Are You Doing What You Love?

downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago – Photo by Pat Ruppel © March 2011

I woke up this morning thinking about doing what I love going through the checks and balances in my heart and mind. I have to admit practicing this has had its challenges since I retired early last year in 2012.

I no longer have the typical, daily routine of commuting and the structure of the corporate world where your day is laid out creating work for someone else.

You may ask, “You have a problem with that?” No! It just comes with a few pleasant and happy challenges in the rearranging of life disciplines and attitudes. 

The first challenge is deciding what you love and then how to go about creating it. For me, I think this was and still is one of the hardest challenges, as I imagine I would love doing a number of things ― one being travel.

Determining what you love to do can come from a lot of different sources depending on what your interests are and what makes you feel good when you do it. There are a
plethora of resources from what you enjoy reading and doing with your family, friends
to research on the internet.

Resolution: You just have to start, Google it ― check out what you like and read what people are doing, where they’re going and what they’re writing about. Tune into what resonates and connects with you. Before you know one thing leads to another and the ideas pop in your mind and flow ― you’ll know where to start. You may not have all the pieces to begin with but at least the idea of what you love doing is forming.

Now that I’ve narrowed down what I love doing for now, though not complete, what I enjoy is writing stories like this one for my site and e-books.

I’ve come to realize with this first challenge that to accomplish it takes personal discipline, setting goals and following through. A part of me sometimes rebels coming from a structured, corporate environment and I slack off with no one to report to, audit my work or monitor my time in or out. With that being said, I am a work in progress on personal discipline but I have completed the update to a new site and written a number of stories and self-published my first short e-book. Yeah!

The next challenge, once you’ve nailed down what you love to do, is “What do I do with all this time?” It’s QUIET and the alarm is not set to go off ― I no longer have the interaction of co-workers and the busy frenzy of phones, meetings and deadlines (not complaining). The days slip by so fast checking out Facebook, reading and commenting on blogs I like or tweaking my site. If there’s no structure or goals, I find my days turn into weeks with not much to show for what I’ve done.

Resolution: I structure my day at least in my mind with setting mini goals on what I want to accomplish. I’ve learned to appreciate the smallest accomplishment knowing I’m moving forward. I also meet with friends and attend occasional networking meetings to exchange business ideas and satisfy the need to interact with people. And I get to hang out with hubby treasuring the down time with new ideas helping each other on the work we love.

The final challenge for me is motivation. Since right now I’ve chosen to write stories, I need fresh and interesting material. It’s easy to become isolated and cut off losing touch with what’s going on in the world. How can what I love to do connect with anyone or have a purpose if I’m not plugged in?

Resolution: Along with the slowed-down pace of my day, I am learning to listen and honor the place in my soul that I’ve not acknowledged very often ― “more important” things seemed to take precedent before. Coming back to the quiet this time around, I find the silence is not so loud and with more of the chatter removed there is more depth in what I feel, notice and hear.

I notice the laughter and squeals of playing children, the nuances of the light of the setting sun, the smell of the change in seasons, the gentle breeze and clamor of the wind chimes, the body language of frustration, anger, pain and I write ― wanting to capture the words of it and hope you feel what I feel.

Check out this short video narrated by the late Alan Watts. I hope it will inspire you to begin to think about doing what you Love and share your ideas with me:

For now ― Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

8 thoughts on “Are You Doing What You Love?

  1. This is a wonderful post, Pat and I love the Chicago picture.

    For the first time in my life, I’m doing what I love, which is taking care of my husband, writing and traveling. Life in Germany has been a more calming life and I find myself doing things I swore I’d never do–becoming domesticated. My mother used to ask me, “Don’t you want to cook lunch and dinner for–” and I’d cut her off saying, “No way!! He can take care of himself.” Years later, I love every minute of keeping our flat in order, making sure there’s a good meal on the table for him, washing his clothes, baking, and working on my current manuscript.

    It’s like I traded my old life– independent woman in Corporate America, for a new one–author, housewife in Germany. I miss so many things in my life, mainly my mother, but I always hold onto the knowledge that I’m blessed to have this chance. This opportunity to explore a new me.

    Thanks again, Pat, for letting me share.

    • Thank you Denise. I understand just what you mean with the trading in old life and missing so many things — especially the ones we love. I’m excited like you on this new stage of my life. I feel I’m in charge now and anything is possible. It’s a time to soak in all that we have around us and enjoy it. I’m happy for you that you have this opportunity now at such an early stage and that you honor it. What a wonderful gift. 🙂

    • Thank you Jo-Anne for stopping by and on the publishing of my e-book. Took a little courage to hit the ‘Publish’ button New Year’s eve but was thrilled after I got through the last of the jitters launching it out into cyberspace. I hope you enjoy the stories. 🙂

  2. Hi Pat, I was redirected here by Andrea’s blog hop post since you were the only writer I didn’t know yet.

    I don’t know why I was first drawn to read this particular post but it’s a subject that’s been on my mind lately as well (even though I’m not retired yet 😉
    Loving what you do and doing what you love. Shouldn’t we all be doing that? I love the Alan Watts video – shared it on social media a couple of times. It’s thought provoking.
    I’m currently on an 21-day Nourishing Intention Program and so far it’s been a very interesting learning experience. Getting in touch with what you actually love to do or create and setting goals is one thing. Manifesting it and keep the motivation going is another. Like you said it’s a lifelong disciplinary practice.

    Nice meeting and connecting with you Pat. I’ll take some time to read your blog.

    • It’s nice meeting you, too, Karin and I’m glad you paid a visit. You’re welcome to sit at my kitchen table, anytime, and share a tale or two. Congratulations on being tagged in Andrea’s Writing Process Blog Hop. I know you’ll have much to share on how your writing process works. I enjoyed browsing your site and see that we have much in common. I’m looking forward to reading more of your journeys down the yellow-brick road.

      I’m glad this story resonated with you in what’s going on in your life and that you enjoy Alan Watts, too. His presentations are pure and seem to be right-on and authentic. You’re right in that they make you think and want to make changes.

      The 21-day Nourishing Intention Program sounds interesting and it already looks like you’re reaping the benefits from the post on your site. I’m sure with it comes some challenges, as well, in keeping the process alive and fresh. I’ve tried a number of programs and they certainly have helped me along the way but, over time, I’ve never been able to sustain them.

      I have come across a program last year I think I’ll sustain and be with me the rest of my life, mainly because, for me, it reaches the core of things I’ve been working on it seems like forever. Michael Brown introduces it in his book, “Alchemy of the Heart”. It’s called “The Breathing Process — A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness”.

      I’m thrilled we’ve made this connection and hope to meet and share more with each other again and again. Take care and thank you. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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