The Joy of Common Work
. . . Do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
– Robert Lewis Stevenson
It’s easy for me to get caught up in wanting everything fancy, just like I think everyone else has it.
But of course, very few have everything fancy. For most of us, we have to cook and wash dishes, do laundry, clean, and take care of our children and / or pets.
There’s a joy in it – in the routine of scrubbing pots, folding clothes or sweeping floors. There’s a joy in the pleasure of a dog when you’ve bent over next to them to put on your shoes and they can look up at you and wag their tail.
Joy is everywhere, but we have to remind ourselves to seek it and be aware of it in the little things in our lives. To not let daily living overwhelm the sweet little things of our everyday actions.
For your amusement, below is the original and some experiments. I like the one that includes the “worn brick” texture and really found it hard to choose between it and the one I finally used. Both look good, but for different reasons.
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
Amazing picture: Curlie light clouds contrasting with the heavy dark bottom part. The lacy trees and little “tower” add interesting detail. (Always enjoy your work in progress captions
Thanks Phil! I’m glad you noticed the details (you’re the only one that commented on them too). Your notes on enjoying the work in progress is part of why I keep posting that. It does make it much more fun for everyone.
It’s when those common things are gone what we realize the joy there was in it. Seeing/feeling/acknowledging joy while it is still there, and wonderful! hugs Lovely pics Nancy.
Thanks Maxine! Hugs back to you also.
Lovely images, wonderful words. I don’t always appreciate the joy of common work (ironing comes to mind!), but I try to. :)
I don’t do very good appreciating the joy of common work either. I’d posted about how I hated chores, then shortly after posted how I was in the mood to clean, so I did and I felt much better for it too. I think because I felt like it, I didn’t resent it as much as usual. But otherwise, I have other things I’d rather do!
Better for me if the common work is outdoors. (really should have insisted on being a forest ranger)
I have to agree that it is MUCH better if it’s outdoors. I wish I could find someone to pay me to just walk around and take pictures!
Outstanding pics <3 Happy friday & weekend ahead!. Best wishes! Aquileana :D
Thanks and the same to you. Hopefully you have good weather. It’s warming up here, but raining all day on Saturday.
I enjoy doing the common work. I find myself creating stories in my head while doing mundane chores. Agatha Christie said she got her best ideas while washing the dishes. :)
I agree with you and Ms. Christie both. I find showering a great time to solve problem, especially for work.
yes, joy is everywhere! Lovely processing of your photo!!
Thanks Tiny! There’s even joy in watching an osprey’s nest, as you show so very well.
I really enjoy seeing the different effects on the photo. Amazing what a different ‘filter’ can do for anyone’s perspective. ;)
And as for common work….there is comfort, and grounding, in it.
I’m glad you liked seeing the variations. I get a fair amount of comments on it, which is why I’m trying to include more of it (so comments like this encourage me to keep it up).
You’re right about the common work – there IS comfort in the routine and it is grounding – it takes us back to our basics and let’s our brains relax for a while.
Love it. Those clouds really make the photo.
Thanks Mary – I did too. My husband stuck his nose up about it a bit – he didn’t like that I flared the sun but I liked it.