Joy in Work

It's the little things, mostly. Duty. Integrity. Lately, they really have been bringing me joy.

For example. 

Yesterday, workers showed up for an appointment, did their work (and more!), chatted and listened to us respectfully, and solved some problems. They even celebrated, in an appropriately distanced way, with us when they had finished.

More than a year ago, an worker collected a file, as was her job, and put it where it was supposed to go. Almost two years ago, other workers watched disturbing events happening and recently chose to tell the truth. We are hearing from them and people like them.

A little more than six months ago, technology with roots deep in the 1990s bore fruit, and recently, we all got to see that fruit and can watch it continue to thrive. 

Some days, joy is hard to come by. Sick people get sicker. A sick planet ditto. Household systems, and the households surrounding them, age and eventually fail. Always. 

Birch trees, like lilies of the field,
neither toil nor spin, yet remain
reliable sources of joy.

Most research DOESN'T bear useful fruit, if by "useful" you mean world-changing. But it was "useful" to the person who did the research. It might be "useful" in a grander sense, to someone else, twenty years from now. It might not.*

Most of what lies in official files may remain curiosities or simply data, not especially vital information. Same with office interactions. But the person who did the filing and reported the disturbing events did their jobs with integrity.

Most of what the workers did for us yesterday may be moot in only a few months. But the house and household are better today for their presence yesterday.

I'm lucky. I can say that the work I do today is good -- it's good for me to do, even if it never becomes valuable beyond that. Making the bed, doing laundry, revising my words, working on others' words, enjoying words, even hardboiling eggs for a future breakfast. All good.  

That knowledge brings me comfort, and sometimes the knowledge, or the work itself, brings joy. And that's enough.


* And yes, I keep thinking about dementia research, and that neurology researcher, along with her team of lab techs, who are acting with such integrity. Who give me hope.