I think no matter how much you love what you do for a living, at the end of the day it's still work, even if you enjoy it. There are plenty of days I'm so stressed by everything I have to do that I don't know if I'll make it. But I do.

If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Or at least, that’s what they say. But what do they know anyway?

I am blessed to have a job that I love. I get to do the coolest things like go to concerts, check out new restaurants, and help judge cook-offs. Somehow all of that counts as “work.” (I’m still trying to figure out how I got so lucky.)

I feel extraordinarily blessed to have a career that offers me the chance to hang out with elected officials, music stars, and local legends on a regular basis. I get to spend entire workdays touring plantation homes, getting to know big-name celebrities, and hanging out on movie sets. Not everyone is so fortunate.

But at the end of the day, it’s still a job.

I take issue with the people who hesitate to call some of the things I do “work.” While it is super fun to attend a concert for free, there is still work to do. There are pictures to take, interviews to conduct, a story to write, and so on. And even when it’s fun, it can be tiring. Those early mornings turn into late nights, and I often sacrifice my weekends to cover events.

I think no matter how much you love what you do for a living, at the end of the day it’s still work, even if you enjoy it. There are plenty of days I’m so stressed by everything I have to do that I don’t know if I’ll make it. But I do.

I guess my point is that every job comes with some level of stress and plenty of things you’d rather not do. But it is what you make it. I don’t necessarily want to attend every government meeting in the parish. I’ll admit, sometimes I even dread it. But it never fails that when I get there and see the people, whom I would call friends, that work for the parish or the city, that all fades away.

I find a way to enjoy everything I do at work, though undeniably, I enjoy some things more than others. But even at the less-fun meetings and events, there’s always a silver lining. Hours of meetings are punctuated by jokes with council members, and press conferences sometimes come with snacks. Sometimes, it’s the little things.

I’m also blessed, and sometimes cursed, that I work in a field that is closely watched and even criticized by the public. Not everyone gets to hear feedback on the work that they do. But lately, hearing the stories from the people I cover makes all the stress worth it.

It truly makes my day to receive a phone call from someone I did a feature on saying that they loved the article, that they got tons of phone calls about it, or that their families picked up extra copies of that week’s paper. Emails from colleagues saying they enjoyed one story of mine or another are the highlight of my week.

I think people can spend so much time harping on the aspects of their lives or jobs that they don’t like, that they lose sight of what they enjoy. I could spend my whole week whining about a late night at a boring meeting, or I could celebrate that the next day I get to do something fun. I think it all comes down to what we focus on the most. I choose to focus on the positive.

There’s no doubt that the work I do can be tiresome and thankless at times, as can any profession. But instead of letting the busy days get the best of me, I like to spend my time enjoying the good that comes with it. I think the weeks go by smoother that way.

I would challenge my friends to do the same. It’s easy to get caught up in the bad. Let’s face it, not many people cartwheel through the door to work every morning. So this week, sit back and think about the good that your job has to offer. Whether it’s coffee breaks with your coworkers, a client who always makes you smile, or just the fact that you have a job to be stressed about, find the silver lining in your position. You’d be surprised how much a little bit of joy can brighten your whole day.

It’s more work than play sometimes, but at the end of the day, it’s always a labor of love.

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