27 January 2009

Work is good for you

In the post, a cutting from a London pal of Glasgow GP Margaret McCartney's riveting Second opinion piece on the importance of work.

I know that already, and to my increasing distress and cost, having traded 35 years' even slog for languid lotus munching among the strumbergia.

But what timing - the article was waiting for me at the end of a day's immensely pleasurable walking and mingling that made me yearn to get back to some sort of work routine.

The car's in for four days' servicing and I'm tempted to encourage them to keep it longer, such is the joy of busing and posing as an honest ouvrier.

First off, it was a gorgeous day which I used as an excuse to explore a suspected short cut from the garage to the Potamos junction. I was right and felt so pleased with myself that I decided to walk on and if reached a bus shelter as the #7 pulled up, so be it.

As it was, I ended up walking the whole way to town and now know many of the sidestreets intimately.

So what has Dr McCartney to say? Some very interesting points that I will be pinning to my noticeboard as reminders of the perils of slacking.

  • Work is good for us; indeed, it matters more than we think.
  • If somebody - an Exhibit A specimen such as me, say - has precisely nothing to do, day after day, they will not thrive.
    • I know that I know  that!
    • What have I been saying these past 32 months of pining and reclining?
  • Work gives us meaning, structure, social inclusion, relationships and, usually, a visible outcome or product we can be proud of.
  • It also gives us the money needed to buy the heat, light and food that we need to live - or in my case, booze, cigs and petrol for those nights out with non-existent co-workers celebrating non-existent weekends ... or week middles, or week beginnings, or any of those milestones that distinguish one day from another.

    It is entirely possible for someone to find purpose in life without resorting to gainful employment, but for most people, work is the best way of avoiding a life of thumb-twiddling.

    Hear bloody hear.

    After 2½ years' aimless twiddling, I simply would not recognise a "Life Purpose" - let alone know what use to which to put it or think of a single purpose it might serve.

  • Mais tiens! Even more depressing, "scientific evidence tells us that work is the best way to stay healthy, too."
    • Well, there go my chances for any remaining laughable 'Life'.
    • Might as well throw in the towel and go straight for the hosepipe over the Judas Tree, no passing Go, no pocketing the €20.
  • "There is more: unemployment, especially for periods of more than 12 weeks, increases the level of anxiety and depression."
  • "Worse, joblessness is associated with an increased risk of suicide."
    • And I thought it was just that infernal Treadmill of Futility, fuckin' gardening.

Excellent timely article and I must keep up with Dr McCartney's 'lively discussion of the latest medical issues.'

Also, in my case, somewhat depressing reading.


Sibadd said...

Ignore! Better "A man who sweeps a room..." dear George Herbert

Busker said...

i dont get it. are you quoting the elixir: "A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine; Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws Makes that and th’ action fine."

i recall singing that as a hymn at those schools.