The Saturday Creative is all about featuring busy professionals who honor their creative impulses and passions outside of their more conventional careers. This week's contribution comes from Meredith Hudes-Lowder, a top-rated nurse practitioner (she'll earn her doctorate in 2016) practicing in Manhattan. Each year, Meredith honors her love of nature, fresh air and horses by making an annual trip with her family to the vast, open and completely stunning prairies of Wyoming. It's out there that she spends entire days not checking the time and taking pictures of the wild horses that roam the land. Meredith has been taking photos of horses with her family for years and years -- and regardless of how busy works gets -- she has no intention of ending the tradition anytime soon.
Meredith also makes time for another love of hers, playing a 34 string Celtic floor harp (where did that come from?) Summarizing Meredith's words:
These are the things I love, they are all mine. I love them because I just do. They make me better at my job because I have more energy and balance, and they make me a better friend and family member, but that's not why I do them. There's no secondary goal, no pressure to churn them into something others appreciate just as much. And I love that, keeping it pure. It's funny though, because over the years people have developed such an interest anyway, I think people want to be around passionate people. People have said, why don't you do this full time, quit your job, etc. I don't need to do that, I have health insurance through my job and a steady paycheck. I can still have the lifestyle I want with my job. I value and love my 'real' job so very much.
So how does someone who sees 50 patients a day and is earning her doctorate find time to do all this stuff? Meredith says that she allows her goals to unfold at a natural pace. When you're already doing what you love in so many other ways, there's not an urgency to expedite your professional goals because you already have a life that fulfills you, so there's not that living in the future, like, 'when I get my doctorate, then I'll be happy.'
Instead, Meredith's strategy is to find happiness now, find fulfillment now, and from that place continue on to make professional decisions that reflect the lifestyle she wants to maintain and continue building upon. Since it takes time to explore and discover what really fills you up, that might mean you're a little older when you reach your professional milestones. When you take your time in deciding what the right balance is for you, the extra time is worth it because you're so much more at peace. Meredith doesn't mind at all that she's still in school, in fact she enjoys it more.
Putting your professional goals after your personal goals doesn't automatically mean that your career sufferers, not at all. Sometimes, as it has for Meredith, it means your career thrives, taking turns you didn't expect from the extra energy that is the natural reward of honoring your creative spirit.
Thanks so much to Meredith for sharing her wisdom and beautiful photography, what a complete inspiration!!
If you'd like to contribute to The Saturday Creative, I'd love to hear from you! Connect with me here.