Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Not Standing and Staring Enough

Somebody said to me today that he thinks I'm currently doing the work of three people.

He had just watched me do a very long and busy day in the office (he was very busy too!) and has a pretty good grasp of what it's like to do all the other stuff I do too - - the roleplay and the teaching, for example.

He didn't say it as a joke, he said it as a considered opinion. So I considered it a bit too and said actually it's probably only the work of about two people.

And then I thought - - so you think that's all right then, do you, Daphne?

And of course, if it were anyone else, I'd be saying you should do less, for goodness' sake, what on earth do you think you're doing?

Well, it's partly that I don't have a regular salary - it's totally dependent upon firstly, the amount of work that the actors get, and secondly, the amount of roleplay/teaching work that I do on top of this.

And when I'm offered work, I do find it hard to say no - - though believe me, I have turned down lots this winter. I tend to think, when offered any job - - - oh yes, that'd be fun!

I always feel I'm fortunate to be offered it, and I'm also fortunate in that I love all the work that I do. I know many - perhaps most - people don't feel like that.

But really, surely there has to be a happy medium. What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? goes the poem. Nobody lying on their deathbed ever wished they'd spent more time in the office, goes the saying.

I tend to define myself by my work, I know. I suppose at the bottom of it all may lurk the fact that without it I just feel rather lost and useless. I wouldn't apply that to anyone else though, so why do I apply it to myself?

I know that, when things are difficult - and they have been, this past couple of years, quite often - I throw myself into my work as a kind of refuge. It's a self-contained world which can take all my attention and concentration: and I believe that the work that I do is worthwhile, too, and that pleases me.

But I wish I could do less of it, and still feel a sense of achievement and purpose. I need to do a bit more standing and staring.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ruth said...

It's Friday and this blog was posted on Tuesday. This sort of a gap is unusual - I hope you have managed to do a bit of standing and staring.

7:52 pm  
Blogger Katherine said...

I love my study/work. And, like you, have a tendency to do it too well. My friends sometimes remind me of the things I have said to them. Like "if you are really tired you aren't doing yourself any favours" and "are you taking your vitamins? You are heading to getting sick" and "what advice would you give yourself right now?"
Recently I've been sick. It's not the ideal way to slow down, but it unfortunately works for me. Do take care Daphne.

9:22 pm  

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