Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love what you do, Do what you love

One of my favorite blogs about homesteading had a post today about the hit professional sports will take if businesses can no longer afford to support them and their gigantic arenas and merchandising machines in these days of belt tightening.

the deliberate agrarian

Oh, what would we do without those overpaid professional atheletes to watch on TV?

And it made me think about a topic dear to my heart, which is this notion we seem to have in America that something is not worth doing if you can't make money at it. People paint, and give it up and say 'well, I'll never be good enough to be a professional'. If you make wood art (as I used to do) people will say 'you should get a table at the bazzar and sell them'. When talking to a friend about her homespun knitting she said 'I could never afford to sell these for the hours of work I have in them. People ask me what I would sell them for'. Even when I'm planning my garden, I wonder if I could produce enough to sell the extra. But in my experience, as soon as you start making money with your hobby, it looses that joyful hobby aspect, and becomes just a business.

My husband quit acting years ago because he knew he couldn't make a living at it. Focus on college, get a job with a pension, don't waste your time acting. Luckily he continued his hobby of collecting toys, which was also a money-waster, until he turned it into a business that supports our family. Then a few years ago, seeing he had no hobbies that brought him joy (because his toy hobby was now his business, and he needed an actual hobby to do for relaxation), I gave him an audition notice I saw in the paper and he decided to give it a shot. Now I can't hardly get him off the stage! Still, occasionally people ask, can't you get commercial work or something?

It's like nothing is worth doing if you don't get paid for it. That results in kids playing baseball in little league, in school until they get up to the high school level, and at that point kids are weeded out so just the best get to play, hoping to move up to college or the majors. It's that way in all sports. What happens to the kids who don't make the cut? How many of them continue to play just for the joy of it? How many adult baseball games have you seen at the park, where people get together just to play?

Maybe we have too many 'professionals' in this world. We sit back and let them do the work. It might be a better place if we painted, even if we weren't very good, just because we liked to. Or sang, even if our voices were nothing to write home about. Or acted, even if we didn't light up the stage. Or made wood art just to give away to friends. Or went outside with our friends on a summer evening and played a game of baseball, instead of watching it on TV. What a wonderful world that would be.


annaliese said...

thank you! what a great post. i totally agree. i think i may link you and do my own post on this--you have just stirred such a chord with me on this topic.

StefRobrts said...

Do it, maybe we'll start a 'movement' :)

Goofy said...

I enjoy theater so much, I wouldn't WANT to try making a living at it. I know it would soon become tedious and boring, so I will just keep it a hobby. :)

annaliese said...

that would be amazing :)

hey--thought of you today when I went to the mall, the pet store had two beautiful Alki/Barclay type puppies in the window! soooo cute!

have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

dotoner said...

well spoken friend - thank you!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I loved this thought-provoking post of yours. Thanks for sharing it.

I've often wondered why I get so annoyed when my parents are always saying 'You should make money from that...." whenever they see me knitting, scrapbooking, sketching, painting, creating something, or even blogging for that matter.

Now, with this post, I understand why I've been annoyed.
Because I just want to do...and to be....without any obligations, demands or obligations.

Thanks so much for this eye-opener post. :)

Would you mind if I post this on my family blog (so my parents can see?) with a link back to you? I don't know if it will do any good, but maybe it might open up their eyes, too.

New Mexico

StefRobrts said...

Feel free to share, maybe they'll understand :)