“I’ve learned that making a “living" is not the same thing as making a “life.” – Maya Angelou
A good friend passed this quote on to me this morning; a different quote awaits me from him each morning as I open my Email. Sometimes these quotes whisper a message, sometimes they hold little meaning for me at all, and some speak loudly to my heart, as this one did.
What heaven it must be if your daily work brings pleasure and fulfillment and enhances your life. Many people, if not most of us, work every day at jobs that bring in the money for shelter, food, clothing and entertainment, but are totally separate from their meaningful lives. What a shame that we spend such a large portion of our days on this work.
My life is composed of so many different interests and loves – my family, friends, tending my home and my gardens, cooking, reading, writing, flower arranging, nature, spiritual pursuits. And, yet, through the years I have spent hours and hours working at mundane jobs such as typing, bookkeeping, and now, helping to run our electrical contracting business. I am extremely competent in office administration, but helplessly lost in the technical aspect of our business. I am an intelligent person, but have absolutely no aptitude for, or interest in science and technology, which does not bode well for a woman in a business such as ours. Never in my wildest thoughts would I have entertained the desire for a job in a technical field – but, this is the path my life has taken, and I do my work with great effort and efficiency in order to make a living.
If I were young again, I would choose a different path. As a teen, I prepared for secretarial work after graduation, anticipating marriage and full-time motherhood. Alas, the world changed, and full-time motherhood became a dream with a very high price. How different life would have been if I had gone on to college. I might have carved a career in writing, or historic preservation, or landscape design – all passions that would enhance my life.
Instead, as most of us do, I spend my days making a living, while carving out as much time as possible for my “meaningful” life.
Ah, how much happier we could be if the energy and dreams of youth could be augmented with the wisdom of age --