Jim seemed to be a simple man who gets a lot out of life. Living and working in Colorado, he’s an airport taxi driver in the winter months, but when spring rolls around he switches over to what he really enjoys doing, fence building. Driving to the airport, he said this about his work:
“Anybody can build a fence. But to build one that’s level and straight, well, that requires skill. I found that I was good at it. It’s hard work, but I finally found something that I love to do.
Look, see that fence outside the window? Up on the side of that mountain? I built that fence. That was a great job, a lot of fun. You see how straight the top rails are? Looks easy, doesn’t it? But to do it right requires a lot of patience and planning.”
It’s refreshing to talk to someone who enjoys his work and who finds beauty in the product of his labor. I think it’s an important element in living well – to sense the beauty and taste the fruit of one’s own efforts.
It’s not what you do that’s so important; the vital component of living well is to confirm your ability to produce results. And daily, we all need that sort of validation.
Day 24 Guide
Certainly, there is beauty in nature — in the birdsong and the whistling of the wind. But today look within the field of your own labor and seek beauty. Look at your patterns, your habits, and your skills. As you work, pay attention to your hands, your body, and your thoughts. Consider the beauty of satisfying family members, friends, or customers with your labor.
© 2005, Levi Hill