I am wondering if it is a cruel joke of the universe that at exactly the time I have discovered a reservoir of clarity, energy and purpose in my professional life – at the time I have found my vocation – that there should exist an exactly proportionate array of preexisting realities with equal rights to my attention, focus and care.
In fairness, these “preexisting realities,” less coldly described as marriage, children, family, faith, friends and community, laid claim to my attentiveness long ago. Perhaps this “vocation” is the impostor, the one whose intentions must be questioned as it relates to integration and harmony. As it relates to keeping the peace.
The question is this: how do I incorporate my vocation into the structures of my life – relationships and commitments – in a way that preserves, extends and expands all? Yes, I am asking, how do I have it all?
I don’t want to be a good dad and a great speaker. I’m not interested in being a great husband and a good leader. I don’t want validation from my professional community and a dearth of real friends. I want the both/and. I want greatness.
And the difference between good and great is very, very small. One choice in one moment at a time. It is a constancy of awareness; a level of attentiveness that is unsurpassed. And it is a generosity and kindness with myself. A reminder to be about the journey and not the destination. To keep negotiating balance and integration. To stay in conversation with my life.
Yes, to stay in conversation with my life.
© 2010 David Berry