do more of what makes you…survive?

Scott and I had a nice few days away from our normal routine while we were in Omaha earlier this week. Scott had classes during the day, but we were able to get out and play a little in the city in the evenings.

On the drive to Omaha, the car was a little quiet. Both of us were regrouping and mentally climbing down from the various responsibilities we have during the typical work week. There seems to be last minute storms that whirl around in our home before we finally get out the door and on our way.

But on the drive home we had some nice conversations, one of which has stayed with me for a few days now…

It is a common phrase(s) that you see in the crafty and home decor world. I think I’ve even made a few signs with a similar sentiment:

Do more of what makes you happy.

or, Do more of what makes your soul sing.

We do spend a great deal of time spinning our wheels on the non-essential things of life, including worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. So I get the message.

But all too often when I see those phrases – and others like them – I wonder what some segments of society think about them. Scott and I discussed the different ramifications.

I asked Scott, “I wonder what your dad and his buddies would say if someone told them in their thirties to ‘do more of what makes your soul sing’. I wonder what they would think about that.” We had a nice laugh at the thought. Scott’s dad labored hard in the welding industry all of Scott’s life. His dad became a manager but always worked with blue collar people. They owned a home in town and a getaway home at the lake. His dad provided a good living for their family of four as well as a comfortable retirement. But were they ‘following their passion’ in the beginning? It made me wonder if there has been a longitudinal study done of the contentment level of blue collar workers. Scott has never questioned whether or not he should get up and go to work each day. He just does it. He doesn’t spend time questioning whether or not he’s on the right path or if his soul is being fed. He just does what needs to be done. He goes to work. Brings home a paycheck. And has a blast during his off-work hours. He doesn’t question his existence or whether or not he’s living up to his potential.

He just does what needs to be done.

For those of us that live in our heads a little too much, we can tend to forget the ramifications of telling a working parent with kids at home and a mortgage that perhaps he or she should re-examine their career. Maybe take a personality test to see if they are in the right vocation.

“I’m just trying to put food on the table and a roof over my family’s head!”, I can hear the retort.

It made me wonder if the just-go-to-work variety employee is a more content human than the one always on the quest to better know oneself. In a world of self-discovery, we might be missing the all-important strength of simply doing what needs to be done. Rotely and without question. Working two or three jobs. Or putting up with an angry boss that enjoys micro-managing much more than doling out atta-boys. These are things that many people simply accept as part of the process. There is an admirable quality to working hard so you can play hard on your time off. To be content with where you are and blessed to have the employment you have without questioning its validity to your core personality.

Self-discovery allows us to grow and improve upon our lives as we better get to know what motivates and energizes us. But it is no more important than stepping up and doing whatever it is that needs to be done in order to love and support yourself and your dependents. I tend to get too carried away by self-improvement and need to remember the importance of Doing More of What Makes You…Survive.

Hug a hard-working loved one today. You might find you’ve been taking advantage of the fact that they are stable and steadfast because they never speak about it other than with a casual shrug of the shoulders: “Hey. It’s what needs to be done.” (But I bet they wouldn’t mind a sincere, ‘thank you’, from time to time.)


I LOVE a traveling adventure. I am a wanderer by nature. I am always ready to experience the next thing that’s out there on the horizon. But boy oh boy do I love coming home too. I spent the first day home, fluffing and poufing and watering plants. Unpacking all the things and settling back into routine. {I love adventure.} {I love routine.} I’m just weird that way. I am always so grateful for the opportunity to travel with Scott. It’s a nice break in the day-to-day-ness of life.

I hope your week was a good one as well. And if it was mundane and routine and nothing out of the ordinary, then thank you. Thank you for being a constant. A reliable source. A foundational figure. You are greatly appreciated.