In honor of Labor Day in North America, tell us what’s the one job you could never imagine yourself doing.
Oh, I don’t know… Brain surgeon? Atomic physicist? Collector of tolls on the Harbour Bridge? Grape treader? But my imagination’s pretty good. It can encompass most things (short of miniskirts, street corners and kerb crawlers). And what’s more it’s had to. You don’t support four kids by being too picky.
But things it doesn’t want to encompass… Anything to do with maths, being cold, food tasting and boredom. That’s about it. And boredom is by far the worst.
It’s amazing what you can get used to, if you have to. Amazing and rather scary, in retrospect. The danger is that if you’re busy enough, outrageous becomes normal. Or maybe that’s just me. Quodcumque Facitis Ex Animo Operamini – Whatever you do, do it with you whole heart. Being a dedicated Anglican school, they liked to tell us it meant ‘do it as unto the Lord’, but either way, when you add a horrified shudder at anything even vaguely resembling self-indulgence, it’s powerfully disempowering to impressionable adolescent girls raised in an age of obedience. Throw in a desperate need for gainful (and legal) employment, and I was gift to exploiters and slave-drivers, and who’d be fool enough to pass that up? And who can blame them? More fool me!
But it’s all a learning curve, nothing’s wasted, and it makes retirement particularly delectable. Not only can I never imagine myself doing any job ever again, but nobody else can imagine it either. I’m far too old, they’d say. More fool them!