Work! Work! Work!

WorkWhy should we need extra time in which to enjoy ourselves? If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do.

It may well be that it is not our work that is so hard for us as the dread of it and our often expressed hatred of it. Perhaps it is our spirit and attitude toward life, and its conditions that are giving us trouble instead of a shortage of time. Surely the day and nights are as long as they ever were.

Laura Ingalls Wilder  Little House In The Ozarks– edited by Stephen W. Hines

These words were written in 1920-almost 100 years ago.  One hundred years.

I mentioned in my post Little House that I was fortunate to find a book filled with things written by Laura Ingalls Wilder author of the Little House series of books.

This little excerpt starts out with a description of how she and Almanzo (her husband) were bemoaning the fact that all they did was work, work, work.  They agreed that their parents had so much more free time and commented on how nice that must have been.

As they talked, however, they began to ask each other questions about how certain things got done when they were children and came to discover that in all actuality their parents worked harder and longer hours than they could imagine themselves doing.

What Almanzo and Laura realized was that their mothers enjoyed their lives, not because they had more spare time-actually they had less.  On occasion, however, they would step away from working to visit a neighbor. Live in the present-not the past or the future.

Laura speaks to something else that I am so familiar with in my own life.  MOMD and I have spoken of it often.  Sometimes we waste more time and energy complaining and thinking about things that we think need to be done then if we would just do the thing.

It is fascinating to me that someone writing a hundred years ago would put into words so beautifully what I myself have thought on a regular basis.  Add that to my list of reasons I love books!

And you? Do Laura’s words speak to you as they do to me?  Feel free (and encouraged) to share in the comment section below.

And by the way, we’ll be hearing from Laura again soon.  She has much to say.

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting!  I’m grateful.

5 comments

  1. Jill says:

    As I read further into this passage, I tried to figure out which book of the Bible it was from. Ha! Wonderful advice and a challenge to us at any stage in life. Evaluate, prioritize and then act!
    What a great lesson!
    Thanks, Cindi!

    • Cindi says:

      Love that, Jill!
      It is interesting to hear Laura Ingalls Wilder’s perspective since I was not raised on a farm and cannot conceive of the work involved.

      The entire chapter was cute because she talked of how she and Almanzo (who she referred to as The Man of the Place) were sitting by their cozy fire and she “looked down at the magazine in my hand and remembered how my mother was always sewing or knitting by the evening lamp. I realized that I never had done so except now and then in cases of emergency.

      But the Man of the Place was still talking. ‘Mother did all her sewing by hand then, ” he said, ‘and she spun her own yarn and wove her own cloth. Father harvested his grain by hand with a sickle and cut his hay with a scythe. I do wonder how he ever got it done.'”

      Laura continued, “Again we were silent, each busy with our own thoughts. I was counting up the time I give to club work and lodge work and –yes, I’ll admit it–politics.”

      So refreshing to hear a person’s thought process as she examined her own usage of time and attitude about work and rest!

  2. Jean Mehi says:

    Hi Cindi,

    This is Jean Mehi from Wyandotte, Michigan. I came across your blog and wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed it. I, too, have a great love of books and writing. I will try to “drop in” every so often and read your writings. You seem very happy. I love the design of your blog, too. Keep writing!
    Love,
    Jean

    • Cindi says:

      Jean, thank you for reading and your nice comments! I hope you are well. What types of books do you read usually? Thank you, by the way, for being such a great influence and encourager in MOMD’s singing! I wonder if you know the impact you had on him…

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