I have two questions for you to consider today.

1. What is your hobby? What do you do outside of your career that most consistently revitalizes you?

  • One friend I know lives for gourmet baking. His weeks off of work are spent with lemon-curd filled doughnuts and all manner of delicious confections.
  • Another friend leaves his incredibly demanding job and heads into the woods for music festivals. He lives for music, really, and spends off days dj-ing incredibly creative dance sets.
  • Another friend travels the world to participate in Iron Man triathlons. Months of work are punctuated by trips to China and around the country to swim, bike, and run.

I think it’s incredibly important to have a creative outlet like this: one that has no surface relation to your “day job.” The moments spent in this activity fill your soul for long days of work, and expand your creativity in novel ways.

2. How can you incorporate that soul-affirming act into your everyday?

If you can find a way to make your avocation a part of your daily living, you don’t have to wait until those rare off-days to refill your creative well.

  • My baker friend has found opportunities to bake and cook in massive quantities for his work colleagues.
  • My musical friend shares a “required listening” youtube track many days – he’s long-form dj-ing for all of his friends.
  • My triathlete friend, of course, makes training a daily part of his lifestyle. He is able to carry the activity he so loves into his morning runs or evening swims.

Teachers, especially, often try to cram all their “living” into the few weeks they spend at home in the summer – knowing that soon they’ll be back to hours of grading and weekends spent on school projects.

But if you can find a way to carry that thing you love into your everyday, it won’t detract from your work but will enhance your daily energy.

Don’t save your living for vacation; live every day.