According to Nancy Anderson, author of Work With Passion: How to Love What You Do for a Living, there are several secrets to becoming passionate about your job. As my friends at The 36-Hour Day know, in this economy, having a job at all is worth celebrating; having one you truly love may be the Holy Grail of Employment.
A recent poll by Beyond.com of more than 6,800 business executives found that, in this economy, 58 percent said that they'd take any job they could get if they were unemployed right now. About 17 percent said that they'd go back to school, and 6 percent said they'd wait for the economy to get better, but about 18 percent said that they would "pursue their passion."
Which is all well and good, if money is no object. But how do you pursue your passion without falling behind on your mortgage payments?
I think you have to start by figuring out what your passion is. If you're really lucky, you're already doing what you love -- even if it's not for pay, even if it's technically not your "job."
In my case, it's writing. At least, I think it is, right now. I don't have a manuscript tucked away in a drawer or under my bed, though I do have an outlines for a cookbook or two gathering dust on what's left of my desk, and I can't sustain a plot line long enough to write a short story, let alone a novel. That's not the kind of writing I mean. That's the kind of writing real writers do, and I've never thought of myself as a real writer. It's just that I can't not write. I've been that way since I was old enough to hold pencil to paper. I feel better when I can get my thoughts out of my brain and onto the page -- or, for the past decade or so, the screen.
I know that I lose sight of it often. Sometimes, when there's a break in my work-housework-laundry-mom-stepmom-wife-freelance-life juggle, all I want to do is sleep, not contemplate my interests. It's hard to follow your stream of consciousness anywhere when the kids and bills have taken control of the boat.
But if you don't pursue your passion, at least here and there, at least a little bit, what's the point? It's more than "me time" or figuring out what to do with all that leisure time we working moms are supposed to have at our disposal -- it's a matter of doing the thing that makes you tick, the thing that makes you you.
What's your passion? And how to you make time for it?