I have always had a difficult time trying to create a life that satisfies all the aspects of me, yet like most people, I spend less time on what I love to do and more time on what I have to do.
Take working full time at one job, for instance. We’ve been taught this measures success and is normal. We don’t usually aspire to a life of several part time jobs to pay our bills and satisfy the many interests we have. Instead, we try to pick one career and satisfy our other interests by calling them hobbies and rarely being able to ‘fit them in.’
Of course, throughout our lives we can change jobs and careers in order to satisfy what seems to be missing in our lives, but still, many of our hobbies are put on the back burner. I’ve often heard people say they will leave an interest alone until retirement, which is like saying, “I will eat what tastes worst first, while holding out on dessert only if I have room.” And of course, what if your life doesn’t make it to retirement? Will this be a deathbed regret?
What does being successful mean if it is not about creating a life that satisfies the totality of us, now? I think I need to broaden my definition of success and acknowledge that putting interests on the back burner for another time, sometimes decades away, denies me the fullest flowering of my life.
Having come to this observation recently, I understand why I have had such a difficult time of it most of my adult life, trying to choose one thing to do. I am a year and a half into my dream job. It is part time and I am good at it. I have begun to take my hobbies off the back burner and vow to place them solidly on the hot, easy-to-get-to front right burner.
Soon, when someone asks me what I do, it might take me a little longer to say than before, because I will be describing my life, not my work, which is the full flowering of my potential.