Thursday, November 28, 2013

Playing as Work

When people ask me what I do for a living, my favorite explanation is that I play. As a therapeutic recreational specialist I spend every day using recreation to enrich the lives of individuals with life altering conditions. My average day might include crafts, baking dog treats, a trip to the museum, or sweatin' to the oldies. Of course there's some meetings and paperwork here and there, and it's not all fun and crafts, but I always look for meaning within my work. 

My work can be very challenging, and sure I get frustrated and have bad days just like anyone else, but when I think about what I do I truly feel like it is play because I enjoy it so much and the frustrations seem trivial in comparison to the joy and fulfillment most days bring.  When I was choosing a major in college and then a career path a quote hanging in a bathroom put it all in perspective for me, “ we must absolutely do what we love or we run the risk of doing nothing at all.”

I realized when I pursued something I loved, that I was passionate about, and that brought me joy, even the stresses of work were, for lack of a better word, enjoyable and therefore far easier to cope with (and as a person who’s seizures are often triggered by stress, not having to worry about it is a relief). I can’t imagine my life as a mathematician or Engineer! So, I encourage you to pursue something you love. And If you wonder what that looks like consider this, “ If you want to know where you heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”