We love what we do.
A few years back I was making a lot of trips home to Colorado to work on a very emotional and important project on the Piñon Canyon Expansion Opposition. I would work from dawn til dark photographing landowners all across southeastern Colorado and hearing their stories. It was a wonderful experience and it is a project I was and still am very proud to be a part of but I put everything into it and was exhausted. I decided when I returned, I needed a break.
So I started thinking of what I should do for this break... When I was in my youngest years of childhood, my siblings and I used to run around the ranch building forts, making mudpies and playing with Hot Wheels and Tonka trucks. We would find a good patch of dirt and make roads for the cars and trucks to speed around, even driveways to pull up and park. We lost ourselves in hours of play.
Now years after my last mudpie, I decided I needed to do a bit of playing. After a short hunt I found some old toy trucks that I thought would be just the right combination of fun and "work". I cruised the seventeen miles of gravel roads between town and the ranch to shoot some fun, no pressure photos.
One day my cousin, a cowboy a few years older than myself, came across me laying down in the dirt moving a semi truck back and forth trying to find the perfect place for it. He yelled from his pickup asking what in the world was I doing and I responded with a jovial "I'm working!". He chuckled and shook his head but turned his pickup off and strode over. He didn't stay long (ranch work allows for less playing) but he did look over the trucks and even move a couple around, I'm sure remembering his own childhood days in the sun and dirt.
Today can be one of those days we need reminding why we choose the careers we do. Somedays these creative endeavors actually do feel like work but most days all we're doing is playing or listening to stories or creating an image that has been floating in our heads. I can't imagine trading it in even if it would make April 15th easier to take. I still have some more trucks for the days I need reminding.