The Work that We Do

Today I celebrate the work that I do!
I know.
There is a special Day set aside the first Monday in September to Celebrate our Labor!
And that’s Great!
But I Love the Work that I do, and to Celebrate That only one day a year seems like hardly enough!

Oh, and it’s not just because I work in Show Business,
And that’s’ Fun (most days!)
It’s really just because I work!
I Love Work!

Over the Years, I would say to MOM, “I have too much Work right now! I don’t how I can possibly get it all done!” and she would say, without fail, and most Cheerfully, “Good! It’s Good to be Busy! You don’t wanna’ just be sittin’ around, do ya’?”
Or if I’d tell her, “Oh, I’m going up to Provincetown! Work is Slow right now and I can get away!” she would respond quickly, ‘That’s not good! You don’t want that to go on for too long! Get some Work!” completely ignoring my grand announcement of my Well-Deserved All-Too-Brief Vacation!
But she kept her eye on the Prize! She knew what was truly Important!
I never got the feeling that this was because she was born into the GREAT DEPRESSION, although perhaps living through that in her formative years had something to do with her OutLook.
Rather, I always got the sense it was because of the JOYfulness that she saw in getting out there and doing something!
That Sense of Accomplishment!
It all just seemed like Fun to her!
Life and getting yourself out there…
It was never about if you Succeeded.
It was never about if you made a lot of Money.
Oh, she had an appreciation of those things, as well, but the real achievement was in getting out there and Living Your Life.
Show Up for Your Life!
That was the main goal!

I try to do that!
Every Day!

IRINA in CHEKOV’s THE THREE SISTERS, says, “Man must toil, he must work in the sweat of his brow, whoever he is, and in this alone is encompassed the sense and the aim of his life, his happiness, his raptures. How wonderful to be a workman, one who rises when it is scarcely daylight and breaks stones on the roadway, or a shepherd, or a teacher who teaches children, or an engine driver on the railway… Just as in hot weather you are sometimes dying for a drink, that is how much I want to work…”

I like the little Blessings!
I like being around other people!
I have always seen it as a real Bonus that I get to be in Air Conditioning when the Heat of a New York Summer hits!
(or in the warmth of a heated Building during the Cold of Winter!)
I like the filtered water cooler!
I drink a Lot of Water! I Love That!
I like the commute — separating my Work Life so that my Home Life can be about something else (even in Show Business and a World of CyberTechnology, where some days that barely seems possible!)

But I always saw Labor as a Beautiful Thing!
What do you do?
Install the sign?

Paint the building?

Paint the SideWalk?


Play Piano in the middle of Union Station?

Are you the Best Waitress or Waiter?

MARTHA, the Best Waitress

CHARLIE, The Best Waiter

JULIE, the Best Waitress

Are you the Best Yoga Instructor?

NICK, the Best Yoga Instructor

INGA, the Best Yoga Instructor

Or the Warm Wonderful Man who works in the bank and knows every customer’s name, while pursuing his own Vision in Photography?

ALEXANDROU, at the Bank last Christmas

Do you run the Laundromat?
Do you Manage a Bed and BreakFast?
Do you clean the Funeral Home at Night?
Are you a Big TV Producer?

DASH, a Big TV Producer

Do you Teach?
Or Cook?


Or Sing?


Maybe your Work is to take care of the Little Ones

I don’t know her name, but her Work is taking care of her Little Ones

Or to be the Upside Down Clown Entertaining the Children outside the Vancouver Aquarium

Or to pick up the Dead tulips so that they don’t kill the other bulbs…

Migrant Workers care-taking the Tulip Fields

Do you save Lives?

Whatever you do, don’t do This:

For decades, there was a Doughnut Shop in my Neighborhood.
A real old fashioned Greek Doughnut Shop.
Working in Show Business, there were many times I would get home at 3 or 4 in the morning.
I’d walk by and the man who makes the doughnuts was in there, starting up for the morning.
After a period of time, we started to recognize each other, and we would wave or smile.
He was So Dedicated, So Committed, So Devoted to his work…
I admired him, and I always got the sense that he saw somewhat the same thing in me.
We knew little more about one another than the hours we kept.
But it spoke volumes.
One day last year, I walked by the Doughnut Shop and I saw this:

I was devastated.
My friend, the loyal and hardworking doughnut man was gone.
Almost a year later, the business closed.
Still, I couldn’t help thinking, “What a Full Of Wonder Life!”
“…in this alone is encompassed the sense and the aim of his life, his happiness, his raptures. How wonderful to be a workman, one who rises when it is scarcely daylight…”

More Recently, the property has begun renovation

And a new business is beginning… someone else’s dream…

Sometimes, we work out of our home,
Or our work is our Health
Or our work is taking care of someone or something;
Sometimes our work is something that we were not expecting to be doing.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

What is the Work that you do?

That is so often the question we ask when we meet people — at least, we Americans ask that — “So, what do you do?”
as if we are defined merely by what we do.
I might ask that question, but I have immediate Follow-Up Questions:
Do you Love it?
Do you enjoy every little Blessing of the Day?
The Paycheck, sure.
But the Water Cooler?
The Air Conditioning?
The Sunlight?
Is there a Coffee Maker?
Do you get to use the Copy Machine and the Scanner?
Is there a Window there? What is your View?
Have you done everything with the Space to create the Environment you would like?
Do you bring in Stones or SeaShells or other Talismans; How many Plants do you have?
Is the commute there filled with JOY-FULL Moments and Wonderful things to see?
What accomplishment has given you the Greatest Sense of Gratification over this past week?
Gratification cannot be far from Gratitude!
Is there anything we are taking for Granted? May we Celebrate it, instead?
There are So Many People who would give just anything to have the Jobs that we have Right Now!
How Beautiful it is to Work!
To do the Job that we have!
To be in the Place where we are!
To be Fully Present
Living in Gratitude
and Enjoying the Gift of the Day!

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