The Selfishness of Altruism

Today I’m thinking about how I’ve always enjoyed work the most when I didn’t have to do it.

When I was in college I’d go to the Kettle to study with a friend. We didn’t share a class. It was just an excuse to remove ourselves from our normal distractions and place ourselves where the coffee was cheap and bottomless, somewhere with a big table and some moral support. I always found her homework more interesting, regardless of the subject matter, anything to keep me from having to do my own work.

Fastforward a couple of years when I was delivering pizzas. Like all of us, there were plenty of time I simply did not feel like going to work. The times I really enjoyed working were when I’d stop by for a pie and end up helping out in the kitchen, behind the counter or taking a delivery when it was really busy and understaffed. Maybe I enjoyed it because I was helping out and I could leave at anytime I wanted.

A few years later at my first “real” job I coordinated conferences. The moments I really enjoyed were when I would help a co-worker kick off his conference. I was there on hand to make sure someone else succeeded. It was fulfilling. Plus I never had to worry about the heavy lifting, more than happy to play supporting cast. No pressure.

Which brings us to present day. While working on my book I frequently find myself thinking about something to write here or a new idea for the comic strip that is debuting on Tuesday, maybe a short story idea I’d like to pursue. Secretly, I hope by writing this, I’ll get jealous and want to work more on my book.

Does anyone else experience this or am I just crazy? Feel free to share your stories in the comments section. Later.

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