During the last few days of September, our weather was extraordinary. Little Miss kept asking to go outside, and I kept letting her, knowing in my heart it wouldn't be long before the jacket-free, mosquito-fighting days would be over. One day in particular, I took Little Man out with me and we sat in the sunshine, soaking up some September Vitamin D, and watching Little Miss rake the leaves.
Yes, you read that right. I sat in my comfy camp chair, while Little Miss raked the leaves. She has her own little rake, and she loves it. It was her activity of choice for a while this particular afternoon. She wanted to rake a pile and show her daddy. Then, of course, she wanted to jump in the pile. It's her favorite thing about fall.
As I watched my daughter working - by her own choice - in the yard that day, I was struck by the wisdom displayed by my little four-year-old. She had concluded in her mind in order to enjoy the pile of leaves, she first had to put forth the effort to make the pile of leaves. If only she would have the same philosophy about putting toys away after enjoying them...
I watched her as she carefully sculpted the yard by the swing set. Every other motion was paired with a statement of excitement for fall, for leaves, and for fun. When was the last time I worked with such anticipation? When was the last time I worked with the mindset of the end result being worth the grunt work? Usually I look forward to the end of a project so I can mark it off my list. Done. Finito. But...to enjoy the fruits of my labor? To enjoy everything I had to do along the way?
Her pile didn't get big. She enjoyed every leaf of it, though. Then, when she was done jumping in them, throwing them in the air, and hearing them crunch and rustle beneath her, she went on to more play. Swinging high, trying to reach her toes to the top of the tree limbs, she closed her eyes and basked in the sun. She was having the perfect afternoon.
I pray whatever your situation is - whether you work from home, an office, a field, the road, or whether you're still trying to land a job you love, or that pays your bills - you enjoy every effort you put in to it. I pray you can work with a whistle on your lips and an expectation in your heart of what's to come. I pray you do the best you know how to do, because no one deserves any less. I pray at the end of your work day, you have a hard time drawing the line between times when you were working hard, or playing hard.