Day 2082: Don’t work so hard

Last week, when I was working so hard trying to memorize the lyrics and chords of my latest original song,  “Shameless Appeals for Applause,” I ran into Nancy Kleiman, who plays harp at Boston hospitals.   (It’s not so hard to click on this link for a story about Nancy at work.) Nancy and I both worked it that morning, talking and walking to the hospitals where we work. As she gives to so many people every week, Nancy freely gave me hope, solace, wisdom, inspiration, love, and support, including this advice:

Don’t work so hard.

After Nancy said, “Don’t work so hard,” we both talked about how we both love our work, and how that means we never work a day in our lives.

As I worked hard to understand what “Don’t work so hard” meant to her and to me,  Nancy explained how she became a harpist who plays for patients in hospitals — a story of synchronicity, luck, and beautiful connections with people and with her higher power easily working together.

Since then, as I’ve worked at many things, I keep hearing Nancy say

Don’t work so hard.

And even though it’s going to take more work for me to understand and integrate that into my life, it’s not hard for me to say how glad I am that I encountered Nancy on our way to work last week.

I didn’t work so hard taking these photos yesterday:








While Michael was working so hard yesterday making arancini for my board meeting, we didn’t have to work so hard to spot that hawk, who was hardly working.

Here‘s Nancy, working, on YouTube:

Here‘s more of Nancy’s soothing harp music, which works:

Working thanks to Nancy, Michael, hawks, cats, everyone and everything else that helped make today’s post work and — of course! — YOU.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Day 2082: Don’t work so hard

  1. Thank you for making it look so easy, Ann.

  2. Thank you! I have to work hard today but maybe I will play a little harp music!

  3. In his book Life Work Donald Hall says, “Contentment is work so engrossing that you don’t know that you are working.” Something I think I’ve always thought but never really articulated until now is that watching a musician like Nancy at work is to see that kind of contentment. A lot of artists–poets and painters and even composers–work alone but one of the benefits of seeing as well as hearing a musician play is we get to see someone taking real joy in their work, and sharing it with us.

  4. Michael’s arancini are beautiful! I’ve never heard of a board meeting with arancini. More people would join boards if all that hard work came with arancini, I think.

    I just heard on the news that quite a few homes in Massachusetts have caught fire due to a problem with the gas service. I hope that your neighbourhood is not affected and that nobody is seriously injured.

    • Your concern and empathy are beautiful, Maureen. Those gas explosions are not near to us. I’m reading this morning that one person has died and several are hurt.

  5. Sometimes your posts remind me of the opening intro to the old television show Soap.

    Which I mean as a compliment – I loved that show. Clever wordplay, great stories…

    So yeah. Keep up the good (not-so-hard) work!

    • I love that, Maureen! I could have sworn I included that in a previous post, but no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t find it.

  6. Wow! Playing the harp for hospital patients! What an extraordinary gift to offer those needing some warmth and comfort. I love this! I don’t know about the warning to not work so hard…if you’re doing what you want to do, is that “hard?” Not sure, but I am sure I’d like to taste some of those beautiful arancini! That was a lot of added work, I’m thinking, but I’ll bet everyone was glad you went the extra mile. 🙂

  7. You and I have working hard in our genes. Now I’m retired I can apply this to what I really like doing – but it’s still there

  8. Pingback: Day 2191: Try me | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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