Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I think it's more "loving what you do."

When I decided I wanted to leave teaching and become a funeral director, I got through the initial classes quickly, but then began to drag my feet. Because deep in my heart (and on the lips of almost everyone around me) I am a teacher. Though I may not always love teaching English, or high school, as a concept, I love to teach. And I was trying to ignore that I'd miss it, but my heart knew better.

When I became a yoga instructor, I figured I'd have the best of all worlds. I could stay a teacher but leave teaching high school English, a job often far more soul-sucking than rewarding. Plus, that adage of "Do what you love" kept dancing around in my head. Getting paid to do yoga--to teach yoga--seemed ideal.

But, I forgot about the special kind of yuck that happens when you take something you love to do and turn it into a job. I should have known--the first thing that went out the window when I became an English teacher was reading for pleasure. So, it's not much of a surprise that now that I'm teaching yoga, my practice has all but disappeared. I used to practice 5-9 times a week. Now I practice once. Tops.

So, I think it's not "do what you love" so much as "love what you do"--the oft-quoted counterpart to that familiar adage. It's a dangerous business to take your passions and turn them into work...more likely than not you'll end up with more work and fewer passions. Far better to take something that you do and learn to love it. Find the joy in how 8+ hours of the day are spent...even if it's not necessarily what you would choose to do. And, if it is, if you're one of the lucky ones, appreciate that all the more.

No comments: