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24 November 2013


I had some really interesting conversations this week.

It began a week or so ago when visiting with Duane's cousin K.  She'd asked about how Duane and i met.  I told her, and mentioned that we fit together so well and it was so easy from the start that it scared me a bit.  She said they had been like that, too, but then she found out "marriage is work."  (They've been married over 12 years, Duane and i over 9.)

That surprised me.  So on Tuesday i asked Duane his opinion.  He said of course marriage is work. 

So then we delved into our individual definitions of work.  Duane's definition was "time + effort."  I was quite astonished to realize that mine is "pain and drudgery."  

So in Duane's world most things are work, but that is not a bad thing.

In my world few things are work, and that is not a bad thing either.  

My job is not work for me.  Neither is my marriage or my knitting.  From Duane's definition all these things are work, but not in my eyes.

On the other hand, cooking and cleaning IS work for me, and i have to push myself hard to do them.  Going to Orange County every week is work as well.  I have found in order to work there has to be a very big pay off.  Doing the cooking and cleaning means that we eat healthy and life is more orderly and peaceful.  Going to OC means i get to do my job in a very pleasant and rewarding atmosphere, we get to visit with my ILs, i get to shop at good health food stores, utilize doctors with a healthy mindset, visit with friends, go to a knitting group i enjoy, and a variety of other things.  So all these things are worth the work of preparing to leave.  It also explains why i generally am not willing to make extra trips into OC.  

During this conversation Duane mentioned a different knit group i used to attend.  It eventually died and i was rather disappointed but it wasn't hard to let go of it.  I happened to run into some of those ladies at another place a few months back (they were meeting at a craft place in town).  While shopping i couldn't help but overhear their conversation and was amazed to become aware that i did NOT want to join in and i did not miss it at all.  It had been work to make myself go to that group every week.

I've just realized that i find exercise work, too, which would explain why i have such a hard time doing it.  

So this has led to several conversations with other folks about their definitions of "work."  Those conversations have been quite fun and lively.  

I did ask the therapist i work with if i need to change my definition of work (tho i'm not sure i could).  He said it depends upon whether i now find my view of it depressing.  I do not!  I really like that most things in my life are not work for me.  I also like realizing my definition of work.  If i find i'm having to push myself on something i can stop and ask myself, "Why am i finding this to be work?  Does it have an adequate reward at the end, or should i stop pushing myself to work at something that is not worth my time and effort?"

("Therapist i work with" is a different context.  I don't believe in saying "my therapist," "my doctor," or "my illness" so i have to find other ways to word that.  I also will say "the receptionist at my work" or something along that line because rephrasing this would be too difficult.  I do tend to say "my office" rather than "my work" and will probably do so even more in the future.  "Work" in the definition i'm speaking is a verb, while as "my work" or "my office" is a noun and a different meaning.)

I think this has been revolutionary in my life, and will help me make changes for the better, to be more aware of what i do and why i do it.



Anonymous said...

Doesn't sound like you need to fix anything. I think it is great that you don't think of most things as work. Marriage does take time and effort but it doesn't have to be work.

Mali said...

This is a great post! I'm going to try to come up with my own definition of work, and have the same conversation about work with my husband.