Following Your Heart is Hard Work

Work is a very individual act. How we define it, how we quantify it, how we give it meaning, how we value it; these are all important perspectives in the discussion of work.  In a family who works, at their jobs, in their free time, out of necessity, for fun, to busy our hands and quiet our minds, for the joy of accomplishment, because it is what we do. Work is also the topic of many of our discussions. We discuss simple things like our latest project or progress as well as the very definition of what we want our everyday work to be. How will it shape our lives into that of something meaningful? How will our children view our work, our life’s accomplishments, what will it mean to them and all those who come after? Does it really make a difference? Is it all worth it?

Is it all worth it? That is the one I ask myself on a nearly daily basis. My work requires hard labor sometimes, heartbreaking losses sometimes, repetitive monotony sometimes, big risks sometimes, financial hardships sometimes, and love always.

I put my heart into everything I do. Most days it feels good.

There is a creativity to all of it whether its figuring out just the right combination of essential oils for a bath scrub, designing store fixtures out of stuff we already have, using what’s in the pantry to get dinner on the table, or finding solutions to keep our animals safe and healthy.

Sometimes the creativity is what drives me and challenges me; sometimes the creativity is what threatens me and makes me feel the most vulnerable. 

People talk about working in the flow, a place where things come together and move forward with ease. I think I feel this in many aspects of my work, but it is still work. Hard work. Hard because I have to feel that what I’m doing is the right thing, the thing that’s gonna take me somewhere, somewhere I’ll be glad to have gone. Hard because sometimes, it’s just physically hard work. Hard because someone is gonna be critical and say it doesn’t matter, and I have to know it does.

I was talking with a friend recently about how hard it is to put out into the world something with a piece of your heart in it. I told her how much I struggle with feeling so vulnerable and anxious. She said to let those feelings drive you. Feel them. She said what I’ve heard other creatives and entrepreneurs say, feel those feelings and let them push you to do your best. Even suggesting that the times when she didn’t feel the nervousness and anxiousness, she didn’t perform as well.

Work is hard, life is hard, but the more heart I give it, the more it means, the more it is worth, the more love and feeling and happiness and goodness it is.

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