To Live A Full Life

IMG_3804“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, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

-Steve Jobs



I have worked in jobs, and I have lived a profession.  There is a marked difference one leading to a living and the other leading to a life.  I prefer the life, but have been lost in the living.  A delicate balance between the two oftentimes futile to keep separate.


Which is why the profession has meant more to me and been my driving force.  When I started my career in education it was with a strong desire to make a difference.  I wanted to teach children.  To see the magic, knowledge can give a child.  To let them experience the deep, soulful joy of learning about our world, our lives.  Knowledge is addictive and you can see it on the faces of children when they tap into the magic.


So I worked hard learning how to be the best teacher I could be.  How to bring that magic to each child.  And for me each day, was not work.  It was sheer bliss catching those moments of joy on their faces.  And even on days where things seemed to go wrong, their faces, their bliss kept me focused on what was important in my work.  Opening up new worlds to all children.


I was lucky that I found the love of my work, and continued it even in the early years of changing from a teacher in a classroom full of children to an administrator working with teachers.  I found now I was helping teachers be the best they could be for their children.  Helping them tap into the magic.  And I was sustained.




“Think of your work life therefore, not as separate from your spiritual life but as central to your spiritual life. Whatever your business, it is your ministry.”   Marianne Williamson


This quote speaks volumes to me as I lost the magic later in my administrative career.  I was pulled from the magic, and beaten down by the naysayers who don’t believe in the magic, the love of our work, our profession.  And while I still tried to maintain the magic for myself and others, it wore on me.  Suddenly I did not love what I did, and I knew it was time to let go and move on.  I could no longer connect to my spirit, my soul.  It was now a living, not a life anymore.


And while it was difficult to move beyond the world of education I had built my life around, I have found it again here on these pages; in these words.  I am connected in my blog writing, in my poetry; to my soulful work again.  To that life that now teaches through my words.  Many people tell me how my words touch them.  Help them, speak to them in a time of need.


And I am taken back to when I first began to teach.  When the magic was awe-inspiring and knew no bounds.  It has come back full circle to me.  It bubbles up and puts thoughts together that I am compelled to write in hopes that these thoughts and lessons will speak to people.  Will touch them.  Will teach them a new way and different way.  A way of peace, a way of happiness and kindness.  So they in turn can model and teach others.  To continue the great work of spreading the magic.



Note:  The Sage here represents Long Life, Esteem, and Health in the Language of Flowers.




I leave you with another thought about living a long, full life.  Feel free to download the photo and share.


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.





21 Replies to “To Live A Full Life”

  1. Apart from having a job that one loves, I think it’s important to also involve oneself in interests that are not related to work. Culture, practical hobbies and likewise. Like you do – and me too, for that matter. -Keep up the great work you are doing!

  2. How lovely that you have come full circle and found those bubbles of excitement again. There is life, and there is existence. Life costs more (in every sense) is chaotic and messy and painful and rich – and worth sooooo much more than the drab greys and tidyness of merely existing.

    1. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have those bubbles Soosie. And I agree a full life with all the happiness and pain is worth so much more than a mere existence.

  3. I am so happy for you that the circle is now complete and you have found your inner joy again. I am currently struggling with inner joy which used to be there no matter what. Now I have to work at it and your post reminds me that I need to change something (not sure what) to make that happen…

  4. The world of teaching is harder than ever for so many reasons and I’ve noticed even with my grandchildren that the young’s innate thirst for knowledge is being deadened by pc tutoring, dumbing down to the lcd and a lust for entertainment. In such a climate, any teacher than can inspire deserves much praise! Glad you have found yourself again Donna after leaving such a strong ID behind. p.s. kept missing your posts here so have manually added you to the WP reader 🙂 – prefer to read all my ‘followings’ in one spot so blogloving not ideal for me . Maybe other wordpressers would want a ‘follow me’ widget?!

    1. Teaching is harder and harder these days so I give big praise to new teachers too! And thank you Laura as always for your lovely praise. As far as the WP Follow button, I am unclear why it does not display at the top of my blog. Perhaps it is my theme or that I am not hosted by, but I cannot even find a widget that lets me add it, but I will keep trying.

  5. What a magical post! I can understand the feeling of elation that comes from helping to mold the future of children. Keep living your beautiful “life”.

  6. You’ve reminded me, Donna, of what I have often heard from nurses who moved off the floor with patients to administration. Some gave up the higher salaries to get back to patient care. I can just imagine the difference between the two worlds! For you to come back full circle to find your love of teaching again here has got to be a joy “beyond words.” I love it for you. 🙂

    1. I would imagine it is the same for nurses Ginnie. That working with people who we feel so closely connected. Thank you for your cheering section….it means the world to me!

  7. Donna, It is strange that the main way for educators to advance in their field is to give up teaching and move into administration. Early in my years at Gettysburg College, I resisted repeated attempts to pull me out of the classroom and into administration. I remember saying to my Provost once, “Explain to me again why you think I would want to give up my teaching, my research, and my summers in Maine?” But, especially for those who need the greater pay that comes with the move into administration, it is hard to resist.
    Like you, I’ve been struck by the ways that blogging can be a vehicle for what I love most about teaching.

    1. I agree it is strange Jean. I was excited at first especially because I knew my expertise would help teachers and in turn affect so many students positively. But the downfall is that as you move up, you move away from the bottom line…kids. I think maybe if I had to do it over, I would not have moved up but back to a classroom.

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