Posts Tagged ‘survive’


Although Marie Antoinette may not have actually said those four little words to the starving of France, I figured out the other day her meaning … if she were to have said them.

Cake is a foundation, cake is … regular, sustaining, unexciting. It is survival.

If Ms. Antoinette were to have said, “let them eat cake,” what I believe she would have been communicating was … they are just commoners, all they need is cake, so let them eat cake.”

By inference, what I think would have been inferred was, “they do not need icing.”

Icing is the sweet stuff, the extra goodness on top of that survival cake. Icing is the joy of life, the extras.

On the weekend I had to get groceries, but was desperately wanting a dinner date too. Due to timing of the must-do’s, we ended up with cupboards and fridge full of food, and a grocery store pizza for dinner … all cake, no icing.

Recently someone told me that it is important to “pay yourself” in the midst of paying bills. I wanted to laugh in his face, for it seemed ridiculous to spend money on me when there were so many other needs to cover. But as his words have been resonating in my mind, I have started to get what he meant. To not pay oneself (and I don’t mean by wracking up insane credit card bills) is to survive … to live off of just the cake … sans icing.

In a year when I am striving towards balance, maybe this icing concept needs to be further explored and considered …

Whether it is time, or money, or passions we need to do more than just survive, we need to live, to thrive!

Let us eat cake … and icing too!

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There are things we need to survive. Things like shelter, food, love. Without those three things we really cannot survive.

As I was watching and listening to a video of Steve Jobs, in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, I had a friends face in my mind, when he said:

“sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love … Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work; and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Don’t settle …

My friend does her job well. She rarely calls in sick, fulfills all of the requirements of her position, and works many hours beyond the expectations of her employers. Her job helps to give her shelter and food … it helps to meet her needs to survive, but, in her position she does not thrive. Oh, in the beginning her job was something she loved, it did satisfy her, she did thrive. But over time her passion for her position decreased, and it became ‘just a job’.

One of the best pieces of advise I ever got was from a man in his seventies who said, “I always told our kids that if they were not happy in their job, it was time to find a new one. A person does no good to himself, or to the company they work for if they don’t love what they are doing.” This man was not one who jumped from job to job, career to career, but he did make a handful of workplace changes over the years, and was in the twilight of life, able to say he loved every job he had.

As a child growing up, my dad worked as an orderly, from mid afternoon until late at night. He did not love his work. It was not until he was in his fifties that he began a job that he loved, that he did not feel he was ‘settling’ in order to do it. He knew he loved it, he wanted to spend more time, more energy to do his job better, and he was very successful.

I love my job, but when that love affair starts to be more about surviving than thriving, I will know it is time to look around and see what might be around the next corner.

I wish, for my friend, that you too could thrive in your work.

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