I was standing in line at a store that also offered mailing services during the holidays and heard quite the exchange between a patron and an employee. The patron wanted to send a card to a loved one that would arrive in time for the holiday. They asked for the expedited option. The total was deemed as astronomical. The patron inquired about other options. These, too, were deemed as unreasonable. The employee offered they just buy a stamp for the card and call it a day. I turned so the patron would not see the look on my face.

Funny thing about decisions, we tend to make them based on what is important to us. I think it’s fair to say that what is important to us is considered priority, something we are going to ensure happens. Priorities are an individual setting. We prioritize what is important to us whether we realize it or not. Priorities tend to guide our day. These are front and center, things we bump to the top.

Once I connected with painting, there was a period of time where I felt like anything else interfered. All I wanted to do was paint. It actually felt frustrating I couldn’t paint more frequently. Like things were in the way. But, even as I carved more time for painting, I could tell I was getting swept into the current.

This particular current is strong and not to be taken lightly. It is easy to get swept away by the rapids of what you are currently putting your hand to and think that the raft you are in is now your identity. It’s the party that you attend, and when you are mingling, the primary question is “what do you do?”

When you see these rapids (please see these rapids), it is time to have a seat on the nearest rock and do some thinking. This is where you determine the importance of this passion. Is this going to be your life or just a part of it? This will define how you go forward.

What you do and who you are not one in the same. A role you play, a thing you do, a title you have are not what define you. They are what you do. Who you are is different than what you do. It is tricky because it can seem like these are one and the same, especially if something you do (or a role you play or a title you carry) has gone on for quite some time.  

Harkening back to times and seasons, there are parts of what you do that go on for a while, and you get used to them being part of your day. The longer these go on, the harder it can be to let go, but it still does not define you. When it comes to something you love, care about, are passionate about, it’s good to have the equivalent of the shipping/mailing employee who can speak truth. Because you need to take stock of where all this is landing for you.

What I’m addressing is identifying if this thing/person/dream/hope is your life or a part of your life. Identifying this beforehand helps you prioritize and determine where your course is headed. This way, whether it lands where you think it will or not, things are in balance. And what’s truly important to you is still intact.

Here’s to the ones we love.