On wading in: Day 10. Doing what you love.

Quick post, because I’m running between things…things that I love!  And I just wanted to revel, just a tiny bit, in the fact of this privileged state of doing what I love.

I get to do some very cool public humanities projects right now, and I had one lunch meeting and one phone meeting and some engaging prep work and reading on that today.

I get to play a leadership role in a very awesome and important board in my area and learn from fascinating, experienced people, and I’m off to chair my first meeting of said board.  It’s such an honor!

And what’s funny here is that I spent the first, oh, nearly forty years of my life carefully saying no to things that didn’t seem lucrative or productive or fun…and I didn’t have nearly good enough vision to judge.  Both of these opportunities are things I might have said no to at one time for one or another of those reasons, but here I am, loving them and loving being right in the thick of them.

This little blogventure is another of the things I’m doing that I love, as is the whole parenting-family-gardening-cooking-household-management thing…and indeed, the trick here may be, as wise folks have said, not just doing what you love but loving what you do.  In fact, here’s a tale of how I learned that last part:

I’ve had lots of years of schooling at fancy places in what’s called “literary criticism,” and indeed, as you might imagine, that means I’m wicked good at seeing the flaws in things.  My innate pragmatism and competence have led me to work where I not only SEE the flaws but get to work on understanding them and even perhaps fixing them.  But I only got to that last part because I learned to love the process, to love the THINGS, flaws and all.  One of my least-favorite courses involved lots of touchy-feely participatory process, and one of my classmates noted that my comments were always about shortfalls, hypocrisies, failures.  Of course, I responded: that’s what critique is.  She asked me then what I might be missing when I only looked at the bad stuff.  I gazed mildly back at her, waiting for the punch line.  It took me a while to get it.  (I’ve since learned that this is about asset-based as opposed to deficit-based vision, but I persist in thinking, with her, that it might be a little bit about love.  About generosity.)  So I’ve been experimenting for oh, fifteen years or so with the loving part, and it’s hard.  But surprise of surprises, it seems to work.  Love works.  Generosity works.  And our work works better when we can bring those to it.

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One comment on “On wading in: Day 10. Doing what you love.

  1. This may bemy favorite post of all. LOVE is a powerful thing.

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