It was the last day of kindergarten for Jules—a rainy one. So rainy that the heavy peonies, some now fully bloomed, couldn't hold up their heavy heads and so we cut one to bring inside. So rainy that end-of-school celebrations planned for the beach gave way to an indoor pizza party punctuated with a basement performance of a Frozen medley that melted into a laser-beam-lit rave featuring drums, a tricycle and pole-climbing. It all felt very Spielpalast to me. Beautiful.
Beautiful because these little players were creating purely out of passion and camaraderie. Their reward was the journey. They'd collaborated and coordinated and choreographed. And then invited us down to watch as sung/drummed/pedaled/climbed their new-1st-grader (and pre-Ker) hearts out. And then waited for the claps and cheers and beams. The affirmations that they'd done good.
I think a lot about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation—at work and at home. What drives us to actually DO what we want to do and should do for ourselves. Do I run because it makes me feel good, or because my doctor told me to do it? (Feels good.) Do I give 100% to a work project because doing my best makes me feel good—or because I want kudos from my boss? Definitely the former. This struck me when I was finishing my (job) self-appraisal today. Yes, I care about the sort of review I get back. But I care more that I've created, and learned, a ton this year. I feel good about it. And I feel good about feeling good about it.
So I'll run and I'll work and I'll write not for reward or lack of punishment but because these things make me whole. But if someone wants to reward me for unpacking the dozens of boxes still sitting in the guest room closets from last year's move or for planting the onions that have been hanging out in my kitchen so long they've sprouted antlers, I'll take it. Or leave these tasks for another day. Again.