when passion meets purpose

You know, I’ve started realizing something lately. Tasks feel less like items on a to-do list and more like normal parts of your day when you enjoy them. “Duh, Jacqueline!” Well, like I told a student today… sometimes you have to do things you don’t really like in order to be successful. Or, as my old roommate’s boyfriend always said, “Do the sh*t you gotta do, to do the sh*t you wanna do.”

Case in point (well, two, actually)–

1. Fitness.

The other day I was reading Run, Eat, Repeat (highly recommend, that redheaded runner is hilarious and super relatable!) and she mentioned how she legitimately loves running. She went on to say how, in order to get into the habit of exercising, you need to find something you enjoy. I knew this already on a factual level, but something about hearing (well, reading) someone straight-up say “I LOVE TO RUN” struck a chord with me. Do I love my workout routine? Apparently not, since it’s so hard to stick to. (Re-reading this, I am internally groaning. What routine?)

Another comment that has stuck with me for years is from a former coworker. He’s a much more experienced runner than I am (like, competed-in-the-Olympic-trials more experienced) and I asked for advice: how do you go from hundreds of five- to eleven-year-olds all day, through Bay Area traffic, to go home and pound out 3-10 miles every day? His answer was striking in its simplicity: “It’s the highlight of my day.”

I’ve been making changes to make exercising more enjoyable for me, and therefore it happens more often! For example, I joined OrangeTheory in August and have gone at least 4 times a month since then. Without fail. And it’s SO FUN! Same with the casual running club I joined– well, actually it’s so casual you don’t even have to join. You just show up on Tuesdays and wear neon and get your butt kicked by the hills of the East Bay. But this run club makes me want to challenge myself in my running. (Two side notes that apply to both OTF and the run club– one, sweating and panting is a lot easier when someone else is telling you what to do every few minutes, and two, having a workout accountability buddy helps a lot. But that’s another topic for another day.)

Long story short: When you enjoy exercising, you will look forward to it, and therefore actually do it. Do the sh*t you gotta do to do the sh*t you wanna do.

2. Teaching.

I love being a teacher. I love having my own classroom, and the huge responsibility of 31 children’s education for a year, and getting to know them and their quirks and their friends and families, and getting involved in the school community, and all that. I hate lesson planning. I get discouraged pretty quickly when things don’t come easily to me, and often, that includes the organization and forethought required of lesson planning. I’d much rather improvise a day full of lessons, but then I wouldn’t be doing my job as well as I could or be honoring the direction of my supervisors, so… I lesson plan.

How does this relate to passion and purpose and all the fitness stuff above? I have a decently long commute home from work each day (after I tutor). When I get home, I want to eat dinner, watch an episode of House or OITNB on Netflix, and go to bed. I always have intentions of preparing reading and writing lessons when I get home! I’m also super afraid of burning out, so that’s worth taking into consideration, but I am willing to admit that all the “stuff” I drag back and forth from work to my car and home and back again could really just stay at work and be used just as much.

But today, I started preparing the first lesson of our new reading unit while my students were taking the pre-assessment. I got excited about the curriculum and what we would be discussing tomorrow. And when I got home after tutoring, I grabbed some dinner and went to my room and typed up a full-on lesson plan. You guys, this is huge. This almost never happens unless I am going to be observed. But my excitement and optimism about the unit made me want to get it ready even though I’m tired. I want it to be awesome tomorrow.

And that’s what inspired this whole post. Yes, you gotta do the sh*t you gotta do to do the sh*t you wanna do. But more than that, when passion meets purpose, amazing things can happen. And it’s way more fun! If you’re feeling “blah” about stuff like I tend to do, change something. 

Gonna go pack my gym bag and work purse now. Whoa. 🙂 


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