Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I am Thankful for Things to Do

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 --]. 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.

Cleveland, Tennessee
February 17, 2010


Derek said...

Wow! I'm going to have to get that one...especially with the money I'll save on shipping and handling. I am pretty good at being passive aggressive but I have yet to figure out how I can use it to save my marriage. On the flip side, I find that we get in more trouble when I don't go to the mall with her. She buys stuff we don't need, that we can't afford; and then I get in trouble because I get mad she spent so much money (and then mad at myself because I did not go along to exercise an occasional veto).....these are very complicated issues which I hope that you will sort out for us!

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I am not much of a "Mall Shopper."

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

I have been howling out loud on this one! Can't afford the Shipping and Handling on your best-seller though, Jackie.

Lisa said...

My feelings about baking are similar to yours about manual labor.. if I HAD to do it, it wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable or fulfilling. As it is, it's kind of a cheap thrill (only not sinful and it actually makes money, so maybe more a lucrative thrill than a cheap one, haha).

This entry was your funniest yet. I'm really enjoying this year-long commitment!