Does your job have to feel like work?

It’s Labor Day Weekend.

According to the US Department of Labor –

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

So I’m thinking a lot about labor – about work.

work_lifeI’m 51.  I’ve had a lot of jobs.  My first official job was doing laundry for a nearby summer camp.  After that my jobs have included being a:  drug store soda jerk; waitress;  tobacco hanger; doughnut maker/seller; health food store manager; TV weather girl/reporter; bank secretary turned management trainee turned trainer turned trust officer/estate planner; and now a paper artist.

My present job is my all time favorite.
My job as a paper artist doesn’t pay much financially, since at least 90% of my profit goes to various charities.  This isn’t because I’m some rich chick.   It’s because I have everything I need.   So it’s time to give back.   My job pays me MUCH in other ways.


I get to create.  I get to set my own schedule.  I get to take time off to be with the people I love without asking for permission.   I get to listen to JJ Cale all day long, if I want.  I get to connect with people I respect and celebrate.  I get to go to work in my yoga pants and a tank top.  I get to work ONLY with the people I choose.   I understand my boss as well as I understand anyone else.   And I can’t remember the last time I wore pantyhose!

What’s been your favorite job?     Why?    Did it feel like work?

7 thoughts on “Does your job have to feel like work?

  1. My favorite job was as a white-water raft guide. Never felt like work. Never paid like it either so it really can’t pass as a job. What I am doing now is the best ever. I’ll admit that there are parts of days when it is work. Rarely is the majority of a day that way. Teaching children has so many moments of sheer amazement that I can’t get bored, just worn out. Every day some child tells me how much I mean to them. Even the times when I know they are just kissing up it feels good because I know that they are on the way to it being a reality. It is my chance to help.

  2. Great post! Such a great way to bring up Labor Day. So far I can’t say I’ve had a job that would fall under a category of “favorite.” Someday when I’m writing full time (or blogging full time!), that will definitely be my favorite job. 🙂

  3. Jim, ooooooo a white water guide – tooooooo cool. am sure it paid off in MANY ways.
    i’m so grateful knowing you and people like are you are teaching our children. deep and humble bows of thanks.

    PP, here’s to hoping you’re favorite job happens very soon~ thanks.

  4. I envy your freedom to write your own hours—it takes a lot of self-discipline, though. I loved the days when I was a full time mom, part-time private art teacher, and part-time “fine artist”. Other than those few “committed” hours after school, my time was my own to manage. I seemed to get so much more done! Maybe it was just that I was younger with more energy, though! Even if I knew I didn’t have to face 6 periods of middle school kids the next day, I don’t know if I could stay up until “the wee hours” painting, as I used to. With age (I’m now 56) comes wisdom (hopefully), however; and I know that I cannot look back and long for those days again. I endeavor to enjoy the present positive qualities of my job, primarily the work of touching so many kids, who might really need me more than my “privileged” private students did. Now that my own kids are all off at college, my time is opening up a bit; and I hope I can recover that sense of self-discipline to allow me to once again pursue my own art, which I hope will be more meaningful, reflecting a more mature and experienced view of life. In the meantime, I’m lovin’ this Monday off, and will now get off the computer and into the garden!!!!

  5. One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s not work unless you’d rather be doing something else.” As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, it isn’t work, it’s enjoying life. I’ve long used what I call the “60%/60% Rule.” You ought to enjoy AT LEAST 60% of what you do…at least 60% of the time. If you’re over that 60% in your job, you have a good job. If you find yourself at less than 60% (which I did in my last job), it’s time to leave. (Which I did.)

    My favorite job?? It’s the one I have now….retirement! Retirement is so much fun I have no idea why I ever worked in the first place!

  6. ML, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again ~ i am SO grateful you are teaching our kids. THANK YOU! i hope you soooooo enjoy this ‘open’ Monday.

    Tom, thanks for sharing your 60%/60% rule here – wonderFULL! i celebrate how you live into your retirement, too!

  7. I, too, have had many jobs. It is difficult for me to choose which one I loved the most though. The were all pretty awesome at the time. I volunteered for the National Parks, I was a pirate on a beautiful square rigged galleon, I’ve been a wandering gypsy, a lifelong student, a personal trainer,and among many other things, I am now a teacher of Yoga. All of my “past lives” had elements of struggle and hard work, but they were all joyfully performed. Now I am in the best line of work. I get to be with people who are interested in the healing and wholeness that comes from the study and practice of Yoga. I am honored to share with them the knowledge that I have. I share my business with a like minded biz partner and I have the loving support of my husband and family. Wow! Too cool. Peace to all.

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