Second, Third and Fourth Loves

Sometimes, I feel as though I’m cheating. The majority of the inspiration for my posts come from conversations with friends and personal experiences. But, alas, I can’t seem to help this.

I’m a firm believer that, the luckiest people are able to make a living doing what they love. In a previous post, Are You in Love?, I calculated that, in a traditional full-time job, assuming that you aren’t doing any work outside of the office (ha!), one spends 145,600 hours, in a lifetime, at work. So, you’d better love what you’re doing! Otherwise, you could have a gnawing feeling inside.

I brought this up recently to a friend and they said something really interesting: “Well, at some point in everyone’s life, there’s a time where the dream dies and you have to find another path to pursue.” This person went on to explain that, whether you’re an athlete, or the head of a company, there’s a point at which you’re no longer at full capacity. You’re forced to retire and find another way to spend your time. They said that this could come early in your career — or later. But, eventually, we are all forced to accept and adapt to change.

At first I found this notion really negative. But then, I considered that I was looking at their comment from the wrong angle. No doubt, every one of us has to make changes in life and we don’t always perceive them as being for the better. My grandmother absolutely loved working. She almost went stir crazy after retiring. So much of her identity was tied up in work. And, thankfully, she enjoyed it. So, my grandmother, who was the Assistant State Director of the Department of Human Services, took a job at a bank. She was 70 years old. Her tasks weren’t at all the same, but she thoroughly enjoyed her new role.

My friend’s comment served as the ultimate reminder for me that, I am not solely what I do. We must remain cognizant of our many interests. Hopefully, when the time comes to give up our first love, we can start devoting energy to our second, third and fourth loves.


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