Friday, January 19, 2007

climate control for polar bears

Let's ask ourselves a real question, shall we?

Who cares whether our 10 year old selves approve of our jobs? (That's not the real question, by the way.) Ten year olds are dumb and clumsy. They shout too much. They just figured out Santa Claus isn't real.

The real question is whether that's a good criteria for evaluating our jobs.

Oh wait ... so this: "Who cares whether our 10 year old selves approve of our jobs?" was the real question after all.

Semantics ...

OK, anyways.

I don't appreciate it - this imaginary pre-pubescent creature looking askance at my profession. Who is she to judge? She doesn't have anything to worry about. Somebody else is putting food on her plate and clothes on her back. And rent? She doesn't even know what the word "rent" means. All she has to do is go to school, do her chores, and be a good girl. She shouldn't have any say in how I live my life.

And yet, I'm pretty sure, that long before H ever articulated this concept to me, I was asking for the approval of my 10 year old self. Most of the things I don't like about my job - poor management, lazy and/or crazy co-workers, being stuck inside all day, climate control for polar bears - are just as likely to recur in ANY profession I choose except maybe one that provides me with complete autonomy. I have a hard time remembering this, but when I do, it forces me to look at the content of this profession and evaluate it on its own merits ...

... from a 10 year old's perspective.

So ...

If I'm completely honest with myself, though I'll realize she hardly looks at all, askance or otherwise. She glances briefly, returns to her crayons, and forgets I'm even there. She's busy plotting her escape. With the $120 in the bank she's saved up from feeding neighbors' animals, she's figured she can live in the woods near her house for at least year - lunch meat is only 79 cents a pack - and she can walk to a bus stop that'll take her to another elementary school where nobody'll recognize her. She's drawn a picture nobody will ever see of herself and her brother sitting beside a camp fire, crying.



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