Meaning In Work
On Saturdays, the day I’m responsible for the chores around the farm, the tasks pitch me into motion. They get me out of bed in the morning, not because of a sense of obligation exactly, but because they are the part of the day in which I experience the daily maintenance of my relationship to the physical: my body, this space, the land. Chores are the things we do in order to survive. But more than that, they’re the things we do in order to live. They shape our lives and our skills, opening up time to think.
Chores teach us. More than that, they are teachers. They find the places where we struggle and push us to improve on them. In the places where we excel, they become part of how we understand the world around us.
In much of our lives, “work” has a negative connotation. It’s strange, because work is a natural human tendency. Everything we do - all human activity - is work. And we’re surrounded by a world in which systems and structures are working with one another, too. The negativity towards work, I think, comes from a place where work is not meaningful or purposeful. But here, everything is both.
Work and meaning should be interconnected. When we dig down deeply enough, they are. And on a Saturday morning, as I put on my gloves, I’m grateful for this space that feeds that old human compulsion to create, to destroy, to interact with the environment around me. That’s work; that’s real.