December 29, 2019- Planning for 2020
Ikigai: a Japanese concept which means a reason for being. It is used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that makes one’s life worthwhile.
I took the notes below as I was reading about this interesting way to view our lives. The four words in green: passion, mission, profession, vocation; are so thought provoking. I love the way they all intersect and the different feelings that each combination can evoke.
As I reflect on these words and this concept, I realize how fortunate I am. My work as an educator and an author are so closely intertwined, and they have allowed me to experience all four of these at such a deep level.
My passion for both teaching and writing was present in my life at an early age, but there were times and stages in my life when other things dulled the passions, or other pathways needed to be followed. The thing about passions though, they almost always eventually bubble to the surface and demand that we pay attention to them.
It wasn’t until I was well into my thirties that teaching became my profession. As a ‘late bloomer’, I began my life as a teacher with more life experience than many new teachers. I was also the mother of a pre-teen, which gave me a perspective on the children in my class that not all beginning teachers had. Right from that first day, I felt like I had come home. I knew the classroom was where I was meant to be.
It was through my teaching that my vocation began to reveal itself. As I selected books to use in the classroom, and searched for literature to help teach concepts, time periods, or ideas, the writer within me began to stir. When there were stories I searched for that were not there, Toni Morrison’s quote, “If there is a book you want to read that hasn’t been written yet, you must write it,” rang in my head.
These things have all come together to help me clearly define my mission in life: To inspire a love of reading, writing, and history in others!
To everyone- I wish you Ikigai in 2020!