Work outlives us. It reminds me of when I used to take a vacation from my government job and when I returned, the work was still there, just in a bigger pile. Maybe you can relate. No one wanted my phone calls, so I had to hear complaining when I left and when I came back. Sometimes it didn’t pay to go on vacation because coming back to that big pile was a nightmare, and no one else took care of it in my absence. Even when we retire or quit a job for another, that work that we did will be done by someone else. It never goes away and lives longer than we do.

Work is important. My mother used to remind us, “work is good” she would say, often enough. She sacrificed coming to Trenton from New York leaving the job she loved to follow my father. She did beadwork on patterns to sew on clothing, plus she had the ten of us. So, we learned to appreciate the work we did, whatever it was because it was important and the way to live better.

Working for the State government I was able to learn many different types of jobs working in various departments for over twenty-five years. It allowed me to help others who would call in with housing problems and who had a tub full of sludge or pests or mold. People cried, I listened, and let them know an inspector would be assigned, directing them to the proper person. When it came to listening to lawyers, the pushiest of all people when they needed a report, I learned to push back, letting them know when they were being very obstinate and crude, that they weren’t going to get it when they wanted it, and only when the report had been processed. It took courage to deal with the many issues and problems of others. I learned patience too and how to empathize. My heart went out to those in need.

Work is a growing experience. In government, I worked in Purchasing too and learned much to be a liaison with cooperatives and manage to oversee one hundred and fifty co-ops. I’ve done many other jobs too, from a part-time cleaning business to a part-time reflexology/nutrition business for which I was certified. All these positions taught me to grow, manage the work, and help others.

Work is fun. Once I received a college degree, I became a part-time substitute teacher for elementary school-aged children. I love children and teaching pre-school to fourth grade was enlightening and the kids were fun. Fifth and sixth grades were harder and classes much larger, so I stuck with pre-school to fourth. They taught me as well. I loved working one on one with them too and seeing them make progress. There were ruckuses, emotional outbursts, children that were sick or got hurt in the playground, but helping them brought me closer to myself, increasing the love and care I already had for children. Definitely tiresome work.

Work is hard. Writing is what I do now and it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done. I don’t call it fun, but more like creative explosions of the deepest kind. It can be physically and mentally exhausting, but for me, it’s following the path to OZ. Though a self-published author of a poetry collection, I’m not traditionally published yet, but following the yellow brick road. It’s exciting when I’ve inspired or an idea for a book comes to life, sometimes from a dream in the twilight phase just before awakening. I’d see a face when I’d open my eyes and began writing a book about a young girl which I completed. I’ve written and finished other books as well. It’s thrilling to finish a book, a short story, a poem, or an article. I feel accomplished and complete even when I haven’t earned from it. But I know that day will come. I keep believing the coffers will overflow one day and hoping for success.

I’ve already said that work is tiring, even if you love what you’re doing. Writers need breaks, vacations too, even if just for a day. I haven’t had a real vacation in years, but I’m ready for one. It’s said that if you love what you’re doing, it does not work. Everything is work, unless you’re sitting on a beach someplace, or exploring a new town or country. But remember, work is good. So, ’til I’m flying in the skies, busing across the country, or driving to another state, I’ll be, where do you think? At work?