Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Lighthouse Job

NAS Lighthouse, Chris Zokan's Photos
Albert Einstein once said that people who wanted to think should be given jobs that don't require a lot of physical or mental effort, "...the service of lighthouses and lightships come to mind." Workers would be engaged just enough so they are active, but not to the point of exhaustion. They could solve equations, come to a deeper understanding of human nature, or maybe plot a novel while they worked.

I'm a Retail Merchandiser for Hallmark, which means I take care of Hallmark cards in eight locations -- mostly grocery stores and drug stores. Each week I go to my stores, find my boxes in the stockroom, and put the products on display. It's definitely a part-time job because these are mindless tasks that take a few hours per store -- until Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Christmas roll around.

But even in the busiest season, to a shopper walking by it looks like I'm just organizing cards. Actually, I'm off in my own little world, thinking about the next book I'm writing, the scene that hasn't come together yet, the characters who are telling me what they want to do. It's my lighthouse job, and the only problem I've come across is getting so lost in thought I've almost jumped out of my skin when someone tapped me on the shoulder. 

 I love my work. I love the beautiful cards, the forthright nature of organizing them, and the satisfaction of a job well done when I'm finished. I especially love the freedom to let my mind wander as I work. As of yesterday, all the Christmas cards are set. Come Monday it'll be time to put out Valentine's Day cards (I know, it's a travesty!), but while I work I'll be thinking about Josie and Tom in the sequel to "The Existence of Pity." 
Happy Holidays!
Here's a link to Einstein's thoughts on the service of lighthouses:

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