Chatted with 5-year-old you lately?

The first cold snap has enveloped us. The last remnants of fall slipped out the window, and the chilly fingers of impending winter snaked in the door. I’m a rebellious five-year-old all over again, shouting at Mother Nature “I don’t wanna wear a coat!” As long as the wind doesn’t blow and I keep moving, I’ve been able to tough it out.

As we kick off Thanksgiving week, I can’t help but be cliché in my thoughts. Thankfulness. We shouldn’t have to put “thankfulness” on our to-do list each day, but if that’s what it takes to make it a habit the rest of the year, then maybe we need to.

Today, this week, the whole year, I’ve been thankful for my job. I don’t mean I’m thankful to be employed with the ability to cover my expenses. Though I’m certainly grateful for this, the luxury of loving what I do is of even greater importance.

My office is the outdoors in all its guts and glory. My windows are the morning sunrise, high noon clouds and twinkling stars at dusk. I work with horses, cattle and dogs. I drive on gravel roads, leave cell service in the dust and can’t imagine a better way to be.

As I type, I think maybe I should delete everything I’ve written. It seems like acknowledging what you are thankful for and how you have been blessed should be a straightforward affair. This, this and this are good in my life. The end.

But every which way I’ve tried to say it just comes out reeking of “I have a shiny new toy” syndrome. I know there are millions of people who don’t know what it feels like to love their job. They are living as a means to an end, a pathway to a retirement where they hope to finally spend their days doing what they like.

I get it. Trust me when I say it doesn’t have to be like that though. For now? Maybe. For a few more years? Okay. But if you don’t love your job, then you need to start asking yourself a few questions. Start with “why” and “what can I do to make a change in the right direction”.

Get in touch with that five-year-old kid you used to be. The same one who didn’t want to wear a coat and dreamed all the dreams she didn’t know would be so hard to find in real life.

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