Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Work. (UGH!)

"WORK". It's one of those words that often inspires feelings of ickiness. Like when my neighbor says, "I have to go to work." She gets that tone in her voice that implies she'd rather give herself paper cuts than go to work. But she actually likes her job. She also whines to the high heavens whenever her boss cuts her hours because he'd rather go play in the desert than run his business. He gets to do that. He's the boss. She, on the other hand, feels the pain when payday rolls around. So I never quite understand her tone when she says in that whiny voice, "I have to go to work."

Sometimes I'll remind her how lucky she is to have that job. It's so close to home that it takes her less than 5 minutes to get there. It's in her boss's home office, which is a lovely piece of property with fantastic views and 2 hilarious bulldogs that greet her with great enthusiasm every time she walks through the door. Both her boss and his wife are lovely people who really appreciate her and the work she does. They pay her well and are quite flexible about time off if and when she needs it. In short: the perfect job.

So why is it that she whines about "having" to go? Could it have anything to do with the way we associate the word? Like maybe how our parents said it. And felt about it. Do you suppose that if you grew up in a home where one or both of your parents worked and actually loved what they did that you'd feel the same way about "work"?

I stopped to look the word up in both the Merriam Webster as well as the Online Dictionary to see what I'd find. Because, really, how often do you look up words you already know the definitions of? It might just surprise you what some words really mean. Here are some of the definitions from


exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.
something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking: The students finished theirwork in class.
productive or operative activity.
employment, as in some form of industry, especially as a means of earning one's livelihood: to look forwork.
one's place of employment: Don't phone him at work.

And those are just the nouns. In all, there are 53 different explanations, which include axioms as well.
But when you look at the synonyms, the very first one is "drudgery". And that, I'm afraid, is how most people associate the word "work". Drudgery. Yep. I guess it would suck if you looked at it that way.

In the Merriam Webster version, it's a bit more about "earning a living" and not so much about the other options the word can and is used for. They're there, but the primary focus is on making money. I find that odd too. Because if you go back a couple hundred years or so, the word didn't have much to do with money. It had everything to do with one's chosen path to live. People chose to be farmers or ranchers or teachers or salesmen. They chose what they chose, often, because it was what their father did. Family farms and all that. And even though it might have been less common for folks to choose outside the family path, when they did it was because they had some sort of passion about it.

Maybe I'm romanticizing here. Maybe it wasn't like that at all. Maybe, just maybe, the reason that people hate the word and what it means to them is because so many have forgotten that they have a choice. That they can do something besides flip burgers for $8 an hour. Does that take "work"? Of course it does. But wouldn't it be oh-so-much-better to be doing something for the love of it than because you just didn't have a choice? Call me crazy but I'm thinking the former option beats the hell outta the latter.

So I'm going on about "work" and you're wondering what the hell she's ranting about this for. Well folks, it just seemed like today was a great day to remind you that dreams are there for the living. You don't dream a thing because it's impossible. You dream it because it matters. And it is possible. No matter what it is, if you can dream it, you can live it. How do I know this? Because I'm living it. I'm living proof that you actually can do what you want, be who you want, have what you want, if you will just stay focused, stay in faith (FantasticAweInspiredTrustHeart), and ditch the fear (FutureEventsAppearingReal). It may not happen overnight. It may not always be "easy". But what fun would it be if it were too easy? It may not even pay very much at first. But isn't the whole point of a dream to CREATE?

Maybe I'm just being overly simplistic here but it would seem we could use a little simplistic right now. Things have gotten a bit too complicated and I think it's high time we KNOCK IT OFF. Get back to what matters. It is YOUR life.

Whatcha gonna do with it?

P.S. There is a saying, "If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life." Maybe you could hold on to that one, eh?
P.P.S. The folks at Google know exactly how much fun increases productivity. And THAT, my friends, is where our world is headed. FUN AT WORK. Not DRUDGERY!!!

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