Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12th, Slice of Life--"My Vocation Has Become My Avocation"

"My object in living is to unite 

My avocation and my vocation"

-Robert Frost

This is one of my very favorite lines of poetry by one of my favorite poets. I came across this line in college while studying education, and I remember being taken aback by the meaning of these words. I pondered their meaning often.

Merriam-Webster defines the word avocation as "an activity that you do regularly for enjoyment rather than as a job." An avocation is something you love to do; something you'd do for free everyday if you could. 

The word vocation, on the other hand, is defined as "the work that a person does or should be doing." This is what most people would call their job; it's what we do to make the money we need to support ourselves and our families. 

Frost was saying in this line that he wanted to unite his avocation and his vocation; in other words, he wanted his job to be something he loved enough that he'd do it for free willingly. While I was in college, I tried to let this idea guide my choices. While some of my friends went into professions they knew would bring them lots of money, I tried to find something I'd love to do everyday for the rest of my life.

I chose well.

Education has truly united my avocation and my vocation into one. I was reminded of this during my hospital stay this week. While some might have seen a sickness as deserved time off or a vacation from a job they hate, I could not stop thinking of my classroom. I was missing my avocation. I wanted to do what I love to do, to see my kids, to teach.

And tomorrow I get to go back!

Teachers really do have the best jobs. I couldn't be luckier.


  1. You are right, it is a wonderful position to be in when you love what you do!

  2. I love this, and I hope you are feeling better!

  3. One letter makes the difference between doing what you love and doing what has to be done. Enjoy your first day back!

  4. One letter makes the difference between doing what you love and doing what has to be done. Enjoy your first day back!

  5. I needed this quote today. I too, love teaching but feel like our ability to teach well is being sidetracked by testing and standards that don't say much about my kids as readers and writers. I'm headed back to school for library science in the hope that I can take a different route to grow and influence readers...without having to compromise my beliefs. Thank you for the post!

  6. Such a great quote! Thank you for sharing!! Glad you are back!!

  7. I loved the quote you began your post with today. Thank you for sharing the important difference between two very similar words. Glad you are back!!!