Back to work
I’ve been away for nearly eight weeks. It’s the longest I’ve gone without working since my senior year of high school.
During those years, I was paid $6 an hour to mow grass and weed-whack 40-plus hours a week at a golf course. Usually under an unrelenting sun and often with dimpled white spheres hurtling at me from all sides.
In college, I made $5.25 an hour, 10 cents more than the federal minimum wage at the time, at a work-study job in the communications department. I also wrote articles for $50 a pop for the local newspaper for a couple of summers.
Before long, I was in the real world. Even when I was laid off, which has happened twice at two different employers, I wasn’t out of work for long, and the second time I had a part-time job to fill the gap.
I haven’t been good at living without work. My time management skills have deteriorated markedly, and I’ve procrastinated more than I have since college. And I wasn’t a big procrastinator in college.
I was talking to my oral surgeon, Dr. Smith, on Thursday, and mentioned to him that I am returning to the Sun next week. We agreed that work is an important element of life. Dr. Smith is in his 70s, yet he still practices his craft, and at a very high level. Not because he has to financially, I’m sure, but because he wants to. He loves what he does.
We all like to complain about our jobs; it’s part of human nature and helps us to cope. But the truth is that we are built to work. It gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and without it we lose an essential part of who we are.
I’m looking forward to getting that part of me back starting in a few days, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of co-workers to help me.