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Occupation Preoccupation

May 15, 2021

I have no hobbies.

Oh, today I will plant perhaps a dozen begonias, 3 bleeding hearts, and assorted other summer plants. But this beautiful Saturday morning I will spend 3 hours driving to and spending time with strangers to look at a potential deck site for a couple. We have, as always, over 50 active projects in my architecture office, and I have 6 employees. Over 30 years.

But this morning I look at a deck job.


Many older architects with work would think that this is a “better” job for someone under 65. But no. They ask, I answer. I want. I see a huge project in my hometown, which is nothing I could design, and want to be the architect. We have 3 large, prominent, good works being done, all started pro bono years before COVID, now in full fee and construction. But I wince at the fourth, a casualty of “better dealing” the architect choice when I was seen as less useful – dismissed with gratitude.

Why don’t I have gratitude, and just go on?

Why do I live in the gifts that I have been given, did not earn, and still feel entitled to everything I do not have?

Perversely, my aspiration is not for fame, it is for usefulness. Having a wonderful family, health, and mostly enough money, I might be OK with simply taking weekends off. Or a vacation. But that satisfaction has never been there, unless in the guise of exhaustion.

If I can do no more, then I have done enough.

When I have been ill, there was no frustration, because I could do no more than I could do. When I lose a job, but maxed out trying to get it, so be it. But when a place is offered, or a place is made without an offer, I leap to aspiration.

I wish I knew why I am spending the morning looking at a deck job.

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