Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is "Love" Necessary?

I had a "Perfect" work day yesterday.  It started gently and ended with energy to spare, like it took no effort.  Can probably count on both hands and feet the number of times I remember days like this in the last 15 yr. 

The thought "I love what I do" wandered its way unexpectantly through my head.  That's even rarer.  D said he has never heard me say that in the years he has known me.  Honestly I don't remember ever saying it.  I'm more likely to say I enjoy it or get a lot of satisfaction from it instead. 

I've never been able to relate to people who gush about their work.  Mind you the only thing I really only come close to "gushing" about is food and travel and even then the word "gush" might not be the best choice.  I don't even gush about D and he isn't offended by the lack of it.  There are other more appropriate words to describe us. 

You can be competent in your skills but not "love" it.  Love is strong word and I don't like to use it lightly.  Even without the "L" word, you can have a pretty ideal day. 

I had a mini discussion about being capable but not enjoying something and how that may (or may not) serve you in life, in the context of a friend describing her 2 very different daughters.

One hates school but can put her nose to the grindstone and pump out 80s.  Her other daughter is enthusiastic about education in general and when told that in order to be competitive in medicine, she needs to be in the 90s, she pumps herself up and does it.  Mom is worried about the one who hates school.  Whereas she stood out to me. 

There's something to be said for being able to override the "I hate this" internal commentary and produce results despite personal preference.  We aren't always going to be doing something we "love" and using I "hate" it as an excuse for not doing well can be a dangerous trend for a kid to fall into.  I believe it takes more discipline to succeed despite lack of interest. 

I've seen many examples of parents getting all irate at teachers they haven't met just because their child says they don't like them and that's why they are getting low marks.  That would have never flown in my house.  My mother has a very strong, proud, stubborn streak and for the most part, imparted it on me.  It doesn't always serve either of us well but in this case, she taught us to rise above all that "noise" and just do it. 

It makes it difficult later on (speaking of myself here) to figure out what one's real preferences are when you can force yourself to do well with a lot of internal pushing and shoving.  And it is extremely difficult to "call it quits" on anything because of the pride thing.  I'm not convinced that is the healthiest approach.  I'm still working on figuring this one out. 

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