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Point Of View

If you're an older person, you may have become aware that people can hold opposing point of views and both of them be wrong and both of them be right. Example: I joined the military when I was seventeen, left home to go on active when I was 18, lived with my girlfriend when I was 18, married when I was 19. My Dad each time said, You're too young. 

Then I didn't agree with him about any of it since I followed his path. Now, I would agree, I should not have married when I was 19 but not because I was too young. I was too green to the world.

This came up this weekend from a NYTimes opinion about Busyness. My wife and I read and discussed it. She thought it was a good point of view. We're not busy, we have things to do by choice. It is, she acknowledged, exactly how her life is like. 

Well, duh. Ahem. I have, ah...mentioned this...a few times. Discreetly and delicately, of course. We are husband and wife. All that we do with one another is discreetly, cautiously, delicately, with awareness of tone and chosen words. Want me to compile a list of activities that she could quit? Funny, she didn't want one either.

She went on to say, "That's what I'm always saying. I'm busy. I have things to do."

I carefully corrected her. "Actually, you say, I need to make a list, get back on track, and work on something."

And there is the real crux of our disagreements. She wants to work on things. 

Work, to me, connotes something that must be done from a requirement imposed on you, usually through contract or agreement, and often for compensation. She wants to work on the garden, work on our diets, work on our exercise, work on our budget, work on our house.

Those are our choices. I prefer to tend the garden, improve our diets, exercise more diligently, plan our budget and clean the house. I get upset when she calls these things work. I don't want to work at all. And I buck when she tries to saddle me up and says, let's work on X.

Wasn't always this way. Once upon an age, I enjoyed work. Work enthused me. I did things, I was rewarded emotionally, intellectually, financially. My contributions were valued. I was validated. These days, work is a treadmill without an off switch or timer. The program varies but it never stops. There's nothing to look back on and little reason to look forward except the intoned, fall back line, "Be thankful you have a job."

I am thankful. I know I whine about it a lot. You could not tell that I'm thankful I have a job from these posts. You can tell that I am spoiled and feel entitled. Consider me a whiny, spoiled, thankful employed complainer.

The same differences arise when we talk about my writing, as well. My wife used to ask, "Do you need to work on your writing?" 

No; I need to write a novel, line edit, write a story, edit a story, submit a story. I have corrected her and she mostly accepts the change.

It's a little matter, yes, as most of my life's matters are thankfully small matters. I prefer terms that are positive to me.

Work just brings me down.

Although I am thankful for it.

Comments
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Michael, This brings to mind

Michael,

This brings to mind something I always say: there is work, and there is labor. 

Writing, for me, is a labor of love.  So is cooking, knitting, and a host of other things I actually enjoy doing- even, at times, exercising.

Work- meaning the toil for the paycheck, most days, is just work.

You hit the nail on the head.

Annette

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Huh. Never considered 'labor' in all of this.

I've heard the expression, labor of love, and have used it, but I haven't thought much about what that might mean. Thanks for the reminder and perspective, Annette. Cheers