Friday, May 8, 2009

finally dancing

I had a conversation today about work...about ambition and promotions and what we strive for in our work. My recent perspective on this topic still leaves a few people with their mouths agape....given my background and my education how can I not want to succeed in the world of business? How can I not be driven to reach the highest peak, to face greater challenges...and to win? And my answer is this....for me, when I finally stopped focusing on all of those things...that is when I started to win....



I strive at work to create the best output, not because it may secure me a promotion or a raise or even a full-time job....I do it because my work could make a difference in one dog's or one cat's life and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that.



I relish the challenge of learning to become a better photographer and a more accomplished writer....a challenge I am able to take on because with my new job, I have found space and time in my life to create priorities for myself outside of my corporate role.



As for reaching the highest peak....once on a Tuesday at two o'clock in the afternoon, while the rest of world rushed to meetings or banged out emails in a windowless cubicle, I, jobless at the time, sat atop a hill overlooking a deep ravine filled with autumn colours and a rushing river, reading my favorite Ernest Hemingway passage out loud to Sophie who sat beside me quietly in the warm fall sunshine. I honestly don't know how you get any higher than that.



I used to think that success in life was measured by your title at work, or the size of the house you lived in, or the kind of car you could afford to drive. Now I think that success is measured by how much dancing you do. I believe we are compelled to dance, alone in our kitchen or suddenly in the middle of the street, because sometimes we have so much joy in our hearts that we need to let it spill out in random, happy movement. And I have finally started dancing.

22 comments:

Tatersmama said...

Oh honey, I understand completely! I gave up the "box" (much to my fathers chagrin) 20 years ago and although the pace is still a bit too fast for me, it's a huge improvement over medicine!

Keep dancing!!

Carolynn said...

I'm with you. Dancing is what it's all about. I still hold down a 'real' job, however, it serves a purpose and funds my dream weaving. Eventually, I hope to live a quieter, more fulfilled life.

Mildred said...

Hi Andrea, What beautiful photos tonight and what passionate words. I gave up a career to be care-taker of first dad, then mom and now Nalley. The time I have to enjoy LIFE and what is important, including my pets, is priceless. When I cry, one of the three pets climbs up in my lap! Did you see Harriet's swimsuit photo a few posts back? She is so chubby! I sure wish I had your expertise with a camera. You are an inspiration. Have a nice weekend.

Oz Girl said...

So very true Andrea. It is sad that so many people do not realize this deep truth. Although perhaps with this economy, and so many people losing their jobs, they have been forced to this reality.

I decided many years ago that my job was only to pay the bills so to speak, but deeper meaning would be found in other places.

I have truly found a bliss here in Kansas, on our 26 acres that we call home with our menagerie of animals. I still need a job, but it is not the primary thing in my life.

A wonderful post, with fantastic photos as always.

Joanne said...

What a beautiful post. It sounds like you are living your own success every day, that you have been promoted to living your heart's desire. Kudos to you for knowing this and living days with satisfaction.

Shirley said...

Life is making every step a dance, every word a song... and don't forget to breathe....

Katherine Aucoin said...

I'm with you Andrea. As we grow and change so do our priorities. Life is short, no regrets!

septembermom said...

Dancing through life should be our aim! So well written. We all get so caught up in the day to day stress of our lives. I actually do dance around with my little daughter at times. It feels so free. Beautiful moments of pure joy.

Sharon said...

Lance Wubbels wrote a cute little book called "Dance While You Can". Here is one of his quotes:
"I will quiet my soul...
silence the noise in my head and heart...
and ask myself
what I really want out of life."
Keep doing what you're doing because it sounds like you're on the right path:)

Kathy said...

What a great post. Awesome pictures as usual too. You are so right and sometimes I need to see that in print before I realize that it's okay to be happy and silly and dance and you don't always have to be a grown up. Sometimes it's just alright to have fun and be a kid at heart again. Thanks for the reminder.

The Write Girl said...

Hi Andrea,

What a moving post. You express so much optimism and you truly have discovered what is important in life. Thank you for sharing and being inspiring. And thanks to Sophie too : )

Annie said...

How true it is...and the dance is better with a friend alongside. (In my case, a kitty.)
May the dance never cease...

Sherri said...

Andrea, have you read "hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus? That book literally changed my life -- in ways very similar to what has transpired with you.

I dance every day now...even if it is just with paint on paper. :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

Hemingway, a view of beautiful colors, the gorgeous outdoors? Yep. You climbed to the top of the ladder for sure. Love this and the song, "I hope you dance." Isn't that the truth? I need to dance more. Thanks for the encouragement. I used to dance with the kids a lot when they were little. Think I'll put some swing music on tomorrow and get down with my (really) bad self! :)

Happy Mother's Day! Tell Sophie to give you lots of extra kisses - orders of Auntie Rob! lol

Gennasus said...

Never a truer word was written!

Life is to be lived.....not worked.

Ed said...

Great post, I too gave up the ratrace and am working for myself. If I get the urge to just stop and take a day with my cameras I do. And if noone is watching I dance a little jig..:-)

gtyyup said...

Incredibly true! Love this post~~

When we took the huge leap to move out here, My Man wasn't sure about the the whole thing...but as we settled into the new life, he wouldn't trade it for anything...nor would I.

Barry said...

"I won't dance, don't ask me
I won't dance, don't ask me
I won't dance, Madame, with you
My heart won't let my feet do things that they should do..."

Or maybe I should get over that little hangup and take the risk.

Perhaps in the kitchen before taking it out onto the streets?

Jan said...

Good for you.

Becky said...

You go girl!

gigi said...

Oh, how I love dancing! (wish I could do it a little better) What a way with words, my friend. I so got the picture.

Far Side of Fifty said...

A wonderful, heartfelt post Andrea! You keeping on dancing! That has been my theme for this year, inspired by the movie scene from Mama Mia..friends and fun..not acting your age and dancing! :)