Saturday, December 8, 2012

Those hard questions

Today I am waxing philosophical. My struggle is with a concept I was raised with from very early on. "Work first, play later." This simply means, get your work finished and out of the way so its not hanging over you and you can be free to do what you want to. On the surface this is a great concept, very simple to understand. It is a responsible adult concept, one that really dictates how we do our jobs and live our lives... It is quite a bit harder to put into complete practice. Well, not the "work first" part, there is ALWAYS way more of that to do. It just seems for me that the work never gets done so my "play later" doesn't get to happen as much as I'd like. Job and career aside, I'm thinking more on the household tasks that everyone does.I am a homeowner, I have responsibilities to the property. These include yard work, laundry, remaking beds, etc. These tasks happen on a weekly basis in our house. The thing is, yet again I am doing housework, which would normally not be a problem except I'd like to be able to push aside the tasks that need to be done and "run and jump and play." Now please bear in mind, I have no idea what "play" I actually want to do, just not the work. But my sense of responsibility rears its head and says "no, no, you must get the work done so you can feel free." Why? Who really cares? I see other people put off their work to the point it never gets done, but they seem to have a lot of fun playing while their tasks go unfinished. It doesn't seem to bother them. But it bothers me. So I guess the issue is "why does it bother me so much to not have 'my work' done?" Why is it such a big deal? Who is really watching me and ticking the "irresponsible" box on their list of my personality traits? Am I self-centered enough to believe everyone really is watching me and judging me that way? I get a sense of satisfaction from knowing I have finished tasks. I can point to (fill in the chore here) and think "yes, I got that done" and "yay me, I am such a good little worker," but in the end, what does it matter? Why should I value those tasks so highly that I miss out on the fun things I want to do? If I don't get it done this week, there is always next week, or the week after. If I end up in an accident, I doubt I'll be thinking, "Darn, if only I'd gotten the laundry done." Instead, I'll be thinking "well, no way to get that scarf-gift ready before Christmas now." And yet, the work has to be done and it does hang over my head until it is, so off I go to do another load of laundry. And on the positive side of things, the laundry is the last thing on my list for today, so when it is done, I can play. And I even waited to write this until the laundry was well under way...

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