Hi friends. Welcome to this week’s edition of Soul Food.

It’s common to think of life in a linear fashion. First, we have one thing, then another, then another. Most of us like this sort of logical sequencing. 

Another view of life is to see it in a more circular manner. We all go through various cycles – beginnings, endings, and in-between times being one example that we talked about recently. 

Yet another way to view your life, and especially your vocation, is to see it as a series of parallel tracks or parallel careers. Through this view we see that most of us have a number of things happening simultaneously – in other words, activities that are all occurring at the same time. 

I believe it is wise to open up or develop various interests other than our main job or work. It could be a part-time job or some hobbies. Another more recent term is a ‘side hustle’. By doing this, we spread our investment of time and energy into a variety or montage of interests and activities. Then, who knows where each of them may lead in the long term but your options definitely multiply. 

Let me tell you about my dad. He was a church minister for many years. At the age of 67, he finished up in a senior minister role at a large church. After this time, his life continued to be active and he had some of his most enjoyable and rewarding contributions from then until the age of 92 when he passed away. How did this happen?

Interestingly, my dad had developed a number of ‘parallel careers’ leading up to this time – without ever giving them that label.

  1. He was an author who had written a number of books. 
  2. He had started an informal fellowship of ministers.
  3. He did some occasional travel to speak at various churches and conferences both in Australia and overseas.
  4. He was also lecturing occasionally in a nearby training college. 

When he ‘retired’ from his role as church minister at age 67, he simply ‘re-fired’ and gave his full energies to writing more books, leading his fellowship of ministers, travelling, and lecturing on college. 

My dad had wisely developed other interests and activities outside of his main job so that when that finished he had multiple options to consider for him to engage in for his next season.

So what about you? 

  • What are your interests outside of your current work?
  • What hobbies do you have? They may never pay you money but they can be an outlet for your passion and your joy. 
  • If you consider all of your contributions as a montage, what adjustments would you like to make? Are there some activities you would like to do less of? More of?
  • Is there a ‘side hustle’ waiting for you to start?

Let’s summarise our main points:

  1. Life can be viewed in a linear or cyclic manner, or as a series of parallel tracks or careers. 
  2. Don’t let any one role define you fully. You are much more than your job. 
  3. Consider your life as a montage of interests and contributions. 
  4. Every now and then it is wise to review our portfolio of activities and make adjustments to ensure we are living in alignment with what we truly value and what has meaning for us now.

Have a chat about this with your family and friends. After all, we have only one life to live. Choose to invest your time and energy into what really matters for you.

That’s all for today. See you next week. 

You can watch a video of this episode on the Soul Food YouTube channel.

See also my BLOG post on “Is Our View of Retirement Still Working?

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