Monday, June 04, 2007

Job versus Work

Are these different things? The reason I ask is that I’ve been thinking a lot about the two since my drastic life shift. Two years ago I changed jobs, or did I change my line of work? I’m not trying to split hairs here or play a semantics game. I want to know what Solomon meant when he said there is nothing better for a man than to eat, drink and enjoy his work. I get the first part of his proverb. Food is a common experience between all people, regardless of age, race, or economic status. It can be enjoyed in simple fare, or with great expense. Happiness can show up on a picnic blanket or a banquet table, in a humble sack lunch as well as in an eight course feast. It’s the work thing that is not so clear. God said in Genesis that humankind would be cursed to toil in work by the sweat of the brow, but then Solomon turns right around and says that the greatest gift from God in all of life is to eat, drink and enjoy that work that we were so graciously burdened with. Did I miss something? I think I missed the paradigm shift somewhere along the road when work became job. It seems we work differently today. Most jobs have tight definition, bounded mostly by time and location. Our jobs have set hours, mainly in the day time hours, and as a rule, spanning eight or so hours. The parameters may be sitting at a desk behind a computer screen or limited to an office space. And for how many of us, our jobs are a place we look forward most to leaving and going to do something else? And do we hate our jobs because they are just that; a job. Would we be better off if we were really able to quit our jobs and start working? I started counting the number of hours over the last two years that I have been putting in trying to start this restaurant and I was amazed, a bit stunned actually. Not by the amount of time I’ve been devoting to it, but rather by the fact that it doesn’t seem like a job. It’s a whole lot of fun. I get up earlier. I work more and have more energy. I do more and get more done. At the end of the day, I’m tired but not depressed. I look forward to getting up in the morning. I really think I quit my job and started working again. To be continued…

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