Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Love. Be. Do.

I think it is a battle for youth to grow up doing life by "letting the beauty of what you love be what do." Starting in Kindergarten, children are subjected to hours of standardized tests each week. When we start telling children they need to fit into a specific box at the age of six, we start sucking the creative, ingenious, imaginative life out of them. What we're doing to future generations worries me, but let's face it, society has told adults that they don't have time, and shouldn't use their resources, on what you love being what you do.

A growing number of people around the world are pigeon-holed into feeling as though work is life - and anything you do outside of that is 1) disappointing because you're not working; and 2) definitely not worthy of a large chunk of each part of your day. Can you imagine? A world where we basked in the beauty of what we loved being what we actually did? Oh my!

But I can imagine it. What I grapple with is how we, as a society, have created a norm of busyness, stress, over-worked and stagnant men, women and children to the tune of billions. The United States alone reports over 75% of us work WELL over the 40-hour-work week. Let's take a moment (seriously, you deserve to take a moment, you're working enough), and imagine a shift in your lifestyle.

I did this. I worked a "who knows how many hours" work week as a Professor for years. Before then, I studied "who know how many hours" a week as a Doctoral Student. Before then, I taught "who knows how many hours" a week as a teacher in a school most shudder to think of stepping foot into. The quandary is here is that I loved teaching and studying. I loved reading and writing and researching. I loved the moment when a child's eyes lit up and a future teacher was inspired. I still love these things - I didn't love the demands that swallow up all of the things that blur the work we love. So I quit. I quit saying I was busy. I quit letting busy run my life. I set parameters and walked away from unhealthy, overwhelming situations where the beauty of what I loved, wasn't squandered by societies expectations to "fill" my time with uselessness.

Now, I have very specific and personal reasons for starting See Beautiful. I talk about in my TEDx talk here, but there was a poignant shift in living what I loved that took precedent as well. That right there is my hope for you. You're allowed that freedom to NOT be busy. I would highly recommend making a mental list of the top two or three priorities in your life and spending a few minutes reflecting upon how you're living those priorities. How do you, or can you, spend more time basking in the beauty of loving what you do and doing what you love?

THAT is the stuff of life - the very essence of every day that makes life such a blessing. We're here to do, see, experience and create such beauty. Society, your work, does not have the right, or deserve the space, to take that away from you. Let that liberate you for a moment. It is a beautiful thing and I invite you to live it.


  1. Both clusters of words are full of truth...a beautiful thing!...:)JP

  2. Fantastic. I retired from teaching 2 1/2 years ago for the reasons you shared - at 55. I have struggled to justify how I spend my days to others and myself. I found some inspiration from the scientists of earlier centuries I admire, who were self-employed, often independently wealthy, (ex. Charles Darwin) yet followed their muse into exciting rewarding lives. So I've rediscovered a lot of the artistic, creative parts of myself that I abandoned a long time ago. Thank you for this post. It's nice to know I'm not alone in wanting to be more than just busy.

  3. Like Amy above, I too retired from Primary school teaching 8 years ago as it was no longer the job I originally trained to do at University. I then worked in University admin until I had a car accident and was forced to leave the workforce 5 years ago. Due to my injuries, I am still unable to work and I struggle with the judgement I receive constantly and questions about going back to work. I'm perceived as not being useful or busy enough to many... I am trying to utilise my time being creative with my time but for some in my family and friends group, that isn't "good enough". I honestly don't desire my old life of being so incredibly busy but I'd love to find where I fit in life now...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!