Friday, July 8, 2016

What Work Do You Need to Do?

Friday Routine is my weekly ritual of driving to Starbucks, ordering a skinny mocha grande, and writing a blog post. Why do I do this? I don't have thousands of readers. I don't have a Facebook page so I must not have any "likes." And yet, every Friday I show up to the page and work to meet my goal of posting two articles each month.

Similarly, Bill, a retired music teacher is committed to directing a community band. In this volunteer role he is free to direct, compose, and improvise music as he wishes—and he does it with excellence. When my husband Dave said, "Bill puts so much effort into directing the band" I responded, "It's the work he needs to do." Dave and the other band members benefit from Bill's work, but that's not why he does it. Bill puts so much effort into the director's role because it makes him happy.
I'm the same way. I do the work when no one is looking, when it seems like no one is watching, reading, or is interested. I do the work for me. I do the work because it makes me happy. 

Author Elizabeth Gilbert understands this concept. In her book, Big Magic, Gilbert says, "I did not write this book for you; I wrote it for me. I wrote this book for my own pleasure, because I truly enjoy thinking about the subject of creativity. It's enjoyable and useful for me to meditate on this topic."

My heart sinks when a friend talks about wanting to write a book but she's hung up on the dismal chance that a publisher will be interested in her work. Hence, she hasn't started writing. She's missing out on the joy and satisfaction of doing what she loves to do. She needs to learn that in retirement you do the work for yourself. You do the work because it makes YOU happy.

Instead of waiting for the big phone call to start your work, Gilbert says to "follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself." There is no better time to do this than in our retirement years.

So, what causes a revolution in your heart? Now get started on creating this work—
the work YOU need to do for YOU.

Copyright 2016 Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

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