jusummerhayes

Meaningless work

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”
Thomas Merton

Good morning.

It's another fine day — or I think it will be. 

It's 5.30 am in Devon; the sun's not fully up. And I'm here — phew.

Yep, sorry to say, I've saddled up my 'work' hobbyhorse again!

Why do I keep blathering on about it? It's not exactly the most exciting show in town. But then again, it sure takes up a hell of a lot of our time. In fact, you might say, it consumes us or robs us of the better part of our lives. 

I've done too many jobs. Way too many. It's both unsettled and unnerved me that I couldn't find — still can't — something to hold my attention.

I've tried and I've tried and I've failed. 

There. Said it.

I'm a big fat failure.

But then again...

that's just the way I'm expressed.

There's no 'doer' or 'me' pressing the buttons, pulling the levers or talking up what I should or shouldn't do. I've gone where I've gone, done what I've done — and some of it or a lot of it has been really soul-sucking — and I'm still at it. Still doing my (non) thing.

"So f* what?", you say.

Quite.

Who cares about my desultory tone apropos a life not very well lived, certainly in the work = life department?

No one, most likely.

However, in acknowledging or accepting the 'non-doer' expression of my life, it doesn't mean that seeing how much time I've wasted on meaningless work doesn't hurt —  and I mean, it really hurts. To whom? That's a good question. If nothing else, I wish, I really wish that by now I could have weaned myself off doing work that doesn't matter or doesn't add anything to my life and have found something, anything that did! Oh sure the dollar (as my kids call it) matters but only to the extent that I can keep a roof over our heads, but beyond that, there's little or no justification.

"Oh god, it's all so woe is me. Count yourself lucky, mate. You've at least got a job."

And I see that. 

Honestly I do. 

I think or more likely I know that that's why I distract myself or am distracted by doing all these other things. I'm really hoping, whether it's in the photos I take, the journal entries I write or the few poems I still manage to create that something, something much more edifying of my soul will emerge.

Will it?

Again, I don't know, possibly, but right now, the energy, the buzz and the euphoria of seeing my creativity in full flight hasn't worn off. And frankly, even in Merton terms (see the above quote), that's more than enough to keep me shackled to the wheel of doom I now call work. 

Should life be like this, namely a tradeoff? 

I don't know. Sorry, I really don't know.

Of course, I could go all in and resign my current role, as I did in the past, but something tells me that by the standards of many in-house legal roles, mine ain't that bad and, as they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Anyhow, onwards dear readers, onwards.

Mr Alfie awaits — if the boy can drag his weary body off the sofa and scurry out the front door.

Blessings and much love ❤️, Ju

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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