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Work, work, work. Does it seem like that is what you do most of the time? Yeah, I know it. Life is full of various kinds of work. Work to earn a living. Work for food. Work at raising children. Work at keeping a home. Work at relationships…like I said, work, work, work.
But work is necessary, and work is good for us. Anyone religious likely has a belief in work; the commandment of “six days shalt thou labor” is a point for keeping the Sabbath holy, but also for laboring–for six days. Looking to examples in the scriptures, we see people who worked.
Before I delve too deeply–I feel the need to first recognize that life isn’t all about work–there should be play and leisure, also. Yes, we need to relax. Yes, we should recreate. But we shouldn’t be idle.
We are often looking for ways to make our work easier on ourselves, and I don’t think that is inherently bad. Because of such thought, we have things like dishwashers, washing machines, and roombas. We can definitely become more efficient in our work. But not in order to turn to the television more often.
My feeling is that you readers are okay with and accepting of work in general, so I won’t spend this time convincing you to be hard working. I think you already are. You are the type of people who accept your personal responsibility and are willing to put the work in to accomplish it. You don’t expect anyone other than you to do things like raise your children.
But I am sure many of you struggle with loving your work. Yes–loving. I am someone who is a bit odd and loves work, and I know I struggle with loving certain jobs. Jobs like folding laundry…oh folding laundry. I do not love doing that at all. What is a job you dislike greatly? Sweeping? Bathrooms? Poopy diapers? Dishes? Running errands?
How do we change our attitude so that we learn to love our work–even the monotonous and the mundane? I have five ideas, and perhaps you have some you can share of your own. I think this is something that will take time to accomplish, but hopefully we can make great improvements quickly and work toward loving our work.
1-Make it fun
“Work” is not another word for “boring.” I think a trick to enjoying work is to making it fun for yourself. There are lots of ways to make it fun. Challenge yourself. Maybe you could time yourself to see how long it takes you or maybe you could challenge yourself to be done with a certain chore by 10 AM.
Many of the tasks we so dread really don’t take that long to do–when we put it off and think about how much we will dislike it, we really drag out the misery for longer than we need to 🙂 But this post is not about shortening misery, it is about learning to love it, so let’s keep thinking of that.
Something I love is music. When I put on music while I work, it makes it even that much more enjoyable for me. So think of something you enjoy and add that. Maybe you love to talk to your Mom. You could make doing the dishes time a time to call your mom.
One friend I have said that when she feels like complaining about doing the dishes, she thinks about how grateful she is she has food to eat. That is a great perspective–rather than complaining I have so much laundry to fold, I should be grateful we have clothes to wear!
3-Keep end goal in mind
Sometimes having a goal can make you excited to do the work. Think about how nice it will be to have all of it clean and done. Keep the goal in mind and be excited for what you are going to accomplish.
4-Share the load
Even the heaviest load is lighter when two people share it rather than one. Enlist the help of people as appropriate. Spouse, children, friends…all depending on the “work” you are doing.
5-Focus on the serving
Ultimately, I think number five is the thing that will get me to the point of loving the work I hate. There I said it. Hate. I have a story to illustrate:
“A traveler passed a stone quarry and saw three men working. He asked each man what he was doing. Each man’s answer revealed a different attitude about the same job. “I am cutting stone,” the first man answered. The second replied, “I am earning three gold pieces per day.” The third man smiled and said, “I am helping to build a house of God.”
Now, is folding laundry as grand as building a house of God? Definitely not in the eyes of the world. But I honestly think it can be in the eyes of God. The point of this story is the attitude of service when doing work. The third man viewed his work as a service to God. When I serve my family by folding laundry for them, I am serving God. “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
No matter your spiritual beliefs, if you view your work as a service and display of love to your family, you will view it differently. Rather than a “chore” it is something to show love. Does the job change? No. Get easier? Not physically. But the chore was never hard physically in the first place. It is a mental issue, so that is where the change really needs to happen. Sure, a “folding laundry robot” would make that job easier, but the most realistic way for me to improve on that chore is to look at it as service and a way to show love.
So whether you are potty training, vacuuming, changing a diaper, balancing the budget, planning out your meals, weeding, cooking, wiping noses, etc…..view it as a display of love and an act of service, and hopefully some day, you can grow to love and cherish it rather than procrastinate and/or dread it.
Now I need to go fold laundry. Yay! (that was fake, but maybe in a few months, it will be sincere).