The Problem of Work

I had a conversation with my roommate the other day: he offered to give me some of his workload since he’s always so busy.  And I can’t find enough to do right now.  Of course, he was joking; he’s an accountant and I’m, well, not.  But I can understand why that would cross his mind—there is such a thing as TOO much to do.

And me—I’m stuck with too little to do.  I have plenty of things to say about searching for a job—and how boring that can be.

Boring—maybe that’s not the right word.  Searching for a job is repetitive—and so are many jobs.  But, unlike a real job, I can apply for work all day long and still have no return on my efforts.  It’s not all bad; I get to work some fun temp jobs.  But mostly I need more to do.

My roommate knows this.  I think he understands because his previous job gave him a peevishly small and simple workload.
And at about that point in the conversation, I realized that both of us have a problem, but the solution to that problem is not to change places.  If you’ve ever read or watched Freaky Friday, you know that trading problems does not solve anything.

I remember what it was like to be busy—then the only thing I wanted was free time.  Now I have too much free time, and all I want is to be busy.  I should make myself a little note that says “You asked for it,” and sign my name, and read it when I get busy.

That conversation got me thinking.  Do we have to be stuck with one problem or the other?  Obviously we can look for a “work/life balance,” but that’s a struggle even for the self-employed.  The “balance” just so easily tips one way or the other.

Instead, take the best of both worlds.  Do something for money that you would do for leisure, anyway.  I know I’m not coming up with something new here—this is an old argument.  The question is not can you reach this ideal but should you?  Should you try and mix work and pleasure and risk losing the joy in what you do?

I don’t know the answer.  And I don’t think the answer is the same for everyone.  I do know that I don’t want to be busy just because I’m bored now—that just serves me a new problem.  The right thing is not usually the opposite of the wrong thing, but something different all together.


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