Do What You Love


May 10, 2012 by lytlejoc

Do you know what today is? According to Google, today is the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. But since I am not much of a history buff, I have nothing interesting to say to you about that.

Instead, I will tell you that today is the day I start my blog. Blogesis.

I am currently a Stay At Home Mom. I have been on maternity leave for five and a half months with my first wonderful and terrifying baby, but very recently, I made the official decision to not return to work. My husband, son, dog and I are going to return to the East coast from which I hail to move into a tumble down seaside home. We’re going to fix it up and sell it (which means, of course, that I can’t get too attached) and then go West again when that adventure ends. And we’re going to do it largely by ourselves.

My future seaside.

This means that we are going to be elbows deep in the world of DIY for the next few years. Daunting? Yep. Exciting? Shockingly so.

To be clear, I should tell you that my husband is the handyman. I will be more of an assistant on the project: cleaning up, painting, helping make decisions about where things go and what should be done. If I were getting paid in the traditional sense of the concept, I would be a minimum wage laborer, so you know, it’s not a big career move for me. In fact, it’s a big leap right off of the administrative career path that I’d been following over the last ten years or so and I am a-okay with that.

Career-wise, I have never really done what I love. You get asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as early as you can start playing make-believe games, and for me, the answer to that question has changed a multitude of times. My most prominent career dreams progressed like this:

  • Marine Biologist – Between the ages of 7 and 9, I conducted very scientific research in this field (read: I copied verbatim the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry under “Whale”). I discovered you have to go to school for about 10 years and also realized you have to actually get IN the ocean quite a lot. Being terrified of deep water is not conducive to such activity.
  • Teacher – As a kid I relentlessly pestered my sisters and friends to be my students. As I grew into a teenager, I realized that teenagers can be jerks to teach. I know I was.
  • Physiotherapist – I actually took courses in my first year of university that would lead me on this career path. After almost flunking out, I switched from Science to Arts and threw this dream out the window. (FYI, if you never took pre-calculus, you should NOT take calculus. Man alive, that’s a hard course.)
  • Massage Therapist – I thought this might be a gentler version of the above. Then I thought about how many sweaty people I’d have to rub.
  • Broker’s Assistant – Working with brokers for a year will cure almost anyone of this notion.

The real problem with this list is that aside from liking whales and dolphins and telling people what to do, none of these jobs would let me make a living doing something that I absolutely love. Not knowing what that something was, I slipped into a safe progression of moderately well-paying and relatively good office jobs which nonetheless left me unfulfilled. I would come home at the end of the day mentally drained and wanting a change. But because these jobs were “safe”, I was stuck.

There’s nothing like having a baby to force your hand, however. Now that I’m on maternity leave, my spare time is not marred with work-induced brain fog and I find myself knitting, cooking and crafting more which are things I always did to console myself when lamenting my utter lack of ambition. I especially like to try and make things that you would normally just run out and buy, like soap or pop or cosmetics (despite my mother-in-law repeatedly telling me that the grocery store is just down the hill. She thinks I’ve forgotten how to get there.) Then recently, in the midst of kneading pretzel dough while stewing fruit to flavor homemade yogurt and thinking about a knitting project that I had on my needles, it hit me like a freight train full of DIY supplies: I need to find a way to keep making things because clearly, that is what I love to do. Now I know what I want to be when I grow up.

To a certain extent, I guess I always knew that but I always just saw it as a way of living, not a way to make a living. I don’t necessarily know how to make the transition from being a hobbyist to a career DIYer, but I do believe I am ready to take a shot at it.

This blogventure (see what I’m doing there?), then, will chronicle my trials and triumphs in the DIY world as I scout out the path to a potential career. Many of the inspirations and instructions I’ve had for making new things have come from bloggers like myself: moms (and dads!) who want to have a little more control over the things they use at home and I’m excited to try and give something back to this pool of fabulous women (and men! I’m not discounting you, gents). I’ve always felt like posting anything on the internet was like standing in a crowd of shouting people and bellowing to make yourself heard, but hopefully my experiments will in turn be an inspiration to someone else.

Along the way I would love to hear your voices! Tell me if I can improve upon any of my methods. Tell me if they worked for you (or not). Tell me if I spelled something wrong. Tell me your story. Make me feel like I’m not just another voice shouting into the ether.

I hope you’ll enjoy.



13 thoughts on “Do What You Love

  1. areacode604 says:

    I’m excited to follow you on your adventure to the east coast … secretly counting down the days until you return to the west!

    Scream loud and clear … I will be following you on your blogventure every step of the way =)



  2. Tracky says:

    Great start! I’m so beside my self excited for you to move home so we can DIY together!!

  3. Juniper says:

    Yay for you. I am proud and secretly jealous of your bravery. I look forward to learning a lot of new and exciting DIY stuff with you! xo

  4. tuckamoredew says:

    Considering that I am one who has been dragging his heels on moving back to Nfld for about a decade, I’m impressed by your decision. Good for you!

    Blogging IS like bellowing in crowd of strangers but you’ll find your audience.

    Also, I unsurprisingly did not follow a career path that lead to me being an astronaut. Sorry, 7 year old me.

  5. I LOVED your insight into your love of “making things”. I just retired, and am finally making what I truly love…songs. Does not matter what it is. The love of it does. So, since songs are but poems put to music, here is a poem you inspired.


    My hands and I
    are thoughts devine
    awaiting tasks for doing

    My heart and mind
    to manifest renewing

    The Maker Who
    has made me
    of Earth and light and time

    Together now
    we’re Making
    Holy Wine

    Blessings, John Paul

    • lytlejoc says:

      John Paul, I am absolutely honored and touched and sincerely awed by your comment and beautiful poem. I just listened to the song that you wrote for your daughter and I can’t tell you how lucky I think she is to have a dad who wrote such a beautiful song just for her. Your voice is lovely and you have just inspired me to pick up my guitar again, being a lover of singing myself.

      Thank you for making my day. Heck, you made my year. You have just made worthy my decision to blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


      • Jocelyn, You have made my year, too. I found you when you commented on a blog about blog etiquette. You did a simple, soft rant about all the “like, like, like”, pardon me, BS. I am a new blogger, and this superficial numbers game was getting to me, too. So I seek out those who, like you, actually CONNECTED with me. So I only have a few “followers”, but they are REAL, and we actually CONVERSE and share with one another. We hear how all these great extended ways to communicate are making it a lovely “small world”, but I think the way most do it just distances us. We gonna change that, correct? We are! I am so glad I followed my instincts and contacted you. Thank you! I will later connect you with these other real bloggers if you wish. May I tell them about you?

      • lytlejoc says:

        You can absolutely tell them about me! Share with anyone you think might enjoy and I will keep my eye on your followers’ blogs for some of that real content from real people that I so love to find. And your own blog, of course!

  6. I am trying to connect you and my few favs. But how? Without the “follow” thing. I tried that with one person, got REAMS of stuff. How would one keep up with many follows? At any rate, I honored your Making inspiration in my latest post. And you. And my fav bloggers who I think get it. I get it, just wish I could figure out how to do it! BTW, I usually dont post but once or twice a week. This is unusual, I’m just excited about making more real connections.

    • lytlejoc says:

      Hmmm… other than following, I guess you could just create a folder in your bookmark bar for blogs and save each of their home page… that way you can leisurely visit their pages once a week or so and see what’s new! That saves you the piles and piles of pages stacking up in your reader. That stresses me out a little bit… like I have school reading to catch up on or something!

      If you want to share the blogs you like, you could always copy and paste the links and pass them on that way. Maybe that will be the easiest?

      Your excitement is contagious! I’m conjuring up new posts as I type this very message. 🙂

      • Glad you understand some of my frustrations. But more so my excitement. There is a whole world of interesting folks out there. Finding the ones we resonate with most is the challenge. We can aid and encourage one another in the Quest! Onward, Upward…Bedward! (it’s 1 am here). Night. BTW, your response about my song was so kind. Yes, pick up that thar gee-tar! Heck, maybe I can give you some pointers over Skype (not kidding). Love teaching.

  7. Kim says:

    Oh you are after my own heart I tell ya! I fell like I am on a path much less desired as well….administrative work has not sparked my interest in the least, and I fear that I don’t have any other leads to follow. I still don’t know what I want to be ‘when I grow up’ and am stuck in a major rut! Maybe I should give me hand at this yogurt making! I sure am all for ways of saving some dough…but am I THAT crafty?!!? Glad I discovered this blog…I love reading every single word…it is SOOOO you.

    • lytlejoc says:

      Thank you, sweet girl! Trust me on the yogurt making, it really is easy! And you know, it could just lead you into a spiral of things that you discover you love to do! And you still have some time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. You’re still a lot younger than me. :p

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog! I makes my day to hear that!

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