I am often asked why I do what I do. Why do I choose to work long hours in the Summer when so many others get to lavish in some form of freedom? Freedom from school, from work, from the cold. And I ask them why they chose to only find this freedom once a year.
This past December I had my first opportunity to try downhill skiing. Being from Florida, skiing for me meant being dragged behind a boat skimming across the bay or doing circuits through the cove. This was my fist time entering a sport where I was completely lost. I was wearing 7 more layers than I was used to and boots that made stairs an unbelievably difficult task. There were lines, but I could hardly find a way to keep from sliding past people and into the net fence. I was a total junk show for the first hour. I took one ride on the “Magic Carpet” (what a joke that is) and couldn’t handle the embarrassment so I put myself through the torture of rolling most of the way down Beginner’s Run.
As frustrating as it all sounds, it was invigorating! I’ve never laughed at myself so much. I think my core was more sore than my legs by the end of that hour. And as I found myself having fun just learning, I also started skiing more of the slope. I went from watering face plants, to carving. And with each step forward I had someone there to give me another tip, or challenge, or thought. By the end of the day I knew I had gotten myself into another bank draining sport, but it was worth it. It was worth every minute of biting massive dust, and getting back up to find it easier.
Over the past few years I have made it a goal of mine to live a life of happiness. One where I laugh every day. Where I know that what I am doing is what I want to do because it makes me happy. So when people talk about freedom from work, I talk about the freedom to work. To have the simple pleasure of enjoying what I do and helping others enjoy it too. I also know that just because I devote my summers to others, doesn’t mean I can’t find joy and adventure for myself at other times. In fact I make it my goal to find those adventures, and make them the ones worth having. I am not confined by seasons, or those around me, but I am empowered to find joy in all things, big and small.
I do what I do because I love it, and I hope that joy and passion is infectious enough to make the difference in one child’s life.
Marlin Sill, Hante Director