Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Doing What We Love, Money or Not

My canine companion is a little bit greyhound, a little bit yellow lab. . . and a whole lot rock and roll. 

And here's the thing.  He's been busting his butt, for eight plus years, trying to teach me joy.

He's got this one thing that he's great at, that he loves above all else.  And he'll pull out all the stops so he can do it.  As often as possible.

That thing is running, like the wind, like there's no tomorrow, like, well, a greyhound.  Like the dog on the side of the bus, stretched out as long as possible, all four paws in the air.

Of course, his running has taken out more than one knee in our family.  Luckily for our insurance rates, and the security of our position in the dog park community, he has confined his damage to those he loves, and more importantly, those who love him.  

Early on in his career as our canine roommate, he accidentally "clipped" my thirteen-year-old budding basketball star, resulting in a severe patellar dislocation in the field; much pain and swelling; a veerrryyyy sllloooowwww ambulance ride; a gruesome "external reduction" in the ER; surgery to remove "loose bodies" (bone fragments) inside the knee; some serious medical expenses; and the end of serious hoops. 

About a year later, it was me.  He came careening up behind me, again at the dog park, and crashed into my knee, injuring my medial collateral ligament.  My son's physical therapist got to work his magic on me for three months.

But Ollie still loves to run.  And we still love to watch him.  We just don't turn our backs on him much.  

My husband and I have always said that we would love to find our one thing--like running to Ollie--that is utter bliss, absorption, raison d'etreThat special gear that takes everyone's breath away who sees it.  The thing we were born to do.

I'm not sure every being has one.  Or maybe some of us have too many, which results in a splintering of the effect.  Maybe part of the secret is investing in a thing to the exclusion of others.

I'm pretty sure, though, that "do[ing] what we love [so] the money will follow" is antithetical to the joie de vivre so evident on Ollie's face as he flies by.  So while I intend to keep on searching, and attending to clues in the pleasant moments in my life, I will avoid harnessing my delight, should I manage to stumble upon it, to the plow of occupation.  That would be too much like setting Ollie off after a mechanical rabbit with money down on his pace.

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