Wednesday, 20 January 2010

More thoughts on Work!

I once read that an artist is an artist because they decide they are, and I decide that this could apply to being Christian - I am a Christian because I choose to be.
This was said in Sundays sermon, and apart from being a great quote it also set me thinking that work is what I decide it is!  I have been so used to work being what someone else decides is it that I forgot that I am now the arbiter!  It is certainly far harder now to determine what is work than it used to be when I travelled to an office and worked when I was there and didn't when I wasn't (I was quite strict with myself, taking work home about twice in 30 years, though I might have stayed late in the office).

  In a previous post I was challenged on why I had blogged on this topic, and after some thought decided that my answer was worth another blog!!!  So I had better at least answer the original question.  The question posed was:
I guess my first question is why are you asking?

I don't really believe there are 'one size fits all' answers.. hence if someone is asking the question it suggests that they are not happy with the level of work because they are stressed or because they feel guilty because they are not stressed?
I think I was posing the question about how much I work, and what counts as work at least in part because a friend had challenged me on that.  That came about because I had just had a post Christmas break and had recognised (again) that I had been overdoing it beforehand - something that I have recognised just about every holiday for the past 30 years.  When I said that this time it would be different I was then challenged with the Einstein quote:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So am I going to do anything different?  I don't know!  Part of the problem is that things crop up that I want to do, and I can see how I can fit them in - but what suffers is "vegging" time - perhaps not very yuppy (link for the younger readers), but something that I believe is necessary.

I have wondered about following some advice given to me, in story form, by a wise old priest:
When a monk is hoeing the cauliflowers, and the bell for chapel goes with one cauliflower left, does he put down the hoe and go to chapel, or does he hoe the final cauliflower and run to chapel?
Of course the right answer is to put down the hoe.  And yet for years I have worked by doing things when I was in the mood for that task - I felt and still feel that it is better to do a particular task when I have the energy for it.  In my previous career I went home as a sort of putting down the hoe - but it was usually when the last cauliflower was hoed.  Now of course my work is always there, and there is a greater overlap between work and leisure - after all, I was doing this work voluntarily on top of my other job before becoming full time.

I think where I have reached is that I am paid not to work - so what I do is largely my own choice.  Given that, then I need some way of monitoring myself.  This post gave me some ideas, as although I don't find the issues raised there a particular issue I realised that there are times when I become brain dead, and there are times when I am tempted to cut back on family and friends - so the answer is to take time out when brain dead and to cut back when family and friends aren't getting enough time.


  1. I am a Christian because I choose to be.

    I agree. We make arbitrary choices and employ our will power in most parts of our daily lives. I don't see why it should be any different in respect of our faith. Especially if, like me, you don't have a charismatic bone in your body and long ago gave up on receiving a sure faith. A sure and certain hope is my best bet and that is a matter of choice based on logical thinking.

    Of course, some people are blessed with sure knowledge and good luck to them. Although it annoys me when they try to make out that any other way of relating to God is bogus.

  2. I agree completely, feels like a foreign land and a long time ago when I had a sure faith.

    Just checking on the implication this though, does it mean that if Alan chooses to be an American Lesbian, then he is?



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