Hello. My name is Jackie and I am a workaholic, at least that is what I have been told (stumbling over step one of the twelve steps). I come by it honestly. My dad lived as if work was the elixir of life. [Elsewhere, I have written about the beauty of work -- http://jackiespeaks.blogspot.com/2008/11/glory-of-god-and-beauty-of-work.html]. Whenever I phoned Dad we had a ritual exchange. “How are you doing, son.”
“I’m OK, just too busy.”
“That’s good. Stay busy and you’ll stay out of trouble.”
That summarizes his philosophy of child rearing. A parent’s chief responsibility is to keep their children constructively busy. We worked on the farm. We had chores at home; mine included mowing the grass and taking the garbage out. We had projects, paint the garage, paint the outside of the house, paint the inside of the house, start the trilogy over. He didn’t let me get a job until I graduated from High School. “Son, I’ve got plenty of work for you to do.” And he did.
I am thankful for a life full of yet-to-be finished projects. I have been depressed. I have been stressed, exhausted, confused, and completely overwhelmed, but I have seldom been bored. OK, there were those times when I had to feign interest while Cheryl shopped, but usually I could find a Radio Shack, or some tools to look at. Thanks to Cheryl who freed me from Mall duty years ago. [Guys, I have a few copies of my bestselling book “Passive Aggression and How it Saved My Marriage” act now and I will send a free copy of the sequel “How Passive Aggression Freed Me From The Mall.” Send $9.95 plus $75.00 S&H.]
I have seldom been in trouble, at least my Dad never had to bail me out of jail.
I have a long list of things to do. They are all interesting and fun for me, at least the things I don’t have to do are fun. The things I enjoy doing the most involve manual labor. I would be miserable if I had to do manual labor for a living, but doing it because I want to is invigorating. It is problem solving without intense critical reflection.
I ramble, but then again writing this blog is on my list of things to do.
February 17, 2010