Monday, January 28, 2008

"Work" vs. "work"

It's been an interesting week. To begin with, I celebrated my birthday this past weekend - I am now what the French refer to as a "woman of a certain age." Far from being depressed by the fact that I'm not in the first blush of youth anymore, I'm actually sort of thrilled. The phrase is a good one, for I am more certain about some rather key things than I was in my (occasionally) misspent youth. I'm more certain about what I like, what I don't like, what I'm willing to put up with, and what I'm willing to walk away from. This is good knowledge to have, in my opinion.

And it's come in handy lately. Part of last week was particularly grimy - the details don't really matter; suffice it to say that work was just an unholy mess - disorganized, unpleasant, and generally designed to squelch my spirit. I pitched fits, ranted, raved, and quite possibly foamed at the mouth, all to no avail. It continued to be absurd to the point I was wondering if someone named "Godot" had left a message for me. I kept waiting, but . . .

Then, in a very rare quiet moment, I remembered something important.

It really doesn't matter.

Really. It doesn't. I was confusing "work" with "Work." I'm trying to not be too hard on myself; it's an easy mistake to make. However, it's a muddle that can lead to unending heartache. See, "work" is what you do to make a living. If you're lucky (I am), you usually enjoy it and it doesn't seem like a dull series of frustrating chores. (Sure, it does from time to time; I'm talking overall here. Look at the big picture, not the frame, Chumley.) But it's not "Work."

"Work" is the big stuff - that's why it rates the big "W." It's why we put up with the little "w" work. Our purpose and reason for being, if you will. It may take years to find your Work. But I guarantee you'll know it when you see it. Further, your Work is something only you can do, although you'll probably need help with parts of it and you should never hesitate to ask. And if you don't do it, it won't get done, which means that wonderful whatever-it-is - whether it's a book, or a garden, a happy home, or a well-adjusted child - whatever is intended to be your Work, will simply never be. And we'll all be poorer for that.

For me, my Work is this book that scattered in a dozen stacks on my dining room table. Maybe to the world at large, it's not that big a deal. Well, pfffffftt! to the world, I say. Go find your own Work; mine's on the table waiting for me to index it. Hopefully, it'll be back with the publisher in two weeks (she said with crossed fingers) and to the printer shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

Akin said...

Glad you made it through this week... now just get better!!!