Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Odd POV Post

I do not suffer from a normal point of view. I have my very own.

In art class, freshman year in high school I noticed something "weird" about my work. (Actually there were several things weird about my work, still are, but moving right along...) Everybody else showed the light on all of their pieces coming from one side (the right I believe) with the shadows on the left. Mine was the exact opposite. On every piece. Weird. Since we weren't doing still lives or anything -- just stuff we chose for ourselves, it didn't matter. But it was definitely "odd".

Now perhaps it was merely that the other art students (all 40 or so of them) were morning people who used easterly light when setting up their work as opposed to my formerly night-owl self. But I kind of doubt it.

I also look at things from a very different point of view most of the time. So, I'm wondering if perhaps I was hard-wired a little different. I'm not complaining. Just wondering. And, since there is no way to prove it one way or another, wasting a bit of time.

Recently I've run into several people who really truly believe that they are entitled to an "enriching and satisfying work life." "I don't want a JOB, I want a CAREER." Which, I suppose is utterly lovely. But to have a CAREER you have to (a) figure out what you want to do, (b) train for it and (c) get hired to do it. (Which takes a bit of time, money, focus and more than a bit of luck.)

My mother told me once, a very long time ago when I was complaining about work sucking (and believe me when I say that the following truly pissed me off) that "That's why they call it WORK and they pay you. Otherwise they'd call it PLAY and you'd be paying them."

But she's right.

Bad news flash. Most people do not love their work. They're ok with it, may be good at it, but they do not, for the most part, LOVE and get a lot of satisfaction from it. That doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. In fact, it probably makes it more worthwhile on a whole lot of karmic levels (and keeps the world running with garbage collection, commuter buses, plumbing, and may other things that I don't think the workers doing them love). The thing is WORK shouldn't be the center of the existence. It's PART of it, even a big chunk. But it is not, and should not be, the whole enchilada. (IMHO) Wanting to work at what you love is where the whole cliche about the starving artist came from. Much more practical is the blue collar schmo who supports the wife and kiddies, but plays lead guitar in his rock band on the weekends.

Perhaps I'm being unfair. I am, after all, writing -- which I love and get satisfaction from. I even hope to do it full time (someday, oh please someday soon). But at the same time I have spent the past 30 years working, generally at more than one job. Some I liked more, some less, but they did not define me, they were not giving me "an enriching and satisfying work life." They did give me the paycheck to pay the rent and feed the kidlet until he became an adult.

"Life is what happens while you're making other plans." (John Lennon I believe.)

I'm seeing so many people who are not enjoying their life because they keep trying to force it to be something it isn't. It makes me sad, and very frustrated.

SO, I would like to take this moment to thank the Yurgis of the world. The workers who do what they gotta do without a lot of complaining, getting by a day at a time, paycheck to paycheck. I lift my glass to the secretaries, bus drivers, plumbers, janitors, garbage men, police, bus drivers, cabbies... EVERYBODY who plods along doing what they gotta for their check and doing what they wanna on the side.



Anonymous said...

Yeah, I gotta believe that most people could either take or leave their job. If they call it a career, it is a positive thing and they are usually happy about it. If they call it a job, well, it's a job. I think a lot of people who are doing things that are truly creative probably tend to like their jobs a lot more. I am sure there is no concrete formula though, like there are no concrete formulas with anything dealing with people's thoughts about things.
Hi Cie! Hi Cathy! Hi Yolanda! So Yolanda, are you getting summer there? We are getting autumn here. Thinking of you!

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

I like your mum's quote - so true. And I have to say, though I've gotten a lot of satisfaction from performing past jobs to the best of my ability... I've hardly enjoyed any of them. It's just work, after all. Writing, however, that's another story. It's not work... it's a release and a passion...

But the hardest job, and one you certainly don't get paid for, is being a mother. Gee, it's hard sometimes - so many ups and downs.

Catcha Cie!

Yeah, we're officially in Spring. And we've had a few wonderful spring days but mostly it's cloudy, without rain.

Take care Jim!