I recently added a question to the survey.  Originally I did not want to be too intrusive, but was curious what people did/where they worked.  At the very end of this blog post are some of the answers to that question. 

As I move back to “really” blogging and not just reviewing the book by blogging the daily entries it has occurred to me that creating art is meaningful labor to me.  It is art show season so for the next 4-5 months my weekends will be filled with either creating art or setting up at art shows.  The last couple of weekends I’ve been setting up at art shows and selling pieces. Here is a picture of one weekend at the Kannapolis Kaleidoscope festival with my sister Sharon.  I consider her a true artist.  She was painting murals on our bedroom walls when she was in high school. Now that she’s retired she back to art again and the world is a better place because of it.

At the Kaleidoscope Art Festival in Kannapolis NC

At the Kaleidoscope Art Festival in Kannapolis NC

This was our first show together but it won’t be our last (God willing).  I look at this picture and I can hear my dad say:  “One day you two will be like two peas in a pod.” He said that as we were going through a family tragedy of losing everything in a house fire and being determined to outlast the delay’s of the insurance company as they used all of their delay tactics to “try to wait until my father died” as one of the firefighters told us they were doing.  I just look at this picture and I think about my dad and him knowing what happens as one enters middle-age and the later years of life.  You realize that your family or what’s left of it is what matters most.   

Another weekend in May I set up at NoDa Day in Charlotte.  I was painting some lightbulbs at this show and some kids started coming up and wanted to paint rocks. I coached them through what they could paint on their rocks. The little girl below came up and she knew what she wanted to paint.  She painted:  “Love”  but she added “is worth it.” LOVE IS WORTH IT.  That almost brought me to tears because at the end of the day Love is all that is worth it.

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So, now as I prepare for several upcoming art shows I have to dedicate myself to the art table so I will have pieces to sell.  This weekend I started on the below pieces:

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Sometimes when I do this (know that it’s a weekend dedicated to creating, painting, art, etc.) I feel like I’m working on my master’s degree again.

I’m listening to the birds chirp, my neighbors enjoying the pool, people coming and going, doing yard work, etc. while I watch from the window at the art table.

Then I think of  people like Winston Churchill and know that there is no place I’d rather be than creating these pieces of art. It feels more like a labor of love that is leading me to my future. It’s as much a space of serenity as it some destination.  Past, present and future just collide at the art table. It is peace amidst the chaos of life and love and living.

I think finding what you love is a large part of answering the question – What do you do?  Good grief it’s not a job title.  I’ve had count – 19 jobs – several different job titles, levels,  industries, types of organizations and answering “What do you do?”  just can’t be boiled down to a job title, profession or even a business that you own.

It’s larger than that, at least that is what I hope for my life. I watch others as they get caught up in job titles and positions and remember when I was there.  It’s almost like watching people caught up in “racing off to a church building” to look for God and remembering when I was there too.  I get it.  I really do.  I just have come to believe that life is bigger than the obvious and the easy.

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Hope, Compassion  and OM are my words for meditation and study for 2015.  It’s been a journey so far this year. All I can do is:

  1. Hope when I open my eyes every morning I jump out of bed and am ready to enjoy having one more day to live verses hoping that I can just survive the things that will happen on that day.
  2. Hope I will be able to practice compassion for others and be able to just observe my emotions, not get caught up in them and to watch my ego as it struggles with this charge of showing compassion and offering forgiveness. IT IS A BIG  GIGANTIC TEST TO SHOW COMPASSION.  TRY IT…IT’S NOT EASY. EVERYDAY I WONDER…WHAT WAS I THINKING TO TAKE ON SHOWING COMPASSION?????
  3. Hope that all of this blogging, art, Etsy, 19 jobs, 10 years (and counting) sabbatical from my “real life”waiting for me in VA will all add up to a meaningful legacy I can leave my granddaughter.  That’s my BIGGEST hope. 

Below is how people answered the question: What do you do? So as you can see it’s all over the board from professionals to entry-level.  It doesn’t matter what you do, where you currently work, how much you make, if you were recently promoted, etc. YOU can still be miserable doing that thing, but there is always HOPE.  HOPE you will find your life’s work. Hold on to HOPE today. Just Hold on to HOPE.

 What do you do? Job Title/Industry/Field  Date/Time
software developer Today, 8:02AM
Sales Manager Today, 7:45AM
Admin executive in government training field Today, 5:41AM
Supervisor at a bookstore Yesterday, 11:19AM
fashion designer Yesterday, 6:27AM
brand manager Friday, May 15th 10:41PM
Medical Field Friday, May 15th 7:20PM
Banking Friday, May 15th 1:19PM
Films Friday, May 15th 7:38AM
Retail District Manager Friday, May 15th 6:59AM
Billing Friday, May 15th 5:45AM
Welder Thursday, May 14th 9:44PM
Registered Nurse Thursday, May 14th 5:09PM
Teacher Thursday, May 14th 4:23PM
Design Consultant Assistant Thursday, May 14th 2:27PM
Copywriter Thursday, May 14th 11:04AM
Marketing, PR, writing, publishing – but I’m not doing that now Thursday, May 14th 8:29AM
Receptionist-Secretary/Private Club Wednesday, May 13th 10:45AM
Oil and gas Wednesday, May 13th 10:30AM
food/nutrition service Wednesday, May 13th 6:39AM
Insurance Wednesday, May 13th 5:58AM
Lawrie clerk Tuesday, May 12th 9:29PM
Sales Tuesday, May 12th 8:11PM
Retail Tuesday, May 12th 7:43PM
forklift driver Tuesday, May 12th 6:04PM
Csr Tuesday, May 12th 5:27PM
Cook Tuesday, May 12th 2:28PM
Consultant Tuesday, May 12th 11:06AM
Operations in retail Tuesday, May 12th 7:46AM
Pharmaceutical Tuesday, May 12th 7:31AM
Mortgage Monday, May 11th 9:43PM
Designer Monday, May 11th 8:09PM
Nonprofit arts field Monday, May 11th 7:49PM
IT Specialist Monday, May 11th 12:37PM
Retail Monday, May 11th 10:12AM
Healthcare Operations Monday, May 11th 10:08AM
IT professional Monday, May 11th 3:40AM
Charity sector Monday, May 11th 2:40AM
Transportation Sunday, May 10th 10:45PM
Marketing/Finance Sunday, May 10th 10:35PM
Geologist Sunday, May 10th 8:36PM
Software Sunday, May 10th 5:14PM
family advocate Saturday, May 9th 2:31PM
Retail Saturday, May 9th 11:51AM
Sales Saturday, May 9th 11:31AM
marketing account manager Saturday, May 9th 9:36AM
general restaurant fast food manager Saturday, May 9th 8:02AM
general restaurant fast food manager Saturday, May 9th 7:54AM
Retail Saturday, May 9th 6:32AM
Drafting Friday, May 8th 6:38PM
Finance Friday, May 8th 5:14PM
Programmer Friday, May 8th 8:15AM
Service Technician for Fitness Equipment Thursday, May 7th 9:04AM
food service manager Thursday, May 7th 3:38AM
Need producer Wednesday, May 6th 10:58PM
Customer Service Wednesday, May 6th 10:15PM
Customer service representative Wednesday, May 6th 9:59PM
Sales Wednesday, May 6th 7:35PM
Auto Wednesday, May 6th 7:23PM
Greeter Wednesday, May 6th 12:51PM
Graphic Designer in Gambling Industry Wednesday, May 6th 10:22AM
Art Wednesday, May 6th 7:45AM
Art Wednesday, May 6th 7:42AM
administrative manager in a church ministry Wednesday, May 6th 7:14AM
Analyst Tuesday, May 5th 4:45PM
Sales Tuesday, May 5th 4:23PM
Contracting Tuesday, May 5th 8:19AM
Was Accounts/Admin Tuesday, May 5th 1:58AM
Administrative lands officer Tuesday, May 5th 1:21AM
Welder Monday, May 4th 10:19PM
I/T Monday, May 4th 4:04PM
IT Monday, May 4th 1:17PM
Warehouse Monday, May 4th 9:49AM
PA bookkeeper Monday, May 4th 6:57AM
PA bookkeeper Monday, May 4th 6:57AM
Hospitality Sunday, May 3rd 10:59PM
Administration Sunday, May 3rd 6:32PM
recreation therapy Sunday, May 3rd 4:22PM
Director Evaluation Sunday, May 3rd 2:58PM
Sales Saturday, May 2nd 11:25PM
DIRECTOR Saturday, May 2nd 2:18PM
Qs/construction Saturday, May 2nd 1:36PM
Teacher Saturday, May 2nd 2:52AM
Legal Assistant Friday, May 1st 9:02PM
Research Friday, May 1st 5:22PM
Financial Controller Friday, May 1st 4:27PM
Sales Friday, May 1st 12:21PM
data management Friday, May 1st 9:26AM
Information technology Thursday, Apr 30th 8:47PM
Customer Service Thursday, Apr 30th 7:18PM
business development Thursday, Apr 30th 5:19PM
music teacher Thursday, Apr 30th 12:46PM
Janitorial Thursday, Apr 30th 11:16AM
Finance Thursday, Apr 30th 6:56AM
General manager of mcdonalds Thursday, Apr 30th 5:47AM
Project Engineer Thursday, Apr 30th 5:48AM
Legal Assistant/Receptionist Wednesday, Apr 29th 4:20PM
Contact specialist Wednesday, Apr 29th 4:18PM
motor insurance. but who even gives a fu*k? Wednesday, Apr 29th 3:45PM
Admin Wednesday, Apr 29th 6:53AM