A little over a year ago I received an email from a friend who sent me this quote. I'll leave the people that read it to draw their own conclusion about why she felt compelled to send it to me. I rewrote the quote in a pretty font, printed it and taped it to my 'door of encouragement'.
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both. James Michener
To me this quote embodies my life as a writer. I love writing. It's sheer joy to discover the story, to write the first draft and to wrestle it into shape. Yes, it is hard work. Yes, I battle the demons of doubt and discouragement. Yes, I question this journey when I do not see the fruits of my labor in terms of tangible elements like money and recognition and books on a shelf. But even in the moments where I question the journey, I cannot shake the simple fact that I am born to be a writer. This is my calling.
There are other people in my life who embody this quote. They aren't all writers. They are scientists, doctors, mothers, students, teachers, and truckers. They are the people I seek out. I want to surround myself with them because I love to soak up their enthusiasm for life. Yes, they have days that are difficult. Yes, they aren't always happy and bubbly. Yes, they have setbacks. But even in the moments where they question their journey, they cannot shake the simple fact that they are born to live their life as who they are. They are called to their journey and they embark on it every day.
Every day we have a choice. We can wake up and choose to let the things over which we have no control gobble up our enthusiasm for life. Or we can wake up and choose to hopscotch over the things that are in our way. We can choose to dance around illnesses, deaths, fights with spouses, leaking roofs, cloudy days, and unexpected pitfalls. We can choose to get over petty grievances, lingering doubts, and unwelcome disappointments. We can choose to stare these issues in the face and say, "Sorry, you're not going to stop me from playing today. You're not going to stop me from embarking on my journey."
If you are reading this, then you're lucky. You're here. You're breathing. You're educated.
How are you going to go about working and playing? Playing and working? How do you choose to go about living the life you are intended to live?