I’m reading a book called Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel.
I purchased it during my fall beach vacation. I picked it because it passed several initial requirements. You know the ones… Intriguing title. Great cover art. Enough pages to keep me busy, but short enough to finish during my stay. And just $1.
It is a great book so far. I didn’t finish it during my vacation, so I’m reading it now, and living vicariously through their sunny Florida location. The characters are fully fleshed out. Their actions and the thoughts behind them interesting and thought provoking. Which leads me to this.
Page 90: Paul, an acquaintance, a barely known boyfriend of a friend who is visiting, asks, “What do you think is the most important ingredient in a successful relationship?”
Frances, the main character, is a bit too struck by the intimacy of the conversation to answer fully or ask the same question in return. Paul answers his own question. “The man has to love his job. Show me a man who loves his job and I’ll show you a happy home life.”
Interesting. An interesting perspective. I find myself thinking of men I know, and thinking about their love or dislike of their job, their profession. The pride of their profession. The dismay of disliking what defines the bulk of their identity. I think of the men I know who pursue their professional dreams, further their education, reach for promotion. I think of the men I know who feel trapped by their professional choice, stunted there and resentful. Is this enough to either fuel or diminish their home life? Perhaps so.
I think of the men I know whose professional choices have instilled a deep-rooted resentment. I hear them relay their day, as well as the “should haves”. There is an air of tension and resentment as they go to work solely for provision. I think of the rarity of the chance that a man would be so grateful for provision that it would spill joy into his home. I think of the resentment he must feel for all who he provides for. The calculations of the misery he must endure for each dollar he provides. The depression it must weigh on his inner joy.
I think of the men that I know who love their work. It’s their life’s work, not just a job. Loving what you do, providing by your passion of profession, relishing the feeling of success, is bound to spill over into the home. It’s bound to affect the way a man guides his children towards their profession. It’s bound to spill over and affect his marriage and the way a man responds to his wife, infectious to her as she feels his excitement for life.
I think of both of my grandfathers, who loved their jobs. I remember them both taking us to their workplace and explaining their jobs with pride. I think of my sons, who are just beginning their professional lives, who love their jobs and seek further education and promotion. I feel a sense of peace as I see them honor themselves in their professional choices. I sense their peace as they make decisions.
Men, and their jobs, and loving their jobs, being the ingredient to a happy home life… Intriguing. I can’t wait to see how this plays out in the rest of the book.