Monday, June 6, 2011

Loving What You Do

Today, I'm typing gingerly, because I have blisters on my fingers. I have blisters because I spent 8 hours yesterday reupholstering my dining room chairs. The old upholstery was held in by thousands of tiny staples, and my husband and I worked side by side, prying them out with screwdrivers.

And though it was hard work, and the staple gun didn't always cooperate, and the dust from the decaying foam under the old upholstery got in our noses and eyes and we sneezed and coughed, I wouldn't take back that day spent working on this project. It's important to me that I can do this kind of work.

At my real job, my output is measured in abstract things, rows of numbers in excel spreadsheets, bytes of emails answered, phone calls made. At the end of the day, there's nothing to hold up and say "I did this."

In my own life, my husband and I do a lot of things for ourselves: bake our own bread, jar our own jam and pickles, bicycle for groceries, repair holes in clothes, rewire light bulb sockets. I really can't imagine living a life where I didn't do these things.

At the end of my Sunday, we ate dinner at our kitchen table, in our newly cushioned and clean chairs. That is far more of a personal reward than any row of numbers will ever be.

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