Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Do You Love, What Gets You Excited?

For many years I went through the motions of life. I had gone to college and had undergrad and grad degrees in finance and naturally that is what I did for a living. They paid me well and even though I didn’t get up looking forward to work I kept doing it. We all have to work right? After 9/11 I did some serious soul searching and decided that life was too short to spend so much time doing something that I not only didn’t love but that I didn’t even like. Accounting and finance just didn’t match who I was inside; they did not match who I was. For years people who met me outside of work didn’t believe me when they asked what I did and I said I was an accountant. Invariability they would say things like “really you are an accountant, but you have so much personality?” Seriously how many times did I have to get hit over the head before I woke up? At least I figured it out before I officially reached 20 decades doing it for a living.

While I knew that I wasn’t jazzed about accounting or finance I also had no idea what I wanted to do. I have always liked cooking and I think I have been pretty good at it for a long time. Molecular gastronomy has kept me fascinated since I first learned what it was, hence the fascination with Jose Andres and Ferran Adria. However I also knew that I really didn’t want to work in a restaurant. During graduate school I was a server which meant I knew what life in a professional kitchen was like. No thanks, kitchen life on the professional level was not for me. So once I again I knew what I didn’t want but not what I did want. *sigh*

Thankfully my husband and I had saved well so there was no rush for me to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Good thing because it took me almost a decade to start to hone in on what I truly love. On the less than happy side it took cancer for me to actually “get it”. It is weird where inspiration comes from and for me it was cancer. *shakes head* Honestly I feel very odd saying this but cancer has brought a lot of positive things into my life. Who would have ever believed that cancer could be at all positive? Not me that was sure, but now I realize that if cancer can be positive certainly so can everything else in life. Right? If it weren’t for cancer I would not have realized how much I love nutrition and its impact on health.

I was watching the third episode of Oprah’s Life Class last night and when she started talking about no one can tell you what your life’s purpose my ears went up. Undoubtedly this is because I have been trying to figure out what I should be when I grow up for most of my life. The part of the show that got to me was only a couple of sentences long. At one point she said (and I am paraphrasing) "look at what you are doing now and that will tell you about your life’s purpose". When I heard that the light bulb went off. What do I do for nothing because I love it? My thought was if any of us love something enough that we would do it without getting paid then what better clue could we get as to what we should do when we grow up?

For me there are a number of things that I love which are possible ideas for a new career. I love food, photography, writing, animals and of course I love health and nutrition. However what I really get jazzed about is nutrition and more specifically how nutrition can be used to regain health. For some time now I have been considering making a career of health/nutrition but wasn’t certain exactly that that was going to look like. Now I am committed to jumping into this with both feet. I will be brainstorming over the coming weeks and may be looking for input. If we chat outside the blog don’t be surprised if you hear from me looking for your opinion. However if you have any ideas that you would like to share here please feel free. I would love to hear any and all suggestions.

Now I am wondering about you. Do you love what you do for a living or is it something that you do to get paid which is how I would describe my prior career? If you don’t love what you do are you actively trying to change it? Do you have things that you love to do which you would look forward to getting up every day to do? If you don’t currently do this for a living why not? Could you maybe start doing it on a part-time basis after hours to see how it works for you?


Our morning started in an unusual way. Those of you who follow me on Facebook heard part of this already but here is the entire story. Since neither Dan nor I are morning people we had snoozed the alarm this morning and not too long after that I heard glass breaking. Not surprisingly Dan didn’t hear a thing. *shakes head* In the middle of the kitchen floor was Mr. Binky licking nutrition yeast out of a jar that he had pushed off the counter and had landed on the floor in pieces. OMG he was licking broken glass! Needless to say his siblings (Masi and Luca) were also in the kitchen to see what the commotion was about. We grabbed the felines and locked them a room while we cleaned up the mess. As you can see mornings are serene and delightful at our house. LOL

Once the nutritional yeast debacle was cleaned up I started some oatmeal for Dan’s breakfast. Who jumped up on the counter to “supervise” the cooking of the oatmeal? Of course it was Binky isn’t he always the trouble maker? I keep telling him that cat fuzz and flames don’t mix and he doesn’t listen to me. I had to place Mr. Binky on the floor no fewer than 4 times before I sent him to play with his father. Doesn’t much sound like he is 10 years old does he? My fur children still think they are kittens.

My back was still bothering me a little this morning but it is a lot better than yesterday. Today the ibuprofen was actually knocking out the pain completely until the four hours were up and it was time for another dose. Nice! :-)

Given the improvement in my back I knew I was going to the boat this afternoon. It was raining hard earlier today but once the rain let up this afternoon I headed to the marina. I find being on the boat incredibly relaxing so I try to be there whenever I can. The picture above was taken standing on the door way to the cabin.

Since I have good wifi speed at the marina now I was able to do some computer work on the boat which was nice. I got most of my post written sitting in the cabin sipping green tea. It was a very nice relaxing afternoon. Here is what the marina looks like from our boat at dusk.

This shot is looking north just after the sun went down. Sorry for the picture quality I was using my cell phone rather than my real camera which I left at home so I didn’t have to carry it. My thought was the less stuff I had to tote (because of my back) the better.

Dan walked to the boat after work and we had a leisurely dinner on board. As you can tell the boat has become like our “vacation home”.  :-)  The odd thing is that as often as we are here there are boaters on our pier who we have never seen. Mostly they are power boaters but there is one sailboat that hasn’t moved in a month. It boggles my mind that anyone would spend money on a boat and not use it. Both Dan and I decided that we weren’t going to get another boat until we were both sure that we would use it regularly. So far we seem to be doing just that as you probably noticed. LOL

For dinner we had a simple meal that started with salad. This one contained thinly sliced raw onion, tomatoes, green beans, radishes, cilantro and lettuce. I finished the salad with balsamic vinegar and pine nuts.

The main course was baked sweet potato, tatsoi (an Asian green), cashew queso, and salsa. I cooked the cashew queso at home and had it stored in the refrigerator.

Happy Thoughts:

• My back is so much better today than it was yesterday. I am still popping the Ibuprofen but now when I do the pain is only 10% what it was yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow there won’t be any need for pain relievers. *woo hoo*

• Tomorrow we are going to listen to David Sanborn. I am so excited about this. I have loved his music if decades, literally. When I saw that he was going to be on town I logged in the moment the tickets went on sale and got front row seats. I will tell you all about it over the weekend.

• If the weather forecast is right the is weekend is supposed to be sunny. Better yet Saturday is supposed to be windy. Nice!

• I am thankful that the “tornado watch” that we had tonight didn’t turn into any inclement weather. Rain was much better than high wind.

• Our nutritional yeast problem could have turned out very badly and I am thankful that it didn’t. It was my fault for not putting the nutritional yeast jar back in the pantry since I know Binky loves the stuff.

Signing Out:

We just got home from the boat and it is much later than I want it to be. I have things that I need to get finished before I head to bed. Talk with you again tomorrow. I hope the remainder of your evening is good.


  1. Wow. We may be twins. I am an Accountant. It's my job. It pays the bills. When people ask why I haven't gone to sit for my CPA (I worked 6 years in public accounting), I would say, "'cause I haven't decided that this is what I want to be when I grow up." Now I work at a non-profit, 'cause I thought that would be more fulfilling - it helps, a little.

    The things you describe as being what you enjoy doing? Ditto. And yet, I grew up taught that those are hobbies, not career options. So it's tough to convince myself otherwise.

    So I really don't know how to begin to step into any of it. I research it occassionally via google, look for classes I could take for fun, am intrigued by others who have taken the leap, even imagine myself in that life. In fact, as I'm writing this I can feel the longing in my chest.

    But have I done anything about it? Nope.

    But you're right, life it too too short.

  2. Becky,

    Been there on both counts accounting and non-profits. I spent most of my "career" as a hospital controller. The funny thing about non-profits is that while they seem like a good idea you just end up realizing how wasteful they can be. *sigh*

    Sounds like we had the same parents. Mine discouraged the arts as fluffy or I might have pursued photography rather than finance. Parents sure can do a lot of damage when we are young. *shakes head*

    I would say find something that you love and start doing it part time in the evening. When I started the blog I never expected it to lead to a career. It was something I did just to give back. The funny thing was that after a while I realized that I was getting more than I was giving. I hope you find that special something for you too. If you keep working on it I am sure you will. :-)


  3. Ali, I'm a teacher and I love it. I never expected to love it: my plan was to get a teaching credential as a "back up" plan. As an English major, I'd always thought I'd wanted to work at a publishing company. The minute I stepped into a classroom I knew I was where I wanted and needed to be. I'm lucky in a lot of ways. Yes, some days are better than others, but overall I'm joyful on the way to work.

  4. As you know, I'm a mommy first, and I'm a fitness instructor second, and I love it. The fitness job is not something, physically, I can do full time, like when I worked in a the finance industry (oh, finance industry, how I do NOT miss you) ... and I'm lucky that it doesn't matter. (If I had to supplement it, I'd just go ahead and get my personal trainer certification, and I'd be set for full time. Personal training doesn't interest me as much, though.) That said - I'm still not ENTIRELY sure what I"m going to be when I grow up. My (older) brother continually asks me, expecting me to come up with a good full time career. I just don't know. For a while, I was considering physical therapy because it ties in so neatly with fitness and health. In my heart, however, I belong in India, and there is no career to pursue that will allow me to do nothing more than focus on yoga!

  5. Reading your posts is always so inspirational. I love your positive outlook on life and wish more people shared it as well!

    There is too much I love to do to really put it down here. School is my work right now (undergrad) and while it is stressful, I do try and look at the good things while I am taking classes and doing excessive amounts of homework. As long as I am in the company of my husband and dog, I am happy with what I am doing :)


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