Musings on the work ethic of the depression generation
It is over a week since we have got together, blog and I. Does that mean I have had no thoughts, ideas and comments? Been comotose for days at a time? Oh, not at all - time is the culprit. Even now I am writing these few sentences before I go into the kitchen to start Sunday night supper, and the thoughts that pass through my mind are on the tasks that stay with us through our lifetime, both for husband and wife. Some we do through love or necessity - some we are driven to by our up-bringing.
More on this later, - in the meantime pork chops, baked potatoes and salad for supper - and pie from last night's party!
Well, making meals falls into the love and/or necessity box. Sometimes, when you are feeling especially affectionate or wifely the creation of a meal is a gift of love. Of course there are other times when necessity is the only thing that inspires you to cook - and still other times when you do it under protest and without any degree of inspiration. It is a good thing that peanut butter and honey sandwiches go down well with husband. I have heard that some partners make evil tasting coffee and burn the toast, but that has never been in my province. I did stop peeling his tomatoes during one period when life was bumpy.
Cleaning? Well, that's another story. Never having been one to gain a great deal of satisfaction from the process of cleaning house over doing something creative on the loom, in the garden, at the piano or the computer, I am not often driven by love to clean the bathroom or polish the kitchen sink. I think cleaning falls into the necessity folder, and requires a bit of ingenuity and professionalism to get it over with as quickly as possible.
But the thoughts I have been having lately about the work ethic versus retirement concern my husband, and the way he is driven to some kind of practical accomplishment each and every day. He is a child of the depression and he will die with a tool of some sort in his hand, even if he lives to be 102 as his father did.
He is a man full of stories. His gift for friendship and his life experiences have brought him into contact with a plethora of interesting people. He has stories of the war, during which he was a Lancaster Pilot. He has stories of his experiences in farming and in his interest and experience in making higher education available through the College system. He has stories of his logging and trucking years. Over time he has interviewed and taped many of the pioneers of this valley. He has now reached the age where he is one of the elders of the community and knows things that have never reached the ears of the younger generations and are of great value in remembering the history of this valley.
Nobody seems to be wandering the community, tape recorder in hand, looking for this information, so it behooves him to use his brand new computer for the purpose for which it was bought, - recording all the stories that lie fallow in his mind. Never mind the current Free Cell score and the challenge to the brain!!
However, it would seem in his mind that to use his hands to type these sentences and paragrahs and tales into the computer, - to print them, and assign them to history, is somehow secondary to the chores that drive him every morning to accomplish something practical. This quite patently puts these tasks into the "driven-to-by- up-bringing" class and I don't know how you learn to priorize this work - especially when it represent a moral and ethical standard. Old fashioned too!!!!
My next thought is in the form of a question - why do we procrastinate when it comes to doing the things we truly enjoy?????? I think this has something to do with that same work ethic, but I will go now and despair about this some more, while the tea towels I am weaving gather dust on the loom.