Life and work intruded on my weekly blog posts- most notably: grant funding for the Mass in Motion program I administer is ending in September, 2 years ahead of schedule (!). The city may fund the program, but while administrators wrangle over budgets, I’m pausing to consider my life’s work- that’s the only way I’ve ever been able to think about work- not just as a job, but as one element in a seamless life.
For a long time, I was confused by what actually drove me re work, especially since it didn’t seem to be what society said should be driving me. Though I never (really) let go of my desire to be both creative and do good, I thought they were competing desires. They’re not.
In Brainpickings this Sunday, March 16, 2014 I read parts of Anna Quindlen’s aborted 2000 Villanova commencement speech on work and life. What a pleasant surprise to read someone who shared my career “resume!”
“I’ve never earned a doctorate, or even a master’s degree. I’m not an ethicist, or a philosopher, or an expert in any particular field… I can’t talk about the economy, or the universe, or academe, as academicians like to call where they work when they’re feeling kind of grand… My work is human nature. Real life is really all I know.”
Though we share share a resume, we don’t necessarily share the view that life and work are separate. Quindlen says, enjoy life and don’t get caught up in the “rat race” of work, but if you’re persistent-and if circumstances aren’t against you-meaningful work consistent with a vibrant life is available.
Whatever happens with Energize Everett, I’m firmly on a path to engage life through meaningful work.