Scouting the best line

A very important person in my life sent me this list as I mull over a decision for my future. They asked if the path I choose will deliver at least 3 of the below:














I feel fortunate that many of the brands/vendors I work with do indeed hit most of the marks. However, when I first saw this list, I realized that these parameters have often not been forefront in the path that I have chosen over the last decade at least.   

I'm a midwesterner, raised Lutheran, and this isn't the filter for which anything is really discussed in that community. "I'm not going to plow my field this morning because it doesn't feel like Play and Pleasure" doesn't fly. Self-sacrifice, toil, exhaustion, "sleep when you're dead" are all part of the fun over there. "Work harder than the next guy" was instilled on me early in life. I'm proud and thankful to the people that taught me this work ethic.

But it can go too far. I seek balance not only for myself but for the children I'm raising. There is a lot of bonding to be had when you put your head down with your loved ones and get family projects and work done. Loading firewood when I was young with my siblings and parents is a fond memory. But, I want my children to feel good about curling up with a book or having play time with friends when they are older too. I'll have to show them how that is done! 

The list above has words like "Satisfaction", "Purpose" and "Fulfillment" and those seem pretty cooked into my programming. "I'm doing this for the purpose of security for my family which gives me fulfillment and satisfaction" is a phrase that could probably encompass the last decade or more of my life. But words like "Ease, Love, Play, Joy and Pleasure" jump out like West Coast hippy-dippy flower-sniffing entitlement justifications. Yikes. I've created space for my toil by dropping relationships in my life. I've built fences around my workspace to keep those close to me from asking if I'm living in balance.

So, here's the deal going forward... I'm working toward the path I choose to hit at least 3 of the words above. That will take some time. However, right now, if a route doesn't have any of the qualities above, your days are numbered. Like extremely numbered. I'm honoring my past "Toil" to get where I am today by gifting myself these new scouting parameters for a clean line through the next decades of the river of life. 


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