I've been thinking a lot lately about work. It seems to me that how a person defines work determines a lot. Is it something you do for a paycheck, something you're compelled to do, something to which you have to be dragged kicking and screaming? Would you work if you didn't have to? Is it still work if you don't get paid? What if you do get paid, but you like what you do. Is it still work?
Work, for me, has always had a slightly negative connotation. It brings up visions of 'day jobs' and time-clock punching. Wage slaves. Cubicle dwellers. Nine to five monotony. When I was lucky enough to act for a living for a few weeks or months, I don't think I ever said, on my way to rehearse or perform, 'I'm going to work.'
If we have to work (which most of us do) in order to stay alive, to have a place to live and food to eat and ways to entertain ourselves and connect with others - clothes and shoes and transportation - if we have to work and we've found something that pays the bills but doesn't feed our souls, is that just the way it is? Life in the modern world? Should we shrug and say "at least I have a job." Especially "in this economy?" Or is it okay to want to do something with our time that we find interesting, enjoyable even? I like to think the latter is the truth, but I haven't seemed to be able to make it work for long. I've spent most of my adult life with a Day Job. Trying to fit in what I really do (who I really am) in the spaces in between. Maybe that's how I work best. I'm starting to think, though, that given the finite quality of life, it's time I enjoyed more of my time. Or at least was enriched by it.
How do you reconcile who you are with what you do?