Over the years, I have had some great teachers both in and out of the classroom. When I first started to write this, I intended to tell you about my high school basketball coach who taught me the value of being prepared.
Ms. Yoachim would make us run lines until it hurt, and we hated it. Back and forth we would run, complaining of course to a deaf ear. She knew best. We were undefeated that year and invited to participate in the first State Basketball Championship games for girls. Six of the eight-girl teams were sophomores that year. We had great potential. Ms. Yoachim left that summer. Our new coach never pushed us when we complained. We thought we were good enough and yet we were never as good without her pushing us to our potential. I learned that victory comes with doing the things we do not like to do.
However, I honestly learned the best work ethics from my parents. Both were hard working with uncommon integrity. Dad always worked full time with one or two side jobs and ran our small farm. Mom worked jobs that fit into raising kids until we were almost out of high school. She then took a non-traditional job for a woman in the 70's and I watched her work twice as hard to prove herself in a man's world.
Dad was happiest when he was working. It is what he knew and how he showed his love for his family. Mom however always made things fun. She was enthusiastic about everything she did whether it was work, taking care of the house and kids and especially life. Mom worked hard and knew how to enjoy the fruits of her labor. Balance is what I learned from my mother.
A wise friend of mine recently shared this quote, "The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." Zen Buddhist
We never know what tomorrow holds. My hope for you is to live your life each day. Work hard, love deeply (and remember to express it), enjoy the fruits of your labor and at the end of the day know that you made a positive difference is someone's life. For me, this is a life well lived. What makes your "life well lived"?