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March: Work

March 10, 2016

While I should start by apologizing for my sporadic posts, despite my announced goal of posting every Monday and Thursday, all I can say is this:  I moved. I’ll spare you the photograph of the garage (aka “the box repository” or my office (aka “the box room”). Meanwhile, some of you have offered similar apologies (or alibis or excuses) for not getting totally into this online project. Give yourself a break!

Remember:  Anyone’s happiness project needs to be rid of self-inflicted guilt. This is a very loosely organized book club. We have no regular meetings. No one has to bring cake. We have a whole year to read through the book. If that doesn’t work, you have next year. Jump in where you feel like it.

Ahhh! I feel better now. Let’s look at March.  I should feel odd discussing work since I’m either retired or unemployed, depending on my view of the future. But I’m ready to talk about this chapter anyway. If you get through the first two or three pages, you’ll see the discussion of choosing the right work for you. When Gretchen Rubin mentions her epiphany about the logic of choosing a career that lines up with how you choose to spend your free time, I remembered an article from this part August in the education supplement of The New York Times. The entire supplement was focused on college freshmen, and I shared several of the articles with my class at the time.

One in particular came to mind, “How to Live Wisely,” in which the author Richard Light described activities he led in a noncredit seminar class called “Reflecting on Your Life.”  He asked students about their goals and followed by asking what they were doing to reach them. Then he asked how they spent their spare time. One student trying to decide between studying science or government was taken aback when he asked, after she described how she spent her spare time, why she didn’t mention labs. Labs? In my spare time? she wondered. Then the light came on for her.

Most of us are not choosing a college major.  Instead we may be considering retiring or, as my friend Steve calls it, “rewiring.” Others are thinking about changes big or small.  Doesn’t it make sense to consider how we choose to spend our time when making decisions that affect at least half our waking hours.  It’s worth considering, isn’t it?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2016 8:24 pm

    Really interesting post! X

  2. April 9, 2016 9:01 pm

    One of my biggest problems in deciding to REALLY retire is what I would do. I’d have all sorts of free time, but I don’t know what I want to do during that time. I have no hobbies to pursue, and I can’t think of any that might interest me. You know I enjoy writing; however, I don’t think I have a talent for it. Just can’t imagine anyone besides good friends and cousins wanting to read it. I’ve thought for a long time that I’d write about being an only child, but as I tried to use the topic for the April Challenge this year, I realized that nothing in my growing up would interest anyone. I’ve already written something of an autobiographical “book” called “Grammy Then and Now.” I wrote it while my students were writing their stories. I started reading through it today and realized that it’s really bad. I wrote it for Corey, and it sounds very childlike. So much for an autobiography!

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