Author: Catherine Pulsifer
Growing up, we lived in the country. There were not many houses in the area. My brother and I would walk to the bus stop every day. And every day we would pass by a driveway that had a sign saying, "Wanna Do's".
We often wondered what the sign meant. Once we walked down the driveway where the sign was but all we could see was more driveway and trees. We had to leave or we would miss our bus. My brother pointed out that there was no word in the English dictionary that spelled "wanna". He figured the driveway was an old logging road and that no one lived down there. I questioned him about the sign but he didn't care. He said it was probably the name of a logging company.
I was still curious. The following week every day as we passed the driveway I would look at the sign and wonder about what it meant. The following Saturday, I went out for a walk and of course came upon the sign and the driveway. Not caring what my brother thought, I ventured down the driveway. I walked for more than a half a mile. I was beginning to believe my brother was right. There was nothing around but trees. I then came upon a field full of flowers. It was was beautiful. I was so amazed. I wished my brother was with me to see this field. The driveway continued through the field, so I kept walking. Then, as I turned the corner, I was amazed to see a 2 story log home. It was not your usual log home. The front of this home was all windows. There was a large garage and a car parked in front of it.
An Amazing Place
The place was unlike any I had every seen before. I could hear music coming from the house. Without thinking, I went up to the door and knocked. I could hear footsteps coming to the door, and for a second I thought maybe I should leave. But, before I could turn, the door opened and there stood a gentleman. "Well, young lady what can I do for you?" he asked. Before I could answer, I could hear a woman's voice saying "Is that someone at the door Henry?" She then joined her husband at the door. They were both looking at me strangely, and I am sure the look on my face was one of disbelief. I stood there saying nothing, thinking of the question, what was I doing there. Then my brain started to work again and I said, "Your sign, 'Wanna Do's', what does it mean? Every day I walk to the bus stop and see your sign. I have always wondered what it means?"
Felt At Ease
They both started to laugh. I immediately felt at ease. "Come in my dear", said the woman. Who was called Elsa. We sat down in the large room of windows and Henry started to tell me his story.
"For many years Elsa and I worked. When we first started working we both loved our jobs. However, as the years went on we became disillusioned with the ways things were done. We found ourselves going further into debt and we found the area we were living in was becoming a concrete city. More and more houses being built, more and more traffic on the roads."
Elsa laughed and said, "Yes, we used to drive to work in a half an hour, but with so many people moving in the area, we soon found it was taking us over an hour just to get to work."
Henry then piped up and said, "We used to call the new homes, 'reach out and touch your neighbor', as the homes were so close to each other. You would look out your window and you would be looking into your neighbors window."
Elsa then picked up the conversation, stating, "We were both getting tired, going to jobs that no longer satisfied us. So we set a goal to pay off our bills. We both had hobbies and we both wanted to work on them. So we sold our house and moved here. We hung that sign at the end of our driveway to remind us how lucky we were to be able to do what we wanted to do. For many years we lived our
life doing what others wanted us to do." She laughed and said, "Henry used to say we are living our life doing our 'gotta to do's', and that life is to short for gotta to do's!
Thinking about their wanna do's, I then butted in, "But it is not realistic. There are certain things we need and have to do in life, we can't always do what we want to do!"
Elsa replied, "I agree. But when you look at your life, the majority of your time is spent doing things you have to do or the majority of your time is spent doing what you want to do? Some people haven't figured out what there 'wanna dos' actually are. Henry and I are lucky we know what our passions are. What our wanna dos are! To those people who don't know, I would say don't give up - keep looking. Pack all there is into your life; you only pass this way once! Sit back and think what is it you enjoy.
Take courses, read books, find your
passion, your 'wanna do's'."
Again, I butted in, "But some people would say, I don't have time, I am too busy doing my 'gotta dos'."
Henry quickly replied, "Then those people need to take a time
management course, or read a book on time management. Find a way to make time to take that course, to try that one thing you have always wanted to do. The reason people should take this course is to make time to do the things that they want to do. A time management course should not be taken to make time to do more of the same things they are currently doing!"
"Henry," Elsa said, "lets show our guest our wanna do's!"
"Good idea", said Henry.
They took me out to the garage. Henry had his tools set up and there were many wooden items he had built. He beamed as he showed them to me. They truly were works of art. Elsa then took me into the back room. In this room there were beautiful stain glass pieces all around. The sun streaming in the windows reflected off them all. I was amazed at the pieces the two of them made. "Where did you learn to do this", I asked them.
Henry replied, "Well initially it was just an interest. We read books, we went to craft fairs and bought the items. But then one day we figured why can't we do it! You know, you can do anything you decide you can do! You can do it because you believe
you can do it! So we practiced, and people started expressing interest when they saw our work. So we left the big city and we moved here. Now we don't need an alarm clock to get up. We enjoy our work so much we get up when the sun comes up. The stress in our life is non-existent. As you can see, we don't have a lot of luxuries but we have a comfortable home and we are very content here."
I Now Understood
Seeing them in their workshop, seeing their smiles, made me understand the "wanna do's" sign. Both of them enjoyed their work immensely. I thanked them for sharing their "wanna do's" with me and left with a feeling of contentment.
What Are Your Wanna Dos?
Are you doing it? If so, great!
If not, what goals have you set to move you in the direction of
your "WANNA DO'S"?
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"So if you have a dream then just believe that you can achieve it no matter what. Even when you can't feel deep in your heart any words of encouragement, just believe in your dream and your heart will finally show you the way."
"Those who continue to work at a job they hate for the money alone are more likely to be stressed, and very unhappy."
"If you have ever felt such tremendous enthusiasm and desire for something that you would gladly spend all your waking hours working on it, that you would happily do without pay, then you have found your passion."
Sharon Cook and Graciela Sholander
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