There’s a little saying you’ve probably seen, and it goes something like this:
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The first time I saw it, I thought it was right on — but I saw it again, earlier this week, on a day which happened to be a particularly tired kind of day. I’d been doing things I loved but I was wore slap out, as my dad used to say. So this time I gave it a little more thought.
Let me reiterate that I totally get the sentiment behind the phrase, and on some level, I agree.
However, I wonder when it became a bad thing to work for something?
Motherhood is hard work. It’s a sleepless, selfless, dirty job. But most moms would also say we love it. We may not love all aspects of it, but raising small humans into responsible adulthood is a big job.
Same goes for homeschooling. Most homeschoolers I’ve met absolutely love it. Not every second of it, and we go through hard seasons, but most of us who have stuck with it for any length of time would say we love it — but even while we’re singing it’s praises, few of us would claim it takes little to no work.
Right now I’m working my tail off outside the home, too, training fitness clients and teaching classes in two locations while I also continue my own education to work towards even bigger goals. And yes, it’s a heckuva lot of work — and yes, I love it! I love seeing the look of happy surprise on a client’s face when she reaches a goal she didn’t think she was strong enough for, or when a client confides in me with a personal difficulty, or when my SilverSneakers members burst into a fun rendition of a birthday song for one of their friends in class. These things fill my heart!
I’m thinking, too, that it’s a good thing when our kids see us working hard. When they see that things don’t have to be easy to be enjoyable, and we can take pride in the accomplishments hard work can bring. And also, that we can choose our attitude towards hard things.
So maybe we should retire that phrase. Maybe instead, let’s use this one:
I’m not original in coming up with this phrase. “Do what you love, love what you do” is the tagline of a company called Life is Good, and I adore their comfy, durable t-shirts and positive message. I’m not an affiliate, just a fan. I’m happy to see their products offered in one of our locally-owned shops, too!
What about you? What kind of hard work do you love?