Over the past year or so, I’ve devoted myself to crafting a life where I enjoy (pretty much) everything I’m doing. I’ve done it partly by choosing to do the things I love, and partly by adjusting my own attitude. I mean, who loves doing housework? (Yeah, I know there are some of you out there who do, but that’s just weird). But when you cultivate an attitude of being present in the moment, you can authentically enjoy doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or whatever task you’re focused on.
Lately, though, I had a realization about an old core belief that was keeping me from more fully integrating my work and play. As I thought about it, I realized that in my family of origin, work and play were kept quite separate.
I’m blessed with a really fun extended family. I mean, we can make each other laugh in the Emergency Room when someone’s bones are broken and we’re waiting for the doctor. Not kidding. They’re awesome.
Work, though, is a whole different matter. If you’re doing something that is considered work, which in this world view means you’re being paid for it by an employer, then it’s serious business.
But in my case, I blur the lines all the time. I’m not saying that one way of looking at this is superior to another way. What I’m saying is that my new way is different, and thus I’ve had to reconcile it with the old beliefs that I picked up over the course of my lifetime.
In my world, I work a lot of the time, but it might not look like it. I’m often writing, blogging, coming up with ideas for creative projects, spreading the word about my projects and offerings, learning about topics that will help me in my business, networking with fellow biz tribe members, or reading books about how to make a living as a writer. This is the fun stuff, to me. Right now I’m most inspired by learning to be a successful heart-centered entrepreneur.
Because I’m not working for an employer for a defined amount of money, though, it’s not really work – at least in that other worldview. On the other hand, I do receive compensation for the books people buy and the courses they take from Feline Dreamers. Not enough to make a living, yet, but we’re working on it.
Why do I love the sometimes very slow and painstaking process of building this business? Why am a so drawn to being a part of this new economy of online businesses and independent authors? Because to me, it really is a whole lot of fun.
So does that mean it’s not worthwhile work, because it feels like play?
I don’t think so.
I want to integrate my work and my play more fully, so that it’s all one. It would be nice if others recognized it, but that’s not really necessary. As I build a successful career doing what I love, the results will become obvious.
It’s been good food for thought, though, to work on changing the way I see work and play. I’ve been asking myself about what areas of life still feel like they could use more playfulness. Doing the taxes? Filling out paperwork? Setting up newsletter posts in MailChimp? I want to discover how I can bring more joy into the tasks that seem mundane or frustrating.
I believe that merging work and play is the way of the future. Certain tasks will be automated, and it will free up time for more people to be devoted to their genius work. Faced with huge blocks of leisure time, most people will want to do something meaningful with their lives. I see it all the time in the lives of unschoolers. Sure, with complete time freedom, you could sit around being entertained all day, but sooner or later the creative impulse arises, and you want to contribute in some way. You find what lights you up, and you start doing that, and then your work becomes your play.
What do you think? Are you ready to do what you love, and love what you do? Are you drawn to merging work and play in your life?