The blessing of work

So today is Monday, and in honor of the outset of the workweek and the national holiday around the corner– some thoughts on labor.

There are all sorts of reasons one might hate one’s work or at least seriously resent its gouging intrusions on personal creative resources (energy, time, etc.). Here from the privileged shade of my current personal time oasis (not a mirage but also eventually evaporating) a fresh breeze perspective: work is good.

For awhile there I was deeply displeased with my working life–for, you know, various reasons (always there, ready as rain and stray electrons). In the midst of my then-particularities I was sufficiently irked to make a rather sudden and unprepared leap of jumbo dimensions out of the paid workforce in pursuit of… what exactly? Here I am many months later, striving daily to define and realize what constitutes good employment (in, you know, both practical and existential senses).

My current course of work ethic exercise contains a calm dose of self-discipline applied with practical orderliness. The tangible daily environment plays its role in a round robin of creative puttering and fiddling: I arrange and re-arrange the surrounding stage with objects and projects and books and ideas, concocting impromptu still-lifes in micro stopmotion movie sequence, directing miniature dramas in collaged and fantastically peopled dioramas… So the creative morass comes to a rolling boil.

But it can feel unhinged and off the handle without the grounding of external concrete goals most days. This week I feel securely tethered by a sense of purpose and drive, having recently come off a job of work I had to finish, just a little something-something worked up for a friend, which got my noggin back in gear. The momentum and conductive energy generated seem to have shifted around the bits and oddments and jarred my sticky stuckness loose. At least momentarily; time to knock together the next outline of completion targets.

Here’s today’s occasional truth: A concrete project with defined external goals can be a real energetic jolt for us malingerers. Olé!

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