Friday, July 19, 2013

The Pull Of Duty Over Desire

I am scheduled to work today.  It's going to be the hottest day yet here in Maine.  I want to stay home. The internal fight between duty and desire is being waged.  I always give in to duty. It's the way I was raised.  I always had to do work before I could have any fun.  Having fun, no matter how slight the fun part ever was, feels wrong if I haven't suffered first.

As a teen, I had a long list of "work" to do on Saturday (school year) and everyday (summer) before I could join my friends in a 5 mile round trip walk to the library, a swim in the community pool or a long afternoon playing card games on someone's front porch.  My brothers had no such list. And I don't remember any friends, either.  I had bathrooms to scrub, dishes to wash, all the clothing from the outdoor line to steam iron (in the cool, dark basement), I had windows or walls to wash etc.  I was Cinderella.  Or I was made to feel like Cinderella.

My behavior was "patterned" toward WORK.  My parents would quiz me on any PAID work I was doing after I married and had children.  G and I agreed that I would stay home with the children until they were in full time school and then go to work.  Which is exactly what I did.  Which is not something my parents agreed with.  When I did go into the workforce, I was interrogated on my hours, pay and benefits. (I was also chided about my weight)  Which never was "good enough".  We will ignore the fact that my mother never worked (after marriage) until she turned 50 or that my youngest brother hardly ever worked, preferring to steal money from my mother and drink.  I was always the "disappointment".

So.  Thinking of calling out at work today (something every other employee does on a regular basis) is something I think about and then at the last possible second I pack my lunch and go to work.  Kicking myself for being so ........ what would be the descriptive word here?

Yesterday I worked in my vegetable garden.  Covered in Deet (but my right arm still got chewed by mosquitos).  I fertilized.  I watered.  I picked and pulled (peas, bok choy and weeds) and found I had two little cucumbers already.  I ate one.  I also picked raspberries and blueberries.  I hilled up the red potatoes.  Tied the tomatoes to the stakes.  Wondered why the pepper plants aren't growing taller.  Noticed the escarole has bolted.  Counted the carrots that actually germinated (5).

I also mended the hem on my work shorts.  The tear where I snagged the shorts on a nail at work.  The rip had been stapled the past few times I worked.  So I mended the tear with a pretty green perle cotton. I tried to shop for new shorts but the stuff that is being sold this season is very short in the leg.  So I was glad I had mended the shorts as they are all I have to wear for the remainder of the summer.

I had best pack my lunch.


MariMo said...

The descriptive word you were thinking of is submissive. But that's wong dear Joanne - you are just extremely dutiful and reliable. Have a good weekend.

Gale said...

CALL IN!!!!! and then don't feel guilty. My husband had the same feeling about work as you do. He died 9 years ago at age 59. I don't remember him saying he wished he had worked more. Sorry for the darkness of this - but that is reality.

Annie said...

Your childhood certainly explains who you are today.

I like the word "obliging" also "responsible" in answer to your question. It's all good, if one is going to do a job it should be done in a proper up when you are supposed to. If that can't be done, quit the job. You like your job and you do it in a proper manner, thumbs up for you!