Monday, September 29

The Happiness Project: September (Pursue a Passion - Guess What Mine Is?)

I've been following along with Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" month-by-month since January (though I read it at least twice before that). Her September goal: "Pursue a Passion".

Education is my first love. I loved being a student, and absolutely love being a teacher. Only two things I can strongly say I dislike about my job: winter yard duty and report cards (which you would think would come more easily to someone who writes, but I find them physically painful).

Because teaching is my hands-down first work priority. I've actually had to turn down amazing opportunities to pursue my other passions...but we all have hobbies, right? Over the past four years, I have been actively engaged in my passion for writing: both on my blog, and freelance writing for magazines. Thanks to this, I've had so many fun experiences, made incredible connections, and grown as a writer, which I believe has very much had an impact on my teaching as well, since writing is such a huge part of the curriculum.

I have another passion too, and it won't come as a surprise for many of you: television, and specifically news/entertainment/talk shows. I am addicted to watching them (and have been since my teens). To me, the hosts are just as interesting as the celebrities. I envy how they get to ask questions of both famous people and everyday experts/newsmakers, while at the same time having a media presence themselves.

I've actually had the chance to go behind-the-scenes at many of my favourite shows:




(See, don't I look right at home co-hosting with Marci Ien? Sure, we faked this shot, but still!)

This past August I took my love of TV one step further, joining the CHEX Daily team as a regular guest covering educational topics for parents.

Here's what I've chatted about so far:


While I have been asked before to make TV appearances (as a spokesperson for a company, or discussing non-education-related topics), I just couldn't prioritize that within a full-time teaching schedule. With the CHEX Daily spots, I'm thrilled to be able to head to the studio after work, plus I get to discuss my first love.

As Gretchen notes, "make time for it" is an important part of the goal to pursue one's passion, and it's much easier to do that when it dovetails with my day job, as well as what I'm living as a parent. As much as I enjoy researching and writing articles that are outside of this scope, I have a new grade this year and I can already see that I need to make calculated choices about my time.

Which brings me to the "How do you do it all?" question people often ask. (They seem to ask my mother as much as they do me, for some reason.) Well, I can start by saying that I am a very organized, efficient person, which helps in terms of getting things done. But really, I am writing and planning segments when you are knitting, doing Sudoku (do people still do Sudoku?), lurking on Facebook, cooking gourmet meals (or just cooking at all) or working out at the gym (I get exercise too - treadmill desk!) I would like to say that my passions never infringe on my sleep (which I mean in a really clean way), since I rarely stay up late or wake up early for them, but it's not entirely true as I have been awake in the night many times rehashing story edits or rehearsing what I want to say on TV!

Plus, let's be honest here: I couldn't get a thing done without the amazing support system I have. Knowing that my family, friends, and colleagues are all in my corner means a world of difference. (By the time I got to the car after my first live CHEX Daily appearance, I already had a dozen congratulatory texts/emails in my inbox, which meant more than those people may ever know. Unless they're reading right now, of course. Which, come to think of it, they should be, if they really care about me!)

My parents have always been huge cheerleaders for me (and willing to drive 40 minutes to pick up my children and take them for the day when they get sick at school, which we all know is priceless). As for my husband...well, I guess if he doesn't want me to talk about him on the blog, he won't be getting all of the thanks and praise he deserves here!

So, there's where I am with my September goal! Find the time to pursue your passion. It's so worth it.


2 comments:

Sally said...

I have recently started focusing on a passion of mine too- me! I've become terribly out of shape and like a big mushy blob over te past year and joined a really excellent exercise class a few weeks ago. It is at a difficult time for my family (6pm Mondays and Fridays) but I just don't care. I go anyway, I sweat my butt off (literally, loosing inches) and I feel so great. I forgot how much I enjoy exercising, and all those endorphins released give me the energy I need to go home and be Mama until bedtime. All I need to figure out now is that early bedtime you speak of...

Samantha said...

I'm so impressed by you! Congrats on your tv spots!