This verb implies the passive voice. I am overworked. The horse is overworked. The cliché is overworked.
But, is the active voice any better? I overwork…implies a need for a direct object. Is this any better? What is a good thing to overwork? A person? Certainly not. An animal? Perhaps worse yet. An idea? Does it not then become stale, banal, venal?
What to do then with this word? What good is it except to complain or point out something that is wrong? How do we take away its power of negativity?
What if we took it apart and looked at another definition of over?
I propose that we look at it as two words: over work-look at over as a preposition.
Over meaning extending directly upward or implying a trajectory or at a higher level.
There is almost something divine or heavenly about being over work. What else is directly above us? If not heaven itself, perhaps, at the very least we have clouds in which we can find elephants. I hope that no one thinks that staring up at clouds is just for kids. Because isn’t that that the very point of avoiding overwork? To stop and contemplate something less mundane? To be overworked is to make no time to dawdle, to stop, to allow oneself to get over work by taking a walk, by talking to a friend, by studying the chickadee as he fearlessly allows you to study him from your chair on the deck. And aren’t there birds above us? Watch an osprey dive for his dinner or a bald eagle swoop into his tree top nest-how can such a creature be made! What wonder!
A trajectory. A path formed when a force acts upon an object. A path made from work. A path made as a result of work. To look at work as a means to an end, perhaps to a path in the woods. What better place to get over work?
Best yet, to be over work is to be at a higher level-to be above the mundane. To be absorbed in something that takes you above the grind of hourly toil. I’ve written in the past about flow and how to get lost in your work. I think that this can be a part of being at a higher level, to be over work.