I’m not going to lie, this was a tricky one for me. Work. Where do I draw the boundaries of what ‘work’ is for me? I don’t fully belong in the SAHM category, nor am I logging hours at a nine to five. I’m a chronic student. I have one master’s degree and I’m working on another, and throwing in a PhD just for fun. I’m also teaching an undergraduate class. I guess that’s work, but that’s also fun (if you remind me that I said this during finals week, I’ll cut you). I’m also attempting to raise two semi-well adjusted boys (success tbd). Straight forward enough, right? I like to think so, because all the above makes me sane. What follows below might make me a little less so.
First: an anecdote.
I recently saw a list of characteristics shared by “high achievers” and this one jumped off the page: Usually feels anxious when engaged in a task, wanting to finish it and get on to the next one. “That’s totally me!” I thought basking in the joy of affirmation, and not a split second later that’s when it hit me (again). I’m a nutcase. I had literally just finished calculating the number of minutes it took to complete a square for my quilt top, multiplied it by the number of squares left, and divided it by the number of nights I was allotting myself to finish it. Yeah, this is what I do to fun things. I know, you want me at your next party, don’t you. Get in line.
I have a whole host of things that fall under the fun category. I do my best impersonation of an 1800’s homesteader. I sew, can, quilt, you name it.
I take pictures and convince myself that one day I’ll master photography, damnit. Alongside my husband we renovate a turn of the century house (“renovating” is just a fancy way of saying our front door looks like it belongs to a crack house).
You thought I was exaggerating didn’t you? Admit it.
In thinking about what ‘work’ meant to me I realized I can’t separate it from fun. Not only because I love what I do, but also because I approach work and fun the same way. I list and I tackle. Then I bask in the accomplishment.
Work. Play. Employment. Hobbies. All enmeshed, scribbled into never-ending to do lists. All contributing to some warped sense of accomplishment, and thus joy. I sure Buddhists are writhing in pain at my un-zen-ness but it is what it is. And truth be told, I kind of like it that way.
Tell me I’m not the only one. Or am I? Are you all blissed out with your oneness of your true self when you’re not working, or are you buckling down and plowing through fun with fierce determination?
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go check this off my list.
p.s. Just in case you’re reading my list closely and see “look into abandoning children” I want you to know this is school related. Now if you see abandon children and it’s crossed out, then there’s a problem.