“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his -daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.” – Masanobu Fukuoka
I read this quote this week for the first time. I read it and I rolled it around in my mind for a few days… I had it on the tip of my tongue while I sat at my desk at work. I held on to it while I facilitated group. I sat with it as I talked a friend through a really rough patch in her life. I work advocating for inclusion and the rights of LGBTI youth in regional Australia. I do this work a couple of days a week because I am passionate about it. I do the work because I believe it needs to be done.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it this week… work and life and doing only what truly needs to be done. I’ve spent more time cooking and less time stressing. I’ve thrown away my to-do list. There are things on there that I just never get around to doing, and they are stress inducing. One of these days I will submit that photo essay to that magazine, I will submit that story to that publication – but I don’t need these pretend deadlines looming over my head… so I’m trying to convince myself just let them go. One day I’ll probably get around to finishing them up and submitting them. If I do, it will be because I really want to – not because it’s on a list that I have rewritten more times than I can remember… and when I do, it’ll be great. If I don’t, it probably was never a great idea in the first place.
I’ve been trying to see household chores in the same way. Not good or bad or boring or time consuming, just little things that need to be done. Little things that never take nearly as long as I spend procrastinating about doing them. Simply doing the dishes, or hanging out the laundry.
Work is not work… but simply what needs to be done… there is great joy in that, I think.
Bo and I went out into the world instead of sitting behind the screen.
Life this week was just that little bit brighter.
- None Found