Jul 7, 2010

Work: though we may tire of it, we're built for it

Before bed, I've been perusing James Dobson's Bringing Up Boys, copyright 2001.
waiting with noodle. m.harris

It makes me feel grown up to have a few moments of personal time...I happened upon this portion that precursors his section on teaching children how to value and perform work:

"Work gives significance and meaning to our existence. Those who are good at what they do usually feel good about who they are. They draw satisfaction in knowing that they have handled difficult assignments in a superior manner. Conversely, people who fail professionally often struggle in their families and in other areas of their lives.

I remember one summer years ago when Shirley and I decided to take a two-week vacation to stay home and rest. We had been moving at a frantic pace and thought it would be fun to sleep late every day and just "dink around." What a disappointment. Both of us nearly went crazy. We had the "blahs" and walked around wondering what to do next. I even spent several dreary afternoons watching daytime television. That will drive anyone bonkers. I realized from that experience that work is integrally related to my sense of well-being and that doing nothing wasn't nearly as fun as I expected."
(Dobson, pg. 238)

Don't get me wrong. I don't shirk at the notion of a week-long vacation with Shawn, where we COULD sleep in and meander along the beach, or drift along a river in a canoe just for two. We have to save our pennies for such a trip soon.

And time at home is vital for the knitting together of family. I also know Wilder has to learn there won't always be a "really special activity to do outside the house" every day; he needs to learn to entertain himself.

What rings clear is Dr. Dobson's point that it is innate in humans to desire a sense of accomplishment that can only be achieved through work. It explains why I can tell Shawn "today was good" if I've made yummy cookies or folded all the laundry...if the kids and I made it to the park or a playdate. Usually I choose the latter because it's more fun. :-)

We need days at home. We're called to rest and need rest. It's just that now I understand why I am driven in whatever work I'm doing. Now I understand why the transition from an official paid job to a job with not so simple a description was a bit of an...an...


Last night I opted for lighter reading by flipping through Real Simple magazine and arrived at a helpful and charmingly illustrated article,
25 Instant Energy Boosters . Some helpful ideas, especially: being kind to a stranger, eating some chocolate, buying fresh flowers for your house, and being firm with energy-vampire people (just check out the article).

Happy Day. Signing off now as I have bums to wipe and chocolate to eat.

In no particular order.


Kate said...

yeah, you pretty much summed up my struggle for the last 3 yrs. I feel the days we stay at home, yet I don't DO something (ie, accomplish a BIG task, do a big project w/ Mason, be super mom) are kind of a disappointment. Missing that feeling of accomplishment. It's been hard to redefine accomplishment to me and I'm still trying to define my role. It's not easy. I miss that feeling that I DID something today....ya know..other than check my email, change a few diapers, and feed everyone. :)

Tami said...

Thanks for posting this! Lately I've been worried about how we don't do something every day, or even every other day. We stay home a lot.

Kyle said...

Very glad you posted this. When Drew comes home and says, "so what did you guys do today?", I often feel like he needs to hear a list of amazing things I was able to accomplish. You're so right, though....home is work and work is home and throw in a couple of outside the house activies and you have a busy schedule. A very worthwhile, full and meaningful schedule.

Life Chasers said...

I remember my mom reading and loving this book. (I've got 7 brothers so it was a true gift)