Not working enough?

A few moments ago I was feeling guilty for not ‘working enough’. Again being the ultra analytical ‘think too much’ person that I am (though one wouldn’t guess it as I can be quite bubbly and air-headed, which is just another aspect of my personality) I have to discuss what one or rather what society deems as ‘work’. I can’t even write a simple blog without tangents and complications. Let’s try.

Work – I like to begin with the dictionary. I look up words every day on that thing. Its a keeper. (yes it is an internet one) has 13 different meanings for the word “WORK”. Hell, one way to make things complicated or comprehensive? Nevertheless I read through and thought the first three were most fitting.


[wurk] – (that looks gangster)

1. exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.
2. productive or operative activity.
3. employment, as in some form of industry, especially as a means of earning one’s livelihood: to look for work.

I like this. I like this a loooooot. First of all the very first definition doesn’t include MONEY. That horrible cash cow that everyone kills either themselves (their ‘soul’ or ‘self’ – or even their physical body for) or others to attain. I like that the cash cow is third. Good place to be. BE GONE CASH COW!

“Exertion. Accomplish. Effort. Produce”

– sounds like an add for Nike or something- CUE SO MANY VIDEOS ON INSTAGRAM-

Labor and toil suck. Those words can take a hike. They make me think of child labourers and some poor soul tilling the soil and breaking their backs for rich westerners, which is pretty much the truth. ALAS. Yorrick? ANYWAY –

Let’s focus on the positive connotations that stream forth from my brain when it comes to the first few words.

 “Exertion. Accomplish. Effort. Produce”

Many people have a negative connotation of the word ‘work’. I think that’s pretty crap, but when society has often said that “work is just work, you do crap stuff you don’t like to make money so you can live” its no suprise that people think work should be a dragging your feet through nails type of experience. But since I was a wee small child, as most children are (small and weeing) I have not wanted work to be “work”, not societies idea of work anyway. Yes being an actor, director, writer, artist person is difficult, tedious, tiring, stressful, painstaking, money sucking and sometimes extremely depressing BUT I love it, I mean I don’t love all those negatives, but I’d rather experience those negatives in relation to doing the things I love, then experience negatives in relation to the things I hate, make sense?

I’d rather be fighting over dinner with the man I love then fighting over dinner with a homeless man. Makes sense? (I kid) Or rather I’d want to fight over dinner with the man I love then fight with no one over the dinner with nothing to love…

I’d rather experience stress and pain from making wonderful works of art, then stress and pain from being a nurse,  teacher, waitress or psychopath (haha…) An insightful blog I read by Mark Manson on finding your life purpose summed this up WONDERFULLY! What kind of shit sandwhich are you wiling to eat? A shit sandwich with an olive please! – read the blog here! I highly recommend it (that is to say if you like olives…maybe in your case its a shit sandwich with cheese, or gherkins, or relish of some sort?)

“Exertion. Accomplish. Effort. Produce”

I felt guilt over not ‘working’ enough today. I find I get this guilt often because I am not (yet) earning money from writing, producing, acting, editing, making films etc (not heaps anyway). There’s also all the other things I do to keep myself up to date and healthy for my work – reading acting books, taking dance classes, doing yoga, practising my voice, marketing my work, eating well, networking, practising my other skills – singing, playing piano/violin, SCOURGING the internet for auditions…

So I feel guilty. This means that deep down I still connect work with making money and that what I do has no merit because its’ not earning me ‘a living’. Weird…a living. This term. Its terrible. You make money to ‘earn a living’? So you’re earning the right to live a certain way OUTSIDE of the confines of some crappy job which you spend most of your time at anyway? Doesn’t make sense.

I know 80% of the population are trapped behind desks of their own choosing slogging away a good 8-10 hour working day in jobs they are not passionate about (guessing stats here but I’m sure its not that far off and I take my hat off to them as I think my soul would be crushed doing that). I know they are earning money, making the world turn or whatever. And I’m at home able to walk into the kitchen, make myself another cup of tea, cuddle the kitten for five minutes – and then have it bite me (haha) and then go back to my ‘work’. Its pretty darn good – though lonely at times (part of the shit sandwhich deal for now). I decide what I will and need to work on today. But thats where the guilt creeps in. I’m not doing what the rest of society is doing, or what society might deem I should be doing – my work might not be deemed worth anything because there is no monetary value attached to it yet. I’ve thought about logging the hours I spend on my ‘creative pursuits’ to see if I clock in the average 40 hour week – I probably do, but more…or less? I dono. I wana test this theory but my hours are so often random and varied it would take more time writing and calculating then is worth the effort.

Again I need to remind myself that work is – “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something” – there’s no mention of money here.

So when pursuing work-art related activities that do not generate a massive income (or any income at all) I need to learn to not feel guilty. I need to learn to not feel as if I am ‘wasting my time’. I am working. I am working on something I love. I am producing and accomplishing something that cannot simply be measured by money. If society deems it worthy or not is not my problem, what is my concern however is if I deem it worthy.

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