I am in the middle of my second week at my new job. Full-time, 9-5, the real deal. And I like it! Granted, it’s only the second week, but I’ve been trying to also still enjoy summer while settling in to this new chapter of my life. This different kind of chapter, different than what I’ve been accustomed to up until this point.
So I find time to play. And in that time I am all there. I am intentional, I soak it up, I enjoy it. I let it energize me.
A carefree sense of wonder and fun and enjoyment, like when I was a child.
As I graduated from college and entered the career world, society was preaching a loud message: “Time to stop goofing off! Get serious with your life. This is about to change everything. You’ll wish you could be back in school.” I was encountering a call to abandon my childlike tendencies and start living up to culture’s ideals of success – chasing things like fame, status and wealth. But in all of that, the race to meet society’s expecations? All I foresee is forgetting what I’m truly passionate about.
No one wants a life with no passion. In my opinion that would be like not desiring water, or delicious food.
I think passion is a fuel, a source of energy, a means of enjoying your work.
Thomas Merton once wrote it is, in fact, quite regrettable to get too caught up in our work and responsibilities: “What is serious to men is often trivial in the eyes of God; what in God might appear to us as ‘play’ is perhaps what He himself takes most seriously.”
There is so much value in learning to embrace our inner child and reclaiming a sense of play, even in the ebbs and flows of career life. It might feel silly at first, but pursuing the things that made us come alive as children and having fun for the sake of having fun actually allows us to better connect with both what is in us and what is around us.
Looking at the seemingly mundane and (sometimes) tiresome routine of work life through the perspective of a child reminds us to be present in the moment and to simply celebrate life as it is, rather than getting caught up in how we wish it was. Household tasks? Put on your favorite music and dance around the house. Cooking? Pretend you’re on a cooking show with 100 active viewers. For me, looking at a computer screen for 8 hours a day can feel smothering, and draining. But, I can converse with the other designers around me, tell stories, and make the office a lively place to be!
I’m an early bird, so early in the morning I go exercise, or take group classes. I meet people and work out any tension or stress I may be carrying. The 30 minute car ride to and from work is either a time to pray and spend time with the Lord, or it’s a dance party.
The point is we have been given the freedom and responsibility to choose.
My encouragement in this post, for myself, and for whoever else reads it is to pursure your passions! Try to implement them into your daily interactions. Reclaim a sense of play! Be intentional to not go through the motions and settle for a life that only feels like a rat race.
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” Roald Dahl