The Joy of Work

Several of the bloggers I enjoy espouse “minimalism” as a way to escape the need for a job – among other benefits. I can really get excited about some of the other benefits; for example I know renting or owning a house big enough for your stuff, rather than just big enough for you, can have long-term financial consequences and certainly, relying on the accumulation of stuff to feed your self-esteem is harmful. But to embrace simple living so that I could quit work? I don’t think so.

Work is what I do – not what I avoid. I met many of my very best friends through work. How better to forge and cement a relationship than by working side by side to accomplish or create something?

When I look around our self-remodeled home I see the results of many hard, but joyous hours of work.  One of my best-ever summers was spent with my four young nephews building our dock. It was very hot and incredibility strenuous work – requiring the sinking of new pilings, the driving (by hand!) of about a bazillion nails for stringer joist hangers and also the hauling, cutting and fastening of a lot of very heavy composite lumber decking. We did not work for pay. We worked for the challenge of trying to build something way over our heads. We enjoyed puzzling out each problem as it arose (including how to un-stick the eight year old who had been jet sunk in the mud just like the pilings). We loved the team synergy.

I’m blessed to have been happy with my work for most of my life – be it corporate, small business or self employed. I love solving problems, being challenged, and making a difference. You can find these kinds of opportunities almost anywhere.  If your current employment circumstances don’t allow you to experience the joy of work, then you are really missing out, plan a change.  Do not indefinitely forgo the joy of work in exchange for money.

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