I love what I do but I started doing it when I was 17 years old and by accident of association. I had to pick something to do as an "executive intern" with the "gifted" program in school. The deadline was the next day and my dad pulled some strings and boom - I got to work for free, full time at our local PBS station. What was in it for me? Well, I got credit AND I didn't have to go to class! Can't beat that.
And in a way, it really did prepare me for my future career - in the same place. With the exception of 8 years (got married, moved away, got divorced, moved back, needed a job...) I've been working for the same company for 21 years.
But I've been doing a little something on the side for most of those years.
My big, deep, dark secret is.... I love to clean houses.
I used to do it for my neighbors when I was a young teen. We had lots of old people in our neighborhood and they needed the help. Then I started doing for my grandmother when she stopped having a maid. Grandma was a neat lady but her eyesight wasn't as good as it used to be. She'd come home after I cleaned (I would never clean while she was there) and she'd look around and say that it looked exactly like it had when she left - but it felt better. Fresher or something. Well, yeah. The dust was gone, the toilets sparkled, and I'd vaccumed the hell out of the place.
Never underestimate the value of a great vaccum.
After I had ZBoy, we needed a little extra money, so every two weeks, I'd go clean the house of a friend of my mother's - the very house we lived in before we bought this one. I loved that house (of course, there were no college students living next door then) and it brought great satisfaction to me to make that place shine.
Mom and Dad are hosting a Christmas Eve dinner and I knew that Mom was feeling a bit overwhelmed since she'd been sick with THE nasty cold recently. So I spent the day at the farm, cleaning. I dusted everything, cleaned the carpets, moved furniture, washed curtains... it was terrific fun. And when I finished, it looked exactly the same. But it felt different. Fresher.
I think I have learned something from my cleaning on the side. Sometimes you just feel better when you shake out the cobwebs - either in your house or in your life. It's a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to start over.
That may be the secret to my happiness. I'm a firm believer in shaking out the cobwebs.