joy in writing and getting paid for the other skills that require me managing my time to another’s calling.

  28. As the late columnist Mike Royko’s character Slats Grobnik once said,”If work’s so great how come they have to pay ya to do it?”

  29. I think “Work” is a four letter word. If you are passionate about what you do, it’s not work at all. In the past I have had jobs that I considered work, but only after I mastered them and the position had nothing left to offer. Your blog is great and your writing exceptional. Thanks for sharing
    All the best,
    Rich
    http://millionaireminds.org/

  30. Great insight! I guess I would say I like work for the “side effects” of accomplishment. It makes life’s little enjoyments worth while and gives me a sense of motivation. Without hard work, you really wouldn’t know what was relaxation! =)

  31. Great post! I’ve been thinking these same things of late, and reading some Buddhist teachings that reinforce this idea of working for the sake of working, and not holding onto the process OR the result too tightly… Sounds like you’ve got a great perspective and much success will surely follow! Best xo

  32. I think if you love to work then it no longer becomes work. Does that make sense?
    I like what I do for a living and, sometimes I even love it. But it is work. It is not easy, it is hard. There are long hours and many stresses associated with what I do. I spend many hours hunkered over a computer, crunching numbers, preparing reports, presentations, making sure that everything is just right. It’s very gratifying when I do get it right. It is disappointment when I do not get it right. Either way it is work.
    Then the last. Writing. God, how I love this. The creating is over the top. Only those who write can understand what a rush that creating something from the mind, something that causes finger tips to fly across a keyboard like fingers across a piano can understand that feeling. It is a high that no drug can touch.
    But then I sit down to rewrite. The edit. The tedious rethinking of everything that flowed out of me so naturally the first time around. Did I get the details right? Did Bob have on the jacket on page nineteen that makes sense on page sixy-nine? Was Emma supposed to be washing the clothes in chapter one or two? Did did the clock strike when it was supposed to when Edmond’s head was being chopped off?
    It can be maddening. It can be work.
    When (not if) my writing becomes my work then my work will no longer be work.
    Does that make sense?

    Congratulations on your novel. I wish you much success and great happiness. This is a great thing writing. I hope it serves you – and all of us – well.

    Tim

  33. The cat loves to work. Ahaha! Great post! There are people who likes to work and those who don’t. It all depends to their own will and perseverance to drive on.

  34. Love this post. This sums up to me exactly why I want to work at all, because when I actually get into it it’s not “fun”, depending on the type of work. :) Good luck with your novel, and congrats on Freshly Pressed :)

  35. Great post and fun read! :) I can definitely relate to the feelings of trying for hours to drag out that single phrase. The only difference is that it used to happen for my essays and reports while I was in school and now it happens a lot when I’m trying to blog. *sigh*

  36. Wow. Such an insightful blog. I truly love to work. I just started my blog a few days ago and I’ve been writing about 3,000 words a day. Keep up the great writing, I am certainly jealous you have such a big following!

  37. I wrote for my school paper before, and I’m honestly not a fan of deadlines :) I’m lazy when I’m about to start work, but when I’m already on it, I’m very determined. Does that even make any sense? :)

  38. I like parts of my job where I’m solving problems that require thought, analysis and some writing with persuasion as well as interaction with a variety of people. Like today. But no, my paid full-time job is not a writer.

  39. Good luck on your book! I too find people who work all hours and have no other interests a bit untrustworthy.

  40. I am an engineer by profession, and the thrill of solving problems kept me at work. Today, I attempt to be a writer. Although I am no longer employed by a company, I am employed by the toughest boss I can have, my inner self. The wine tastes better when using it to drown out a hard day, opening the mind to more creativity, or abandoning all cares. I like mine red.

  41. Argh this came at the right time. I’ve began to wonder whether I still love doing what I do, or do I only like the peripherals of my work. I think I need work to have a positive outcome and then I’ll like it. I don’t know – maybe I’m just too idealistic. Anyway, good luck with your manuscript!

  42. Love the quote :) it is a very tense moment, when your work is suspended in the limbo between written and reviewed. The best feeling in my opinion comes when you think you’ve done a piece well, and some kind soul you have permitted nervously to read it confirms your somewhat hopeful ambitions. When my work makes someone really smile, or cry, or respond emotionally, that’s the real reward

  43. I don’t so much like work as much as I like having a paycheck, although as far as jobs go, mine is a good one that makes me feel like I make a difference in people’s lives. But I also like know that my money is mine, I earned it and I can do with it as I please.

  44. Great read! Its been three days since I got any writing donel (that is my paying gig) and I was hitting myself over the head about the looming deadline. Reading your post helped me relax for while. I ll enjoy a nice cuppa before heading to work! Thanks and good luck with your manuscript.

  45. I work in an office. Sometimes the work is just sheer drudgery. I can’t stand repetition, and there are days I look at the effing clock every five minutes and feel the urge to scream before 9 in the morning even hits. But give me something that demands creative thought, or that makes me go out and figure out how to do what I’m meant to do, and I am going to realize the day’s over before I’m ready to quit. And perhaps because I do work in an office – and because I live in an apartment – I do love working in dirt. Weeding? Uh… can’t say I’ve done it, but I like the idea of destroying infidels in my garden. At any rate, I love planting. I love repotting. I even love just rearranging or watering. Just the feeling of knowing I’ve helped a living thing reach it’s full potential feels fabulous (and yet I don’t want children, go figure).

    On the other hand, if someone wants to pay me to sit around in a sunny garden – say in France? – sipping wine, I wouldn’t say no. I mean… you know. Just saying. Just in case. Covering my bases.

    Anyone? Did I mention I’m okay with part time hours?

      • This is why any time I hear the words “can I get you something/anything?” I must respond with “yes, a million dollars.” It’s a dumb joke, but I only need one person to say ‘okay’ and I can retire early. Although if I want to keep that ‘early’ in there, said person better hurry up and find me.

  46. Well I know I love those long days at the office… especially the Mondays! ;-) Great post and you are spot on! Though, I personally enjoy a nice glass of wine, undeserved or not. =)

  47. Wow, seeing the number of responses you have amassed above me here I have to compliment you on the effectiveness of your blog. Ironically, I was talking about work on my own blog today. Actually, it was the unpaid portion of work as a teacher, “extra curricular” work. I think that any creative work is more meaningful than the money we earn for our hours, but if we don’t call it work, no one will pay us for it! I’d love some feedback on my own blog if you have time, in between the extra curricular hours you have created for yourself by replying to all the feedback here! I think that’s great work!

  48. I don’t love my job… Its so routine and boring (well, most of the time anyway). But i can’t imagine not working either. As you put it so well, if i don’t work, i’ll really have nothing to discuss with my friends when i hang out with them!! Life’s all about a healthy balance between work and fun!

    Great post! And all the best for your novel :)

  49. I feel like work is needed as balance for fun. But I feel like work can also get in the way of a lot of things. Like all the fun stuff people want to do, they can’t do because they have work. But you also can’t do the fun stuff, if you don’t work unless u win the lotto. I like your blog!

  50. Lovely post, and also a lovely little community you’ve gathered!

    As a writer learning to balance work, and writing, (and everything else), this comes like much needed rain in a dry land.

    I admire your struggles in the war of art. I respect your dedication to complete a work you loved and fought for day after day.

    And I agree with you: writing something that matters is hard, sometimes excruciating.

    “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

    -Gene Fowler

    Thank you for sharing the struggle. Looking forward to celebrating more of your victories along the path.

  51. I think that nobody really loves to work. Loving work is a kind of strange autogenic training… You’re perfectly right. Maybe work can be an help to avoid thinking, especially depressive thinking, but certainly it’s not an heal-all, not at all! :)

  52. Love the post! And the photos (not to mention that I love the cat photo), but yeah very well written. And I wish you luck for your book!
    Congrats for being on Freshly Pressed!

  53. I must say this actually got me thinking about a few things. First off I can not agree with what your saying. I personally work a crap job but I do my best to do it. I come to work and I preform better then most of my co workers simply because I follow directions. Directions I think are a big part of any work and most people “TODAY” don’t follow them. So why would I follow those directions? Well because if I don’t I have come to learn that everyone else suffers for it. True it would probably be a lot less stressfull on me but what about the others.

    Personally I feel common sense has been gone a very very long time. Everyone wants things done quick and wants to feel like working is to hard of a task for a single person to do. I personally find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I am working and that the effect of my job is in the end to help others. Do I have a social life? Not really and that is mostly cause I choose it to be this way. I very well could choose to have one and probably go out to bars, clubs, and other social events. However I would probably just be working and spending money on things to get me no place. So the question should really be “What does a person want to do and to get what?

  54. I’m definitely not a workaholic but I quite like my work. It’s creative, challenging, rewarding, and errr… I could be one of those driven souls, yes, but I’d also like to be lazing in the sun or painting. But not without work. Not without a job, actually. Guess I’m too grounded for that :)
    Good luck with your book and congrats on FP!

  55. I love work because it is the only thing that gives my life any meaning. I was driven out of my home 15 months ago and have been struggling with homelessness, depression and trying to complete my masters – also on writing. Writing connects me to people who get what I am on about, on what I am thinking. They run with my strange funny ridiculous stories. And when I lose the plot they don’t run away. This isn’t work, it’s my survival. for now. Great post.

    • I’m glad writing is there for you in that way. And I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. Here’s to better times on the way.

  56. “Without the work hours, the wine hours feel a bit hollow and unearned”. Completely agree with your thought.
    Work not only earns us money, but also gives us opportunity to interact with people, learn new things and gives us satisfaction of accomplishment. Which is also very important to stay happy in life. And it can be understand only when you leave your work/job.

  57. I think the cats have got it right. Mine won’t let me near my laptop for at least a quarter of the day (that’s my excuse anyway), and heaven forbid I should pick up a pen. Laptops are for sleeping on. Pens are for chasing. Chairs are for sitting around and gardens for basking in. If only the bank understood these basic principles!

  58. Work is something that makes our life interesting. When you are on holidays, you think about work, You can´t avoid it, it belongs to your life, IT IS YOUR LIFE (with your family and friends)
    Thanks

  59. Wow! Just…wow! I can finally understand what people say when they say that they do not like working but they are loving what they do.

    And your cat is cute… ^_^

  60. This is the second Heart of Darkness reference I’ve encountered this week, and it’s only Tuesday. Clearly the time has come to pick this one up for myself. When it comes to work (and how we loath it), I can’t help but think of Faulkner:

    “It’s a shame that the only thing a man can do for 8 hours a day is work. He can’t eat for 8 hours; he can’t drink for 8 hours; he can’t make love for 8 hours. The only thing a man can do for 8 hours is work.”

    Clearly he’s underestimating my sleeping habits… but I think he conveys his point.

  61. “I like what is in the work, – the chance to find yourself.”

    Wow! I’ve never thought about it that way before. Perhaps that is why I’ve had so many jobs over the years and never had a career. Maybe I’m still looking for myself in the work.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  62. Beautifully written! I absolutely love that quote! When I find something like this that inspires me, I like to jot down the quote with a little sketch next to it and place it on the wall infront of my desk. It serves as a constant reminder to me when I start doubting or just need a smile or three. You have made “the wall” :)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, I look forward to reading more!

  63. Beautifully written! I sometimes feel like this about motherhood. I don’t at all feel like changing diapers and washing dishes and checking homework. But when my beautiful children crawl into my lap and say ‘I love you’ it’s all worth it!

  64. I love to write…but if I make it feel like work–if I don’t have a balance in my life of other activities so everything is equally fun (the action, not just the after-effect)–it ruins it for me.

    Congrats on your book and good luck on submitting! What kind of book is it? Are you sending it around to agents or publishers? I’m currently submitting a literary novel around to indie publishers…it’s work, but I really enjoy it in doses! I love hearing about other people’s submission processes, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

    • Thank you! I’ve submitted to a small handful of agents so far over the past couple of weeks. Two have asked to review the full manuscript, and one asked for a partial. Fingers crossed, breath held.

  65. Pingback: On Working [FROM 'THE GREENERY'] « Love from Liina lintu

  66. I love to write…but if I make it feel like work–if I don’t have a balance in my life of other activities so everything is equally fun (the action, not just the after-effect)–it ruins it for me.

  67. great piece!!! i have actually not yet began to work, but i would like to believe that if you do something that you love and enjoy ( if your work is something that you fully love doing) then you will like to work, not only the satisfaction that comes afterwards.. by the way that picture is super adorable, my cat does the very exact this when i try to do anything on my laptop and she is craving attention.. :-)

  68. I thought it truly fantastic to see you write about your writing and conclude the paragraph above the cat photo with “to sum it up LOVE”. It is exactly how I relate to my own writing and it was a good feeling and visual to receive as a gift from anther. Thank you for sharing.

  69. Well said! I wrote 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo and the actual writing was torture sometimes, but ahhhh the feeling when I was done! Priceless. Good luck:)) And congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  70. I actually just clicked on this post because of the adorable pic of the cat! I love cats, but I did make the effort to read your post and was surprised to find that it was not about the cat. After the first disappointment faded I was able to enjoy your post and I am even able to relate to it a bit. Anyway, I hate work,…at least my work…but yes, I prefer it to the three months I had spent at home job searching a few years back. Always confined to my comfy jogging pants and making friends with the spiders on my ceiling. I even named them.
    Congrats on being freshly squeezed!

  71. It is not the work, it is the fringe benefit that make people wake up at five in the morning, make coffee, drive to work, log in to their terminal, get berated by their boss, log out, drive home to work, take out the dog, make dinner, catch 20 winks of sleep if possible and get up again. It is the fringe benefits…:P

  72. I understand how you feel. I have a job that I enjoy, but some days I just don’t want to be there. I do know however, that I need to be there so I can do the fun things I want to do when I am not working like going on Cruises to Alaska!

  73. You offer a good reminder about balance between work and play. And you’re right, sometimes crafting a manuscript is like slogging through waist-high water, or however you phrased it.

    At the moment, I’m procrastinating editing another book. I feel like playing.

  74. I agree wholeheartedly! There is no kind of relaxation like the kind after a day of work. I think that’s part of what makes us human: we need to do something meaningful. We want to improve, and to contribute.
    Thanks for the post!

  75. I enjoy working tremendously and have been very lucky to find a profession I would actually do for free (don’t tell anyone). Although I get what you’re saying, too. Elegantly presented.

      • Hello to you and Otis from Simon, also a laptop and near look-alike!Your question is great and the post you composed is a very enjoyable read. Thank you for asking.
        Hating to work becomes a compelling reason to find something of value in it, to extract. Love to work and the way is smooth and full. You invest. You own. We interact. Weeding is work and not-work. Checking spelling work not work something above and beyond a necessity, unessential, a convention spelling correctly a glass of fine wine. Work is a cat who curls up on your lap.

  76. Great post but there’s one thing I didn’t like about this article: the implication that when one likes to work, he’s probably anti-social or hiding from the world. I can’t speak for others but I like to work. I enjoy frequent outings with my family and friends, I love going to new places and meeting new people and exploring the nuances of different cultures, and I enjoy all that life has to offer. I’m very passionate about pleasure.

    You probably won’t believe me but I also love to work (I just discovered this fact to my surprise actually). I finally realized what my brother meant when he called me workaholic. When you mentioned satisfaction and sense of purpose in the first paragraph, I think you were referring to the satisfaction and sense purpose one feels AFTER accomplishing work. Although I feel those things, I feel immense satisfaction during ACTUAL work. I love the tension and the effort in conducting meetings and brain storming. I relish the moments when my brain cells are firing ideas, the actual act of writing them down, the process of discussing these ideas, and the planning and implementation and evaluation; the whole she-bang. I love work. I enjoy my downtime immensely but I get really antsy when I’m idle for long periods of time. So what do these make people like me?

    • Probably, that makes people like you successful and happy. I get your point, and it’s a great one. Plenty of people love work, love play, and are well-adjusted, balanced people. Lots aren’t. But I think it’s pretty fun to see how this little post that I typed out quickly one morning has gotten people talking, agreeing, disagreeing, and reflecting on the role work plays in our lives. And that was the whole point.

      Cheers to you and your well-balanced life!

  77. Ah yes, I do love the relaxing and satisfaction more than the actual work usually. I have written books drafts (my book is not yet finished) and although I get satisfaction from typing up an amazing stroke of brilliance in my story (it is rare), I derive more satisfaction and happiness from the finished work than the working itself. The end goal always is more rewarding for me.

    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed! :)

  78. Well, based on this one blog post I’d say you have a way with words. It was a pleasure to read your thoughts (very insightful they were) and I wish you the best of luck getting your baby published. :) Loved the kitty cat picture, BTW.

  79. I love your cat!!! Now that I`ve gotten that out of my system, I agree with you wholeheartedly. As someone who`s been unemployed for months at a time, I can value the many layers that hang time provides (the guilty pleasure that is Cheaters, spending time with my cats and dog… or neglecting to spend more time with them), but work is definitely a need. I`ve written a bunch of books since I turned 22, so I am familiar with the dread and irony that comes with each baby. I command you for the love that you have for that manuscript, whatever destiny it might have.

  80. I had the same idea today and I wrote about it. Want a riddle? How is Writer’s Block like a Pop Star?
    eahand.wordpress.com

  81. I don’t know if it was your cat or your catchy title that led me to click on your blog today. Regardless, thank you for hitting the nail on the head. I’ve been retired officially from the military for about 7 weeks, been on sabbatical since December and will rejoin the daily workforce in a few weeks for half the pay I received before I retired. It’s not all about the money, although this paycheck most certainly helps to pay the bills. I’m working because I chose to return to the workforce full-time. Figuratively speaking, I also picked my boss this time. (Yes, he interviewed me but I didn’t have to accept the position) Most of all, I get to interact with all sorts of people again on a daily basis. Variety is a good thing.

  82. Interesting point. I think that no one likes work for itself but that which it brings. And if something is called “work,” even if it was previously enjoyed just for itself, will have a different feeling about it.

  83. ‘Strive to do something that you truly and deeply adore, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ My Grandfather passed this quote on to me and I try my best to remember it each day. I really enjoyed this post.

  84. Everything you said resonates as very true. There are so many times where working -and not the end result- becomes its own satisfaction. I think that’s really the best that can possibly happen to you, because regardless of how long it takes you you’re enjoying the journey.

  85. Omg, boy do i know what its like my friend cause i just completed a 320 page book and believe me you it aint easy maintaining course once you get passed a certain point. What i believed i could do in two months turned into 4 months and i still have yet to revise it. I’m telling you if you must love this kinda line of work to do this cause one idea can turn into a whole big thing that can even be beyond us sometimes -,o

    http://wp.me/2aAA8

  86. Great article. I love my job. ;) I teach swimming, and it feels worthwhile and so rewarding. There are moments when it’s frustrating, and I hate having permanently frazzled hair, and 10 times more colds than the average person, but when I’m at work, I’m in my element, and I love it.

  87. I’m a teacher by profession and I can honestly say that I love my job. Not only do I love the result of my work (seeing students learn and excel) but I love the work in itself. I really enjoy sharing what I know… but maybe I’m just pompous.

  88. I like working, provided it is something I like to do (as pretty much everyone else will say!), that said, if I could afford to ‘retire’, I’d find plenty of things to occupy my time!

  89. When work involves running around in the mountains, laughing wildly alongside young ladies with autism, blasting cheerful music, and watching the world unfold from an entirely different angle…well I’d have to say I really do love the actual act of working. :)

  90. I must say that this has inspired me to WORK harder at what I love doing most which is painting and writing poetry, and words of inspiration. This is why during my rejuvenation journey I am trying to make what I love doing most my full time job instead of accounting. :)

  91. I like writing for fun, but not for work. I’ve seen firsthand too many of the downsides, due to having a writer as a mother.

    I work at a bakery/cafe, selling pastries and washing dishes, and sometimes I hate it but sometimes I love it. It feels good, somehow, to be moving around and working, making things happen. Maybe this is something specific to restaurant jobs, or maybe I’m just a weirdo :)

  92. Very nice entry…I’ll have to read Conrad again…it doesn’t seem like work when you do it again, or choose to do it again… A lot of the work I do (house renovation/property maintenance) is problem-solving, fixing things that have to be fixed soon, so my motivation is to get it done, as I usually cannot avoid it; there’s often a time window, that if left open too long, creates a new problem. In that sense, I like the challenge, and thus the work…usually…

  93. I completely agree with the lines ” ..without the work hours, the wine hours feel a bit hollow and unearned…”. If someone has achieved work satisfaction in their professional career,other attractions are simply unmatched. Talking from an personal experience I have lived and worked in two major hyper-competitive and advanced markets in Asia, bat have been rarely fortunate with ideal work environment. These definitely does not count money and position.

  94. Love it! So well put. As another writer (aspiring novelist and full time magazine ed/write), I totally have those days where dragging even a sentence from my brain is a struggle. Well done on completing your novel!

  95. I love working, it gives me time away from spending all my days and nights on the computer, procrastinating-like now. I work at a Deli and it is pretty wonderful, and I interact with everyone! But some days there are times when I just want to go home and do exactly what I am doing now, procrastinate and stay up in the late hours of the night.

    On another note, I am currently writing a novel! I don’t know how long till I have to finish it, but I do procrastinate from writing it! Oh well, that will change-hopefully soon.

    Good luck to your writing! I wish you the best!

  96. I enjoyed your article! Work isn’t work if you truly enjoy what you are doing — until the deadlines loom and certain outcomes are expected. Still, nothing beats pursuing your passion.

  97. Something I too have been thinking about allot, last year I quit my annoying call center job (I know I’m not really up there in the career stakes!) I decided to try and change the way I ‘do’ life, try and live on a little less and try to be more creative. A year on and I’m still going with the same plan, bit of travel wether it be europe or Nepal or my own country England.. Sometimes its hard but I realize how less stressed I am. Currently I’m working 20 hours a week in a cafe its family run which is important and what I choose now if I am too work, its simple and its quite serene,simple tasks can be quite meditive and it means I have a bit of purpose, then I try and balance it out with creative things, mainly writing then I think you have to balance with exercise.. if you get all that right I think your on to a winner. I suppose its trying to live more simply and need less money – thats the hard bit, less money for me its fine, I’m single but for families I’m sure this type of lifestyle would be out of the question..

  98. Ah! Working! I’ll admit it too – I hate it. Well, wait, I’m not working yet, but if studying for exams is qualified as “working”, then yes, I don’t like working. It’s grueling and difficult and man, I just wish I can sleep for as long as I want instead of having to pull myself up from the bed and push myself to memorize equations and stuff. In short, working can be quite a torture. Nevertheless, there is something gratifying about working – about studying – and though I can’t put my finger to what it is exactly, I know that after a day’s hard work, something about it makes me smile. :)

  99. You bring up a good point here. Initially I would have said I absolutely love to work because I love my job – I genuinely enjoy the creativity and communication it takes. However, these are also aspects I enjoy in my hobbies, such as blogging, and theres many other aspects to my job I don’t enjoy. So maybe for me it’s a matter of where my job allows me to overlap with my true passions – that’s what I enjoy!

  100. Fantastic post and truly inspiring. As someone who always wanted to write but ended up becoming an accountant ( long story !) I can so relate. You have to love what you do , otherwise everything just feels like a burden
    Thankyou !

  101. Thanks for reminding us why we work. :) I agree that work isn’t really about what you do, but what you find out about yourself. Congratulations on your preciousssss! And being freshly pressed!

  102. You gave me so much to think about! Work is work, keeping up the house is work, raising the kids is work…Having family to love and friends and co-workers to share with makes it all worthwhile. At this point in my life, however, I’d like a little less work and a lot more writing in my life!!

    Best of luck on your book. Kudos for finishing it and sending it out into the world!

  103. So glad you came over to my blog thanks to Freshly Pressed! I loved reading your words– I, too, have a love/hate relationship with work, but when I’m working at something I’m passionate about, it makes all the difference. Good luck with your novel!

  104. Really enjoyed your post. I think it depends on the work you’re doing. For instance, when I am working on my creative writing or working on other projects, I don’t feel like I am working. Time just flies by. Then, when I have to do my freelance writing job creating web content, it’s agony. Absolute agony. But I try to keep things in perspective. If I had to work in a cubicle, I think I would die. My body would just give up. I still think that you can have that sense of accomplishment though, without the agony of doing “work.” I get that high even if all I’ve done all day is workout, eat healthy and read. It just depends on what you feel is productive I guess. Still – “work” – the kind you don’t want to do, but have to do – that always sucks. Good luck with your novel! I’m working on a novel as well. The idea of sending it out into the world is rather frightening for me, but at the same time, it has to happen. But I’m sending good vibes your way! :D

  105. I LOVE your blog and so glad it was featured on Freshly Pressed. What grabbed me was the image of your cat on the keyboard. That picture melted my heart! A workaholic searching for a higher purposes, I found this post to be a great read.

  106. I just recently started a podcast with a friend of mine, and probably the most exciting part for me is to start blogging. I have always had these brilliant ideas in my head, but I have a hard time putting them on paper without losing the fluency and passion. Luckily, I am ready to work hard and I am excited to get started.

    This was a great post!

    @TeamYoungLifeP

  107. A writer is something I would like to be, by profession. I have things that are already written and that I could probably submit, but the whole process of doing that both scares and confuses me. Oh, well.

    As for the aspect of the writing being work, I suppose that depends. When I’m working on one of my stories, I view it as something that helps me relax and get ideas out of my head. I never thought of it as work.

    Good luck to you! Also, congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  108. Really enjoyed your post. I think it depends on the work you’re doing. For instance, when I am working on my creative writing or working on other projects, I don’t feel like I am working.

  109. Honestly I can’t wait until I can stop work or even go part-time. I think there are people out there who are really fulfilled in their jobs. But mostly I think its something we all do for money. For me, there are a thousand other things I’d much rather be doing. I even get that sense from my high-powered boss. He’s got all this pressure and responsibility and even though he is paid a fortune, I get the feeling he can’t wait for his next holiday. I don’t mind work but I’d like to do less of it and have more leisure and pleasure time!

  110. pride and disgust, terror and thrill. To sum it up, love.
    >> All of these emotions are true. And everything is summed up by this: LOVE. I just repeated what you said. I love how you put it. Nice work!

  111. I’m definitely an “all work makes for a very boring girl” attitude! I’d much rather play than slave away. My day job isn’t going to light up the world, but by night I’m a stealth writer. Then, my pleasure and play arrives! The chance to dabble in words, images, and thoughts are the true love of a writer and artist.

    Loved your post! Perfect encouragement for a writer who drags her feet….and would rather drink the wine. :)

  112. Reblogged this on A Skeptical Optimist and commented:
    I loved what Kim Green said so much about working on her blog, that I had to share it with you. As a writer by night, and a secretary by day, I often lament the daily grind of work and wish I could just write all the time. Yet, the bills must be paid, the cats must be fed, and I must shop (okay, not really, but a girl’s gotta have some fun some time). I’m jealous of those who write as a full-time profession and my goal and prayer is that one day, I will join those ranks.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on Kim’s post!

  113. I loved this Kim. I work on a freelance basis so whenever I am working I am pretty happy simply because it is a subtle nudge that I haven’t made a huge mistake when choosing a career (those feelings come at night in the middle of a full week off).

    When we are flat out busy though, we long for down time. The grass is always greener as they say.

  114. Couldn’t agree more, and as much as i don’t like working/going to school, my life would be quite empty without it. To be honest I think I’d be bored a lot of the time if I didn’t have those hours of work or school. Even if I don’t enjoy it, it’s something which makes it even more fun spending time doing things you enjoy, because you can’t always do them, and therefore value the time more than what you’d do otherwise.

  115. I like to work because I love the “work” I do. And I do not do it too much – no 9-5 slaving for a “business” for me. I have done that.

    I also like to work because it provides relationship with my neighbors, who also work. We share similar relational conversations around our free time and our work time and I feel part of my community. That community is, however, very rural and personal.

    I think the big questions are why, how and where we work and what personal satisfaction such work gives us. It’s not “work” itself that is the problem, it is in the derivation of meaning we receive from it.

  116. I hate work, I really am alzy person BUT Iove the outcome of a job well done … so yes I sit and type or design and smile at times but what I really like is seeing the finished product.

  117. I love to work and that’s the most important factor I consider when finding a job: the love to do it. I don’t wanna quit just because I couldn’t stand the job or the people in it. I wanna do my job because simply I love doing it.

    The only reason why I resigned from my previous companies is I was immature then, looking for things that aren’t important resulting to poor attendance and finally quitting. And the right time came, I worked for another company but in the same industry and I did well. I loved the industry I was with. It may not be the one I’ve dreamed of but I came to love the nature of the work I had. And then I shifted to what I really wanna be: a part of the media world. I left my most recent company, not because I was fed up or that I didnt like working in it, but because I wanna focus on what I really wanna do.

  118. I do love my work, I love falling asleep knowing I put in a long meaningful day. I see what your saying, it seems to be a bit about purpose I suppose. We all have a need to feel that what we do makes a difference. Love whatever your doing and you feel fulfilled.

  119. Great blog and congrats on the freshly pressed! I’ve finally gotten around to actually writing now instead of wishing / wanting / hoping to do so…I know how nervously excited I am at the progress…can only imagine the nerves on sending the work out though! Good luck!

    Rick (thoughtsofrkh.wordpress.com)

  120. Hey – I just loved the pic of the cat! One of our menagerie does exactly the same thing whenever we go near a keyboard for work or pleasure… :) Congrats on being Freshly Pressed ;)

  121. I feel a little guilty but I do genuinely love my job. Maybe I am lucky but I try and look at the positives – I try and look for the positives about work and enjoy them – my colleagues, challenging opportunities, small and large victories. Don’t get me wrong, I love my free-time too and don’t need work to form the basis of conversations with friends. I guess I am lucky, thousands of people are unemployed and many that are in jobs are unhappy – so for that reason I try and enjoy and make the most of each working day.

  122. Wonderful writing, thank you for sharing and congratulation for being freshly pressed! Often time I believe that we all need a good balance in work, family, leisure and etc. When there’s a balance, works can be less stressful. It somehow enriches life with various and interesting event, interaction , exchanging of ideas with one another of different profession and etc…as long as we enjoy what we are doing :-)

  123. But what creates the division between work and play? I sew for fun now, but if I sell it, does it become work? Even the glass of wine, does it become work if I find someone who will pay me to drink it?

  124. Hi Kim,

    I love your take on ‘working’… true, while many of us talk about satisfaction and fulfillment in what we are doing, deep down inside, we all wish we’re on the beach sipping our favorite piña coladas, or whatever poison suits our taste.

    kudos!

    Brahma

    P.S.

    Can I reblog this? Thanks!

  125. Great Post :)

    I think that life would be better if we could work at the things that we truely enjoy and love. I think I will consider farming in the future, that way my garden will always be weed free and once I have grown the grapes and made the wine I will feel that I deserve to drink it. I congratulate you on your new novel.

  126. People dislike work out of principle, I think. Though I’m the first to admit that there is work that’s really unpleasant (which I’m thankful I no longer have). But you’re right — it takes work to have accomplishments, so that alone should make us love work (easier said than done, though).

  127. I totally understand your post. I keep writing about the purpose of work and unless it’s anything but fulfilling and on our own terms – it’s hard to make sense of. But I guess someone has to do the crap jobs.

    I love how you’ve listed who you are by the way. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  128. I recently realized, because of sudden unemployment, that I am more type-A than I knew. I do love to work, or to be doing something. Even without full-time employment, I fill up my day with jobs, including at least 2 hours of writing and 2 hours of reading and posting comments.

    I relax when I sleep. Otherwise, I’d rather be doing and learning.

  129. Writing doesn’t make me happy – there are other things in my life that makes me happier.

    But I have many times come home at 3 am in the morning, drunk, exhausted, and aching for some sleep, and the first thing I do is sit down on my laptop and write write write.

    I have often fallen asleep while I’ve been writing. When I wake up, with absolutely no memory of what I have written, I’m constantly surprised by the clearness of my writing.

    Writing is an urge, it’s a necessity, it keeps you sane, and it has been my late night bed partner many, many times. While I have yet to experience any reward with my writing (I mean reward as simply a feeling of accomplishment or content), I keep doing it because satisfies a part of me that could not be satisfied otherwise.

  130. So the days where I sit here and feel like the words are stuck inside the pen and don’t want to come out is normal? Oh good; it’s not just me!

  131. Good luck with finishing your novel. I actually love my writing, which is why I chose to write a serious reply to your post in my own voice, rather than in the voice of my character. I’m actually doing this the other way round to some people. I’ve written my book and now I’m blogging in the voice of my character to draw attention to him. It’s all very tongue in cheek but this reply desreved not to be

  132. You really nailed it. So did Conrad. I’m right at 51,450 words in my novel so far, and I completely relate to what you said. It’s growing all the time, becoming real, legitimate, and as I turn through the pages, “I feel surges of emotion—pride and disgust, terror and thrill. To sum it up, love.” Brilliant.

  133. This was a really good read, because I’ve been in the military for almost 3 years now and it seems as though I haven’t experienced real “work” in a very long time. I don’t really go home at the end of the day with a sense of satisfaction and self-worth; I just feel as though I’m only going through the day with the intent of getting through another one. And that’s not even on deployment.

    So thank you again for this post. It really got me thinking.

  134. So weird I should come across this blog after I have finally come to grips with being a work-a-holic my entire adult life. Working hard makes me forget about the things that I really want in life, but am missing and not just because I chose to work all the time. It took a number of close following tragedies, a job that was actually killing me, like it did some of my friends, and enough money finally saved to make me brave enough to take the plunge into actually telling them to take my good government job and shove it. I did have very good cause to walk away and had documentation of some of the problems that made my job unbearable. I love to work but being out of work for the first time in over 30 years made me realize that my being such a great employee was not so much my great work ethics as what seems to be obsession. Unfortunately because of the state I was in when I first quit, I was trying to do other things and not up to the task. I am now afraid that I have become just as obsessed about being lazy. Seriously, some of my best memories are when I was just chillin’ with friends that are now passed on. Most of my memories are about trying to be the first to make a deadline or find someone, depending on my assignment or some other thing that I did to try and convince myself that I really can be the change I want to see in the world. I realize now that life is about living, not about trying to prove something to yourself or someone else. I still have to find another job.

    • Wow, thanks for sharing your story so honestly! I love the final bit of wisdom, about life not being about trying to prove something to anyone. That feels so very true to me. I wish you the very best with finding work you love and balance you need.

  135. Nice entry; yet I think you ought to find th eperfect balance between those two. You can work hard and with truly love if it’s the job you alwys wanted to do. And of course, after your daily working dosis you can enjoy your free time fully and do many things you wanted to.
    It is all about the “how”.

  136. First, congratulations on your book, hopefully you get nothing but positive feedback. I think I procrastinate for two reasons: I do not like “working” at times, and am afraid of that negative feedback on something I loved writing. I love reading posts that sum up my secret feelings.

  137. Nope. O truly like my work. I believe there are plenty of jobs people really have fun doing.

    Although, there is a point in it. When I think about it, everything that becomes some kind of obligation,even if it is my favorite activity loses its fun.

    Like in any kind of relationsheep , you gotta keep the fire burnin’ (:

  138. If you dislike or even hate your work, you are in the wrong business. From time to time we have to rethink our lives and question everything we’ve taken at face value. Not everyone has to love writing, not everyone has to love finance, not everyone has to love anything. We are each blessed with unique talents and interests, and when we find what truly drives us, what truly utilizes all our God-given gifts and passions, work becomes bliss.

    On a side note, I find that when I do my creative work, it enables me to interact with others on a much deeper level. When someone has read something I’ve written, then we can open a true dialogue.

  139. I love what you have written, your Inquiry into ‘work’, your relationship with your own work, and your wonderful self kindness about what you have sent out! Hope you get a bite.
    Sometimes I can sit on a sentence for hours and that really seems like work. And other times the pencil trembles with eagerness, it won’t wait for my hands and will run off without me. By keeping a tenuous grip I get to claim what I have written as mine, as my work, but who am I kidding?

  140. Pingback: Humour: Hard Labour « Everything Express

  141. Pingback: Work « The Intermittent Volunteer’s Weblog

  142. Interesting post. I agree with Mr. Konrad that work should be about finding yourself, which is why I think so many people are unhappy with their jobs, since most companies tend to supress individuality.

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