On Working (and NOT Working)

Not an especially hot day, but very bright. I spent the morning crawling around under the lair (the boys thought this was very nice) drilling holes and running pipe. When I went as far as I could with what I had and started to crawl back out into the sun, my inclination was to crawl right back under again and maybe join the boys in a nap. But lunch beckoned.

Following a rather humorous conversation with Landlady last weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about work ethic (ain’t got none) and guilt (got lots.) She laughed at me for listing and apologizing for all the things I hadn’t done – or even worked on – in the past week. And it’s true that for the past few weeks I haven’t had any motivation to do stuff, including stuff I absolutely must get done before it gets cold or I’m not going to have a habitable place to live. I was doing really well for a while, but lately all I want to do is sit and read and that’s mostly all I do. Oh, give me a good reason, like money, and I’m there. But the non-paying stuff I’m supposed to be working on hasn’t been getting done lately.

Of course, a major part of the reason I’ve worked (heh) on learning to live on very little money is the desire to not have to work if I don’t feel like it. If I’m gonna be poor as a churchmouse – and I sure am – I may just as well adopt the lazy lifestyle of the hermit I set out to be. Fact is, other than keeping specific promises I don’t actually have to work all that hard. And I don’t. So why do I persist in feeling so damned guilty about it? Hell, I’ve never even been Catholic.

The boys think it’s great. A little walky, a little Jeep ride from time to time, and all they want to do for the rest of the day is snooze with Uncle Joel.

I know I bitch on the blog about the busy weekends, but I hope you know that’s in fun. Most of the time I look forward to Landlady and M coming over, because it’s fun to work on projects with other people to provide the motivation to get me off my ass. And the progress they’ve made on the Meadow House and M’s Dome has been really exciting. I’m also quite excited at the prospect of moving into The Secret Lair, which is maybe six weeks away now – two months tops. If I’ll just get off my ass. Thanks to HPAV Gulchendiggensmoothen, I don’t even have to dig out the now-filled-in trenches for the Lair’s septic system, or manually haul all the sand I’ll need for it. That brings my timeline much more back into the realm of reality. So logically, there’s no reason for me to beat myself up over succumbing to the temptation to kick back and see what-all Honor Harrington is up to today. But I do it anyway.

Maybe it’s just programming. I spent my life working for a living, which means sticking to the schedule, accepting the slavery of the alarm clock, punching in on time. Five days belong to your employer, the remaining two belong to the honey-do list. Time for yourself? Don’t be ridiculous. How selfish can you be?

Now I’ve got nothing but time for myself, and don’t get me wrong – I find interesting and enjoyable ways to fill it. But they’re not always – they’re usually not – terribly productive ways, and that triggers all my guilt centers.

Sigh – this business of being human. It’s such a pain. :^)

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to On Working (and NOT Working)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Last time I checked in Honor Harrington was a) making peace with the (New) Republic of Haven, b) preparing to fend off an attack by thousands of Solarian League superdreadnaughts, c) carrying the war of dirty tricks to the Mesan Alignment and still being home in time to change her kid’s diapers.

    Meanwhile I’m more interested in what impact the scientist Victor and Anton sprung will have…

    Yours in Honor,


  2. Joel says:


    I was going to write a big long review of the Harrington books (I’ve read through “War of Honor” because I got them free, and will probably stop there) but figured fans would track me down wherever I hid and tear me limb from limb. Though all the endless trivial dialogue and exposition annoyed me, for each book could easily be half as long and much improved, the only real problem I have with the series is the main character. A hero whose ONLY FLAW is that she just doesn’t realize how goshdarned perfect she is, for which flaw her army of minions endlessly takes her to task, is not a believable hero. She was clearly intended to be a Horatio Hornblower rip-off at first (“HH=HH, get it? Huh? Here, let me beat you over the head with it AGAIN!”) but Weber must have given that up early. Horatio Hornblower was a fascinatingly believable character entirely because he was so terribly flawed. By comparison, this lady makes James Tiberius Kirk look like high literature.

    Well, okay. Low humor. Whatever

To the stake with the heretic!