Saturday, 7 May 2011


by Eilleen
Consumption Rebellion (note that I had posted this in my personal blog last month but thought it would be good to share here as well)

Hello everyone,

A couple of months back, I posted here a little ramble about my thoughts on pocket money, rich and poor. In that post, I wrote a little bit about my thoughts on "work" and I thought I'd expand those thoughts here.

See I like work. Its true I do. And when I say I like work, I don't just mean paid employment - I am talking about all the things that people call work - making my house nice and clean, ironing my clothes, and re-ordering/decluttering my house. Most of all, I enjoy helping people with their work.

To me work is primarily about being social and being healthy. Since the dawn of time, we have worked together to survive - to hunt or grow our food, to build our houses and our towns. Through work, I have learned how to get things done with people who are very different from me and most of all I have received the social benefits that come with being productive. "Work" is a tie that binds.

My children walking someone else's dog - not because they wanted money but because they wanted to help out...and they really love this dog. :P

The weird thing is that for some reason there is a predominant view that "work" is something that we should try to lessen. The less work we have then the happier we should be. Is that really true?

I don't know about you, but when I don't work...then I feel:

a) overwhelmed - because I am unorganised and it takes me longer to get ready for the day because everything is all over the place,

b) socially inept - because I inevitably arrive at social gatherings unprepared or with the wrong things

c) lethargic - because for some reason, the less I do, the more tired I am and therefore find it harder to even start working.

d) unproductive - because...well, hardly anything is getting done.

On the other hand, when I work, I get the satisfaction of seeing the results of my work and the self-confidence that comes with knowing I have done a good job. I am active and have more energy. And best of all, my world opens up as I connect with people who are very different from me and through those connections, I know that I have many sources of support.

Now some of you may have noticed a benefit of work that I have not mentioned - money. That's because to me money is only a secondary outcome of work. See, I love my work. So I pay attention to it. I spend time learning all the different ways to do it and take care to get it done right and well.

And because I want to learn about it and take care of it, then at my paid work this approach has resulted in an increased income in the form of promotions and bonuses. At my unpaid work at home and to my community, it has meant increased savings because I have been able to make things or fix things, and swap or receive things from others.

But while I enjoy the security that comes with an increased income and increased savings, I know that it has come about because I have loved work in the first place and appreciate the joy it can bring into my life.

And so to me, the best thing I can pass on to my kids is a love for work itself. Because if they love work, then they will always reap the personal and social benefits and with that will be the increased income and savings that work can bring.

What about you? Do you have work that you love?


Laura Jeanne @ Getting There said...

I love work, too. When my husband and I were married 10 years ago, like many young people we spent all our spare time playing video games or watching movies. Now, with 4 children, we lament our lack of free time because it cuts down on the amount of work we can do!

We simply learned that work is more fun and more satisfying than play. If I had an unlimited amount of free time now, I'd spend it gardening, quilting, sewing, baking and cooking. My husband would spend his time woodworking and building things in general.

Even cleaning and organizing I find fun these days. I wonder if that means I'm getting old? :)

notherethenwhere said...

I love work too - cleaning, tidying, cooking, writing, knitting, gardening (there are no words to describe how much I hate doing laundry, though). Without something to do, I become a pretty unhappy person pretty quickly.

I think I generally run into problems when I have too much work (both the work for which I get paid and the other forms of work as well), and I get overwhelmed by it. I don't always enjoy all aspects of work, but instead of enjoying those that I am partial to, I feel rushed and stressed and then none of it is enjoyable at all.

Anonymous said...

i love some and loathe some of the work that i have to do! i don't know if it's realistic to love all the work that is required of us and it's important to learn to do the things we don't love doing as well!! i am always so busy that i've forgotten what it's like to not feel like that...

spety said...

I have a 16 month old who loves to 'help' me 'work', bless his heart & soul but he is with me 24/7,sleeps only with me or in a sling strapped to me, sometimes in the pram (best opportunity to get things done quietly or he's awake wanting to 'help'), I'm raising him alone & circumstances have lead us to living with an overwhelming room & patio full of boxes & basically a chaotic mess to be unpacked, repacked, sold, given away, put away thrown out & just generally sorted. Sometimes I 'love' work, even as my darling little helper pulls out things almost as quickly as I get them there, not content to 'sort' a box I select for him as a diversion. I am also somewhat restricted by a medical condition called fibromyalgia (chronic pain, fatigue & few other unpleasant symptoms). I've learnt I need to 'pace' myself with physical tasks but find that's not so easy now with little one, with opportunities to get things done not always coinciding with my pain or energy levels. I'm making progress but it's so slow I feel trapped in a never-ending nightmare! Any tips? Any advice on a better approach mentally? I feel like a hopeless failure & at times so overwhelmed I don't know how or where to start so I dont.

molly said...

I love filling my days with work. A coworker was recently surprised that I have a full time job, a 3 month old, am raising a garden, make a lot of food from scratch and craft, along with helping take care of my family (husband, kid and parent). I jokingly told her its because I don't sleep, when in reality (and when the baby lets me) I usually get my 7-8 hours in each day. It's just that I fill my days differently, I don't watch t.v. and my downtime is usually spent doing something productive (when I'm crafting I'm making clothes, gifts or items that we use in the home). It may seem like my days must be busy, but since I really pick and choose what gets my attention my days aren't busy, just full and I love it that way!