Friday, January 29, 2010

What Looks Like Work . . .

I know I sound cruel to my elders. I hate it that I feel this way. I'd like to go back to an earlier me, one that didn't count the cost of each action I take on behalf of others. My own helpfulness has led people to believe that my grasp of logistics and strong arms will be forever at their beck and call. Surely, we all share the same goals?
Problem is, we never discuss these goals. I cannot discern these goals from the traditional hoopla surrounding the holidays. To question the necessity of any one element of the hoopla is to become a killjoy. The illusion that everyone loves the Christmas season is a fragile bubble only a Grinch would pop.
My elders are bored. They worked so hard--for their houses, their children's education, their retirement--but now they have nothing to do. They live like the idle rich, but they don't know what to do with their time. They hope I (or my sisters) will help them fill it or kill it. They look forward to holidays as a goal for all their underutilized energies, as a time when they feel entitled to exact more than the usual desultory efforts from us.
I'm not bored. I'm working. But my work--writing--doesn't look like work to them.

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