I’n not the kind of person who likes to work in small segments of time. I can understand that some people prefer to put in an hour here, twenty minutes there, on their different tasks, but I want to set aside hours and days to get things done to the end. While I may enjoy the process – cooking and sewing come to mind – I much prefer to get it done and have the finished product.
Of course, my days are fractured and segmented – Nicholas still is unable to do many things in the house he once did, so I must do them for him. There are the daily household maintenance tasks in the kitchen. There’s the phone from time to time – but I’m not a phone talker, so calls are usually brief.
The biggest interrupter right now is the real estate showings. The house is on the market, and the estate agent needs to show it two, three or four times in a week. I understand. It has to be done. But then I have to rearrange everything around that. The dishes need to be cleared, the baths look presentable, the laundry folded, the floors vacuumed. I can’t be in the middle of a large messy project of sewing or baking. I can’t procrastinate the housekeeping. So if I’m inspired to write, bake or sew, I may have to delay.
Most people work outside the home, so showings aren’t a problem for them. They are gone anyway, the agent has the key and lets the clients in. But we all work at home. That’s unusual these days. Home is not where people work, it’s where they kick back, watch television, play. It is quite a shift since a hundred years ago.
That attitude is apparent as we look at advertising. The home is a cinema, amusement park, restaurant. It is a place of leisure. As a result, this advertising leads people to believe that they don’t have to work at home, that housework and cooking are onerous chores, just an extension of their daily drudgery.
Do we as a culture hate work that much?
I get satisfaction from my work, both in knowing what I am doing or in learning something new. I am pleased with the results or I do it over. (Yes, I rip seams and unravel knitting and sometimes cut a piece off the loom before it is finished because it is not meeting my standards.) I am not looking for the shortcuts or the easy way. I want to do it right the first time, but I’ll backtrack even if it means extra hours.
I’m not going to call it pride in my work, as I don’t look for praise or thanks. Good work in all things is an offering to God. It is the sacrifice that Abel made and Cain didn’t. We shouldn’t be afraid of it or avoid or shirk it.