What’s your why?

What motivates you? Why do you do the things you do?  If you drill down deep enough, you’ll eventually uncover your true why.  It may/may not be pretty, but at least be honest with yourself, so you can do what needs to be done to move in the direction you really want to go.

My school handed out copies of Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why” as our welcome back to school gift. Then, we were told that we are expected to recite the “why” for everything we do in relation to our jobs this year.

So here goes:

Why is my day job that of a librarian? I love libraries. They were my safe place growing up. I’m a voracious reader, tinkerer, maker and want to know all the things. I like to share information/resources with others.  I feel most at home behind a reference desk or sharing a great story for a read aloud. Although I’ve worked in a public library, school libraries allow me to do the same thing, but on M-F schedule that better suits my family.

Why am I still at my current school?  1. Relationships with coworkers and students. 2a. Administration finally listened and pulled the library out of the specials rotation. 2b. Now the opportunity is there to truly makeover the library, possibly leading toward state recognition as an Exemplary Library Media Program. 3. It’s close to home, which is important because Atlanta traffic can be a nightmare. 4. I’m not ashamed to say there is a financial incentive for staying with my current school district – we’re set to receive a really nice raise which will help with retirement and potentially afford me the option to retire three years sooner.

Why do I have a sewing business? 1. I love to teach sewing to newbies. Kids are a lot of fun, but much more work is involved than with teaching teens/adults. 2. I am a technical editor for sewing/quilting designers because I am tired of spending money on patterns full of mistakes. It’s also a good ROI for time spent. I deliberately keep my hourly rates on the affordable side and work efficiently so my clients get value for their hard earned money. 3.  It serves as an outlet to sell my samples, voluminous stash and other vintage treasures. The thrill of making a sale is very real (kind of like when a reluctant reader  adamant about getting a Wimpy Kid book actually checks out the other book you recommended) 4. It provides a way to indulge my inner entrepreneurial streak while making a few extra bucks. 5. I’m building something that will continue after I leave public education. 6. As the business evolves, I’m finding more ways to tie quilting/sewing with library work (Atlanta Quilt Study Symposium in late September).

These were the relatively easy “whys” that I feel comfortable sharing in public. Some of the whys in the more personal areas of my life are definitely messier and took some effort to unpack. However, this exercise does inform what needs to be done to move me toward the place where my actions are more congruent with my beliefs in all areas of my life.

Again, what’s your why?