Flashback Friday – Drive

**Boy was this one fun to re-read!  Mostly because I’ve finally made it happen – the work day is FILLED with things that strike at the heart of my passion.  No “almost there” or “not even close”.  And it feels WONDERFUL.

It shouldn’t baffle me.  It shouldn’t still be one of those moments that makes me step back and say, “Huh.  Still true.”

But it is.

At least, it has been again just recently.

If you find yourself needing to complete a task and that task is connected to a job or some other type of obligation for which you feel NO passion, it is serious toil to get it done.  Ten minutes feels like 2 hours and no matter how much progress you make, all you can think about is what still needs to be done.

But if you find yourself needing to complete a task that hits at the heart of your passion, the time flies by.  You don’t begrudge a single minute spent on the task because, even as you are striving to meet a deadline, your heart is being filled.  Your spirit is being fed.

There is a difference between toil and work.  One feels tedious and completely lacking in joy.  The other leaves you feeling accomplished and maybe even a little proud of yourself.

There is a difference between tired and worn out.  A day filled with doing what you love will leave you tired and smiling.  You might even spend a moment just reliving the moments before you fall asleep.  But worn out?  That’s bone weariness.  That’s the “thank God this day is over” reaction.

Confucius most often gets the credit for saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  (It’s also been attributed to Mark Twain at least a couple times in various things I’ve read!) So now the trick is figuring how to fill my work life with things I love and rid myself of the tedium.

Hmmmm . . .

 

Reblogged – Lighting a Candle

This was first published on January 1, 2015.  While it isn’t quite time for a New Year’s Resolution yet, this is a worthwhile goal to remind myself of yet again!

 

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

(Motto of a group called “The Christophers” founded in 1945)

The quote above is attributed to many people.  Just Google it and you’ll see what I mean!  It’s been used by former first ladies, the head of Amnesty International, and others.  The oldest record of the entire quote anyone can find is in the paperwork created when “The Christophers” was founded by Father James Keller.

The fact that this statement has been quoted over and over says something.  Something powerful.  And it perfectly sums up my focus for the year 2015.  It’s easy to rage on social media about things that annoy us.  We argue with one another in the “cyberworld” really well.  But it doesn’t fix things.  And it tends to leave the individuals involved in the argument all worked up.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe others get involved in the argument and then walk away, never to think of the issue again.  Maybe.  But I doubt it.

So my goal for this year is simple.  Whenever I can, where ever I can I am going to “light a candle”.  It may take the form of a financial donation or a shoulder to cry on or educating myself on a particular cause and then sharing what I know with others.  The actions may vary, but the purpose will always remain the same. I’m tired of the arguing. I’m tired of watching people make ugly assumptions about total strangers they are arguing with online.  I’m tired of the stress and grumpy attitude that tends to accompany that kind of negative engagement.  So I’m choosing, in 2015, to be a “candlelighter”, for lack of a better term. It is my intent to brighten up my own little corner of the world one candle at a time.

Flashback Friday – New Beginnings

I will be using this weekly feature to re-blog some of my past posts.  Enjoy this one from Christmas time 2017.

In April of 1973, I took my first piano lesson at the tender age of 4 1/2.  In the fall of 1980, I was asked to accompany one of the songs for my school choir.  I was in 7th grade.  I only remember one time that I wanted to quit.  I was five and trying to play both hands at the same time.  I was sure I would NEVER get it.  But I did and I’m SO very grateful I didn’t quit!  It’s been a lifelong love affair with that instrument.  Playing was a way to express or work through the entire range of human emotion.

At present, I get paid to play for the Senior High choirs (all four) as well as being the paid rehearsal pianist/pit pianist for the musical at the local community college.  I love playing and the people I get to work with so getting a paycheck feels like something “extra”.

I made an offhand remark to my hubby a few days ago that I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  I played the flute from fifth grade through my senior year in high school and I still get it out every so often.  I even spent a few years in elementary school learning the basics of the violin but I couldn’t play one now if my life depended on it!  But I’d always wanted to try my hand at the guitar.

My husband hates to wrap gifts and he’s terrible at keeping secrets.  So when he bought my Christmas gift today, he was giving it to me just minutes later.  When he brought it into my office, I was stunned.  More stunned than I remember being in a very, very long time.  He’d bought me a guitar.  It came with picks, extra strings, a digital tuner, an instructional DVD and even a case.  He even bought a stand for the instrument.

I own a guitar.  It’s mine.

So far, I’ve learned how to tune it and can play a total of two chords.  My fingers hurt a little so I’m looking forward to the day when they get a little bit calloused.

I’m excited.  I’m suddenly remembering that little 4 1/2 year old and her excitement when she sat down for her first lesson.  I can’t wait to perfect what little I’ve already learned and then add to that by learning more.  Some people may think it’s nuts to start learning an instrument at 49.  It’s okay.  They are allowed to have their opinion.

Me?  There’s been a goofy grin on my face off an on all night; it usually happens when I look up from working on grading finals and see the guitar sitting there.  And there were even a few tears shed once I’d strummed her a few times.  I LOVE playing the piano. And I loved the years I spent playing the flute.  And singing?  Do it so much that sometimes I don’t even realize it!  But when I picked up that guitar for the first time?  I started falling in love all over again.

There is something about the ability to make music that, to me, is powerful.  Visceral even.  It’s like I am the truest version of me that I can possibly be when I am rehearsing or performing – alone or with others, it doesn’t matter.  And I’m fairly certain that this new adventure will provide yet another outlet.

So here’s to the lifelong pursuit of learning, growing, and building new skills.