This year it’s 60 years since the Temptations cannonballed into the amazing Motown music movement in Detroit. Otis Williams is the last surviving member of the original Temptations, but even now, 60 years in, The Temptations are still producing and recording original new music. How great is that? I’m 97% sure that I don’t have 60 years in my working lifespan. I like my career most days, I like my current position at $dayJob. But yeah, no, thanks. I’ve got 25 years in, and I’m saying, “Peace out, bitches” within the next 15.
It’s clear that Otis has a vocation to create music. I just have a career in end-user technical writing. So while wordsmithing might be my vocation, that’s a slightly different thing than the work I do. My sister recently decided that she was going to stop working for The Man and start doing work to satisfy her own creative ambitions. She’s also got a vocation – she just spent time at a job in parallel for a while.
I could be jealous of my sister’s confidence and skills and ability to take this time to work on projects of her choosing. But I’m also proud of her and excited to see what she does with this time. And it’s not like I have a Great American (or Canadian) Novel percolating in the back of my brain. I do technical writing at work. I do this kind of personal writing at home. I sometimes pull out the descriptive writing drills to exercise those muscles a bit. But for the most part, my writing career will be the work I do for someone else, with a side of fun writing for me as more of a hobby.
As I write that, it sounds like I’m settling. I certainly don’t mean it that way. My writing contributes to the success of my peers in our Knowledge Team. Our team contributes to the success of our company’s educational technology product, which in turn contributes to the success of the instructors, learners, and administrators who use it. I help other people do their jobs better, and that’s no small thing.
This Lent, I will remember that the efforts I make in all aspects of my life tentacle out into the lives of my friends, family, colleagues, and clients. This Lent, I am grateful for the people who’s jobs contribute to the great things I get to experience every day. And with that, I give you the joy and heartbreak of the stars of Motown:
I’ve created landing pages for the last 3 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!
CBC: q with Tom Power : Otis Williams reflects on 60 years of the Temptations