Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Each and Every Time

Crossing Madison 003b
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Each and Every Time

It happens each and every time.

Someone will ask me what I did last night or what I’m planning to do once I leave the office or what I’m doing over the weekend.

I’ll usually answer – work.

Their usual response is to question what “work” means.

And so, I often explain, “Work, as in writing and photography.”

The standard retort strikes a chord in me each and every time –
“Oh, I thought you meant ‘work-work’”

Admittedly, immediately, albeit only internally, I get defensive. My shoulders hunch, my brow furrows, my lips pucker ever-so-slightly.

I’ve learned to simply half-smile in return, to let it go – for the most part.

For I’ve learned that its no use to try and explain what “work” really means to me; that compulsion overrules obligation; that the labor of my passions has always been and will always be far more important than the trivial travail of my daily life.

It's not that I don’t appreciate the paycheck and the generous company I work for. Far from. I actually like my day job and feel that “the company you keep” keeps me because the demands are fair and reasonable, and I am well compensated for my efforts.

Thus, I’ll put in the extra time when need be, I often work 10-12 hour days, and, quite unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t feel a sense of entitlement nor do I feel a need to complain about everything.

Yet, I don’t feel as if what I am required to so from 9 to 5, and sometimes 7 to 7, is truly what I need to do.

I don’t feel that I’ll look back and be proud of my career or that I’ll even feel any sense of accomplishment. For most of the work is meaningless to me personally.

For that reason I rarely take work home and I have stubbornly resisted whenever the boss suggests I should. I rather stay as late as necessary or come in early, so that what happens in the office, stays in the office.

However, I need to do the work I take on after-hours.

Albeit, my work schedule is inherently flexible because I am my own boss in this case, and thus I will often forgo my plans upon a spontaneous invitation, I still feel rather passionately about the importance of my avocations. They are vital to my being and often determine what I am becoming. My words and pictures allow me to appreciate my life, the people I know and the places I go. In turn, I am documenting all the wonders of my world, all the resplendent beauty, all the splendor of this wonderful life, and all the glory of this great journey I am taking along the way.

My work also often makes me smile,
it makes me happy,
it allows me to celebrate, to salivate, to bristle,
and to relish and revel in the glory of my creative accomplishments
(that is, those which are personally most meaningful to me).

Moreover, my work allows me to share the lessons I’ve learned with others, to paint portraits of the ones I love, and to inspire others to be as passionate about photography as i am and to love literature as much as I do.

This is why I feel that the work I do after work is far more important than that I’m obliged to do for fiduciary, fiscal, financial reasons.

This is why each and every time I am riled when someone implies that my creative work is not as important as my office work.

And this is why, I love what I do.

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