Employment, retirement and work life balance… let’s blow some myths out of the water

I was reading the commentary of Leonard Cohen by the amazing Maria Popova at Brainpickings on employment and unemployment.

Mr Cohen was stating that he felt that even people with jobs are unemployed. And that unemployment is the greatest fiction of man. He then went on to say that is happily and gratefully fully employed.

I feel the same way. I feel fully employed, even though it was in 1984 that I held my last ‘job’. I look in total perplexity at conversations on retirement…to what am I retiring to…I never see myself as not doing what I love. Why would I even consider stopping?

As to work life balance….everything I do is almost all a joy…and those few things that do not bring a sense of aliveness I am in the process of outsourcing. I have the ability to stop, to not check my emails or do that extra piece of work…but I generally ‘work’ seven days a week…not from some heroic superman, ‘go hard or go home’ impulse…but because I love what I do. My work is my aliveness.

Employ….mid-15c., from M.Fr. employer, from O.Fr. empleier, from L. implicare “enfold, involve, be connected with,” from in- “in” + plicare “to fold” see ply (v.)). Sense of “hire, engage” first recorded in English 1580s, from “involve in a particular purpose.”

I feel deeply connected to my work. It is implicate to my purpose.

Humanity is reaching a place where the possibility of this type of employment will be accessible to ever more people. This is a significant. At the same time, as we sit between the old industrial employment, where most people (80%) are in jobs they do not like…and the new expression of love as work…there is the tension of having work as love sustain our economics..pay our bills. This has been my challenge.

From the high altitude perspective it is almost silly how we pay people to do things they do not like that contribute little if anything to humanity, and yet people who do work for love may struggle to stay viable.

The good news is that our values are shifting….being a prostitute in order to pay your bills (Using the word prostitute in this instances to describe selling your soul/body/spirit for money…to the highest bidder) is becoming a clear choice.

Perhaps we can start to ask better questions.

To what and whom do you wish to employ your efforts, your care, your love and your one wild and precious life?

I invite comments here.

Photo credit: Creative Commons License U.S. Army via Compfight

 

 

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