Category Archives: Life

work worth doing

“I can tell you what I believe is the secret to a happy life,” [Sandra Day O’Connor] said.

“What’s that, Justice?” I asked. … “What’s your secret?”

Work worth doing,” she answered firmly.

“What about relationships?” I asked. …

“No,” she said. “Work worth doing, that’s all you really need.”

The Secret to Happiness, in Three Words,
According to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

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showing up

This time, I never promised myself that would speak Spanish. I just promised myself that I would practice every day. … I feel like the path for my Spanish work had been set in a lot of ways by my yoga practice. For me yoga has never been about how flexible you are, or whether you can stand on your hands. It’s about showing up. In a way, almost anything that’s worth doing is just about showing up. Not worrying about the big goal but taking baby steps, every single day and trusting that you’ll get there.

Amy Azzarito

let go

I caved and joined Pinterest, so I’ve been going through the OneNote notebook where I’ve been storing images of things for years and I came across this quote. Not sure what I like better: the quote or the reminder of the days when all Apartment Therapy posts were written in first-person plural (lol) and readers constantly griped about it. I’d forgotten about that!

Although we don’t have to carry all of our possessions with us, they still take up space in our lives. When we let go of the things we don’t particularly like or need around the house, it frees us up to experience the present moment, or life as it is now. We remember reading a quote once about clutter: that we let go of the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Laure Joliet

Reframe

Back in December, I was catching up on my alumni magazines and saw this article. Not too long ago, but prior to reading said article, I wrote a comment on one of Sparky’s posts that basically said exactly what the professor in the article advocates. So, a) validation! and b) I really need to work on marketing my ideas. 😛

Anyway, the short version of the article is that there are three ways to view work: as a job, a career, or a calling. Job people are the TGIF, watch the clock, counting the days to retirement crowd.

So I read this and I think: ah yes! the “3 categories” game. I have a few versions of this myself. Interestingly, they all fit into the job/career/calling scenario.

  • There are 3 types of law students: the ones who want the money / prestige (= law as career), the ones who want to save the world (= law as calling), and the ones who really want to write (= law as job).
  • There are 3 types of undergrads: the ones who want a degree because “a BA is the new high school diploma” (job people); the ones who need a specific degree to reach a predetermined professional goal (career people); and the ones who are studying what they’re passionate about and for whom a degree is icing on the cake of learning (calling people).

Which is not to say that just because you’re in one category now, you’re stuck there forever. You can, of course, move from one category to another. To that end, in the article there’s some discussion of how you can find work that you find more fulfilling. And then it goes on to say:

If we aren’t willing to switch to another kind of work, then he advises us to reframe the work we do.

AHEM. Reframe. My comment:

You’re not going to quit your job, so I think you need to reframe your feelings toward it. There are obviously things you value about it (the money it provides you, the fact you can retire early, etc.) and those outweigh the negatives for you.

Look, I even used the same word. Moral of this post: listen to me. I am wise like Yoda 😉

just one thing

Why do I always forget how much simple, repetitive kitchen tasks can calm and sooth, how surrendering to a singular goal is not madness but a source of pleasure? Narrowing my focus to just one thing is not a scary and impossible fairytale but a relief and pleasure and really the only solution most of the time.

Dana Velden