1 Jan 2018

Every time the first of the month is a Monday I lose my sh-t a little bit, I always think it’s such a serendipity. This entire year is giving us the gift of beginning on a Monday and I am telling you I am feeling so extra excited and organised in my head it’s not even an exaggeration. Everything is aligned, the universe is not a coincidence (it is) and it makes perfect sense (it doesn’t).

So let’s not upset the alignment and start the year off right – by talking about work porn. That’s right, let’s jerk off to the concept of work and look at workaholics and admire them. I have said a few times on this blog that self-discipline and work ethic are not part of my character traits, I have spent over three decades in the headspace not designed to build goals or to hustle. It is not that I am a disorganised person – I am only slightly less OCD than my mother after all – it is the emphasis on “self” that’s key. When my parents were looking after me during school years or when the employers were looking after me during a different kind of school years – years I was in teacher shoes – I delivered no problem. But as if by magic, when supervision is not present neither is my effort. Is that strange? Is anyone else wired this way?

What is it that makes a loser a loser? Everyone shouts so loudly about winning all over the virtual space and motivators and life coaches are all up in my face, explaining very convincingly that what you need to “make it” is grit and luck. But if I don’t have it, if I’ve never had it, where, in my old age, do I get it from? Why was I content for so many years with not having a job? Why am I STILL happier about Netflix than about pretty much anything else? I can understand that part of it is the money. Though my family has never had glamorous connections, my father has been able to provide us with enough to sustain a comfortable life. Again, why was I so content with that comfort and only now I finally see that, holy sh-t, it’s not nearly enough money? And of course, not everyone who grows up not “having to work” doesn’t pursue financial achievement.

This is where I come to the porn bit. And by “porn” I mean priorities. Bear with me. Nobody had guided me in the direction of how sexy a working woman is. I obtained the knowledge of how short my skirt has to be for just the right amount of slutty at a very early age, but I never considered how my chances to slut it up can rocket by being obsessive about work. A workaholic woman is an extremely attractive specimen. And I don’t mean it in a superficial way – what she wears or how she walks or whatever – it’s the actual obsession, the drive, the priority to get sh-t not just done but to get it done to perfection. There, that’s another one: why has “perfection” become almost a bad word? Try telling Beyonce she should let go of the idea of perfection.

And please say it to this Twitter thread by Nicole Cliffe, a writer who has twitted an anecdote about her fact-checking friend. I am not going to lie to you, this thread is making me all kinds of hot and I will need to go lie down after I type this or something. Ms. Cliffe’s friend has basically jumped through impossible loopholes to call Soderbergh because a review her colleague did for one of his films contained a line the actual film didn’t. The bottom line is, the prize was not a promotion or success in whatever way you define it, the prize is the satisfaction that meticulousness of this level leaves you with. Basically, in house chores language, it’s doing the dishes in the way that the entire kitchen counter ends up shining, with not a crumb left on it. These are the terms I am more familiar with. And indeed, a spotless kitchen feels like heaven, therefore I totally relate.

So yes, working is hot and I will beat myself up about how late I was to the realisation party. All those years wasted on “finding myself” instead of making money to drown my children and parents in. All those years spent with boys (badly chosen ones, at that) instead of with no one, seeing meaning and fun in all the wrong places. I will now go work on aligning my regrets with hope for the future, and let there be grit and hustle.