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"My father has collected stamps for almost eighty-five years. He has spent countless hours taking used stamps from letters and parcels, preparing them for the albums, cataloging them and pricing them. He has become a stamp expert, but his career was in plumbing, a field he truly loved. I don’t know the deep motive that led him to this hobby, but I do know that it put him in touch with a bigger world than he would have had as a plumber. He is in correspondence with collectors all over the world, and the stamps have educated him about cultures around the globe.

Avocations can be a part of your life work, and you don’t have to make them bigger than they are for them to belong there. The small things we do, the insignificant activities, can have a place in life much larger than they would seem to have. All human actions have a literal and a symbolic meaning, and gardening, collecting, and making crafts may be important as symbols as well as for what they achieve at the literal level."

Today’s Work: How may your hobbies contribute to your life work?

Share your responses with Barque readers, by replying to this discussion.

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Sometimes I think my hobbies are my life work! At least right now that's how it seems. For the past three weeks, I had been caring for my mother-in-law who suffered a stroke on her left side. My husband and I live in Pennsylvania, and our families live in Kentucky, so I flew out to be with Helen with my hobbies packed! I brought knitting for those quiet moments when she was resting as well as reading material. I have to admit that instead of completing this book, I was rereading The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, and I was feeling enchanted! :) The knitting was soothing to both of us and a gift for a friend back home. Somehow, all of this is my life work at this time. No career as I lost my job last year....just good work with the hands, mind, and spirit.


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