What is work?

I got up this morning knowing I wanted to get to the studio and work on my “Bye” quilt.   I envisioned me putting the batting and backing on, then spending the rest of the day tacking it with yarn while listening to the APM show “Being” on the computer.   Maybe even getting the quilt done.

But I got up early and decided to take the dogs for a walk first.  It was a cold, but sunny morning and I thought of the frozen snow crunching under my feet.  A voice in my head said, ” You really should get to work” and I found myself answering “This is my work”.

My whole life I’ve had the idea of work as being something you do constantly and consistently.  It’s about being busy and accomplishing a certain amount of tasks.  About not wasting time and never being idle.

But I’m finding there’s a difference between being idle and being still, being busy and busy work and my idea of accomplishment is changing.  On my walk with the dogs I found myself getting ideas for my next videos.   So before going to the studio, I took my Flip to the path and filmed my ideas.  Once in the studio the creativity continued to flow, so made the video posted on this blog.

Then I started to get nervous. I was supposed to be working on my quilt, not walking around taking videos.  Not spending the time it takes to upload and import to YouTube and then blog about it.

And then it came to me, the voice of clarity, ” This is my work, all of it.”  The walks, videos, blogging, meditating, upload pictures, figuring out how to use the Flip program, sketching and making my quilts and potholders.  It all informs my “work”.  It is my work.

15 thoughts on “What is work?

  1. Hi Maria, I love this video and this post. I was raised with the same incredulous work ethic,and it continued through ny second long marriage until finally I’d had enough! My work has changed dramatically now and that’s my choice.Yea Rita!
    Tomorrow I’ll tend a Brussels Griffon and a mini-dachs. It doesn’t get much better!

  2. Beautifully said, Maria. I have had the same contradictions of measuring the number of tasks against the time spent being still. I will think about that today as I do my work, all of it. Thanks for your thoughts and the videos.

  3. I have to be the lone disagreeing voice here–this sort of sentiment annoys me profoundly. You’re lucky to have the financial security and leisure time to fiddle around with video and your art. You were able to quit your job because you don’t need to earn a living financially–you’re able to enjoy a hobby/business because of that. Many people would love to consider their passions work, but they have mortgages to pay and children to put through college. You don’t. I don’t begrudge you that good fortune, but it annoys me that you don’t seem to realize that your situation is something that only the wealthy can enjoy.

    1. Hi Janice, Your comment assumes that you know all about my life, which isn’t true. I believe in posting different points of view, so thanks for writing.

  4. I agree with Janice that nobody can do these things without money. But I agree with Maria that we don’t know how much money she has or what her life is really like. It might be harder than it looks.

  5. My response to Janice’s comment is this: None of us know what any of us have trudged through, how hard any of us have worked to get to where we are. Begrudging anyone of achieving their goal of finally being able to do creative, meaningful work is small minded. Good for you, Maria. Good for you, for being able to have worked through your life to get to where you are. It’s where we all aspire to be.

  6. As I watched this video, I realized that we all have things we “have” to do each day (get dressed, make the coffee, turn ON the computer, roll up the shade, etc.) That we usually rush thru to “get to work”. Instead of seeing these things as time wasters, we can savor the moments. Thank God that we HAVE shoes to put on, a car to get to work, a job to go to, electricity to run the computer. (Each person is in a different situation in his/her life.) We can be jealous of someone’s situation, or we can be GRATEFUL for what WE have.

  7. Janice, how can you possibly know whether or not Maria appreciates her situation or how she got there? I don’t understand why you read her blog if her freedom to explore her creativity irritates you. I, too, am a bit jealous, but her quilts and her words inspire me to work harder on my own passions while still being a mother, wife, and housekeeper. Thanks Maria!

    1. I love your name, Babymoonflower, It’s a poem in itself. I get the feeling if you blogged about your life I could be jealous and inspired too.

  8. Thanks for your videos and the rest of your work. It is intriguing to get a peek into someone else’s view of the world and how to be in it. It is very apparent that much of your work revolves around harmony…which, like notes in a song, is constantly changing. What a lovely dance! Keep ’em coming.

  9. Why be jealous about anyone or anything, just be darn happy for that person, which is Maria! and with what you all have, and just remember there’s always someone worse off than you! Cheers to all and have a good day! :-))

  10. Many people live a life that suits their needs not by gaining wealth, but by moderating the things they have. I have admired some relatives of mine for homeschooling their children, and they achieved this by being careful of what they spent, it did not happen because they had great wealth. If you feel you are living alife that is not what you want due to the mortgage, colege, maybe you need to look at are these things you have to have to live how you want to.

  11. Maria, if working at your art is fiddling around, then keep fiddling! I wish you much joy in your work as you expand to visual poems and continue to discover and develop new worlds and ideas in fabric art. Thank you for sharing your process and allowing us to be a witness to your artistic life. You are right – it is all work, and it is all of value.

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