Early on in my career, I remember taking one of those tests. You know, the ones that are designed to tell you what kind of a career you should be in based on your traits, personality, whatever. At the time, I had just begun working in the computer programming field and that is, granted, a pretty structured and logical form of work. The test result indicated I should be in something much more creative and less structured. At the time, I laughed and didn’t think much more of it because I loved programming. However, of late, this has come back into my line of sight and I’ve been doing some mulling. Hmm.
I do see coding as a work of art in a way. Getting each character, each symbol, each space in exactly the right spot in order for the computer to hum away and bring back exactly, and I dare say exactly, what you intended, is a beautiful work of art. If you’ve ever done any significant amount of coding, you know what I mean. I took a good bit of pride in this work. At one time, myself and a few other guys in IT were nicknamed as the ‘data dogs’ of the company because we were good at digging through massive amounts of imperfect data and finding the answer to that one tiny piece of information the executives were demanding at the moment.
Years later, after I had moved into management, I overheard a fellow manager cautioning someone against referring to anyone as a ‘data dog.’ I was appalled. I had been so proud to have earned the title. She; however, found the term to be derogatory. We do seem to be so overly sensitive these days.
Anyway, back to making my point. Now that I’ve retired, I keep hearing that a person’s job should make them happy. Someone I heard went so far as saying that one’s work should make one’s heart sing. Ok. That would have been nice, I guess. I’m on the lookout for something that makes my heart sing. Something that makes my heart swell with joy. You don’t need anyone else to confirm that it’s right. You just know that it’s right. All is well with the world.
From where I am now, I’m thinking there’s a pretty big difference between taking pride in one’s work and doing what naturally makes one’s heart sing. Yes, it feels great to know that you’re good at your work and to hear confirmation of this back from others. However, have you ever held something in your hands and felt your heart swell with joy? Does what you do every day inspire you to do more? Are you anxious to start each day so you can do more of what you do every day? If so, you’re very fortunate. I did not have this blessing over the course of my career. I have, however, begun to feel it in my retirement and am anxious to continue to better understand what makes my own heart truly sing. I want to incorporate this, in a large way, into my daily life, and probably should have done it many moons ago.
When I hold a beautiful, significant piece of tumbled gemstone in my hand, my heart swells. Maybe I should have been a gemologist? Is it too late, do you think?
Funny, I think I’m getting the same feeling from pine cones and seashells. Perhaps I’ve simply been missing a close connection to the earth. It feels good to have my feet back where I believe they belong. On the ground and in the dirt.
What makes your heart sing?