Passion for Life

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Sometimes life becomes too routine, it feels like you are stuck in a rut. Perhaps the rut seems to be approaching chasm status. The work week can’t get over fast enough and the weekend is over before you know it was even here. Sunday brings a sense of dread because you can hear Monday scratching at the door.

Maybe the cure is to rediscover what we are passionate about. Although I attended culinary school, I ended up on another career path. The Web came along and it totally captivated me. Very early on I wanted to become part of it, help build it, maybe even shape it somehow. To some extent, I have. It used to be a passion for me. I sprang out of bed every morning wanting to create.

Over time the web changed. It became more useful in a many ways, but a whole lot less fun and more commercial. Those changes have allowed me to work at some amazing places while providing me with a pretty good income for a culinary school drop-out. On the other hand what was once my passion is now just a job. Not only because I do it every day, but the creativity and sense of wonder has vanished for me, and what is left is routine.

Yesterday I attended a large picnic for a political group that my wife is active with. I had been volunteered to man the grill. The fare was simple, burgers and hot dogs, and the crowd was large. That doesn’t exactly sound like fun, does it? Especially if you factor in the hot Texas sun.

Strangely, that is exactly what it was. It WAS fun. A lot of fun. Possibly the most fun that I have had in quite some time. Standing over a huge grill, in the hot sun, flipping hundreds of burgers and dogs, trying to get every single one of them perfect made for a wonderful afternoon for me.

Cooking food well for other people makes them happy. Seeing them enjoy themselves, at least partially due to my efforts, makes me happy. “Flipping burgers” is a term thrown out by every parent as a motivator when their child is slacking on their school work. “If you don’t study harder you will end up flipping burgers!” In fact, one of the reasons I dropped out of culinary school was the revelation visted upon me by a chef who shrugged and said, “Cooking gourmet food or flipping burgers is all the same. You take a process and repeat it every day.” Little did I know at the time that defines almost all jobs. Passion is what makes the difference between a great career and a job. He should have told us that.

Tomorrow while I am sitting at my desk, doing my relatively impressive sounding job, I will be dreaming of my rediscovered passion. As the routine sets in I will daydream about flipping burgers. Lots of them.