This week’s question: What goes into good work? In other words, what does good work require from the worker? Well, generally, different work requires different stuff. The stuff required for the work I do on my blog:
The good stuff (brain stuff): concentration, focus, environment, solitude, silence, my body, and my brain.
The boring necessities (physical stuff): a computer, an Internet connection, two hosting sites on the administrative side, and (the best part) money to pay for all of this.
For the longest time I’ve struggled with the task of making a good stuff sandwich every week, just to realize I have to also include all of these boring necessities.***
The boring necessities, the nouns, the tangible annoyances… They add up until good work seems impossible to complete. Social networks and overflowing e-mail accounts, all the factors of an existence in the 21st century. Without a laptop, after awhile away from it all, I began to question their worth in my pursuit of worthwhile work (even now as my logic kicks in, whispering to me its many agonizing truths).
Question as I might, these annoyances are essential. If I’d decided otherwise, I wouldn’t be here now on this borrowed laptop, typing away, posting these thoughts on the Internet for you. All good work requires tangible work. Annoying, difficult, quantitative work, measured on to-do lists, servers, and harddrives, completed on keyboards and ergonomic desk chairs, or sometimes with something as simple as a good old fashioned sharpened pencil.
Our bodies used to be enough, all sharpened muscle and swollen belly. The history books we’re used to align humankind’s progressive beginnings with the invention of tools. What is the message in this?
In the most intellectual of pursuits, our bodies are not enough to do the work of the 21st century. Even professional athletes, they use gym equipment, drink from Gatorade bottles, and tie the laces of their Nikes before a run.
It’s days like today, just another manic Monday turned Tuesday became Wednesday, that I’d rather be swimming naked beside a deserted shoreline with only the characters I’ve yet to write swimming alongside me, living figments like dear, forgotten friends who do not ask me for anything.
All good work requires mental work. Brain work, imagination work, creativity work, all good work requires mental work.
We’re all different yet similar; our tangible and our mental work processes vary, overlap, or live on separate continents, but if we truly love our work enough to find fulfillment in it, we think as passionately as we act.
A truly balanced person knows when to think, when to act, and how the two come together to create something worth the effort. But, how are we to know what kind of effort to give without the time that makes the thoughts that make the goals?
I’ve made my own goal for every Sunday. A mental deadline attached to a physical activity. Work that’s very important to me, work that’s fulfilling. It leads me somewhere I’m not sure of, it leads to somethings I can find pride in.
Tell me, what work have you conceived as well as achieved lately?
***This happens to be why Sacred Sunday turned into Wicked Wednesday word-style this week. Hopefully on Black Friday I’ll have a laptop of my own!