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P Is For Passion...Click Click Click

By Linda Bartosik

Click. Click. Click. There's no place like home. Follow your passion. Find your passion. It's the pathway to happiness, so goes the recent hype. I jerk my head up and think, I better hurry up and get out there and search for mine.

I thought when I retired from teaching what a wonderful opportunity to get another chance to "be whatever I want to be when I grow up."

At 47 years old I began to look forward to retiring from a thirty-five year teaching career at the age of fifty-five. We bought our Cape house and I envisioned myself moving there and becoming a writer. I didn't even know what I wanted to write yet, but I could see myself sitting in my house at the edge of the marsh, writing.

That day finally arrived four years ago.

I spent my first year of retirement doing my house over because I needed a "writing room". Then I needed a new computer. One year went by and I still hadn't written a word.

I decided I needed to "make" myself write, so started my blog Another Day Goes By and pledged to my Facebook friends I'd post every day. It worked. To date I've written seven picture books and, through a twist of fate, found my way into illustrating and illustrated a picture book for another author.

I currently serve on the board of the Cape Cod Writers Center, an organization responsible for me figuring out that path from teacher to writer.

This road was not a clear cut path. I learned to develop the courage a writer needs to put your heart out there in print. The courage grew bigger than I had planned.

What if writing wasn't my passion? What if my passion was business?

I signed with a multi-level marketing company and decided I'd make my fortune in the energy industry. I quickly found out selling anyone anything - even if it didn't cost a cent - was not in my wheelhouse. Even my husband told me I didn't have the chemical makeup to do that job.

Next, I received an email from a lady in Boston who wanted to hold children's writing classes during school vacations and needed a teacher. This was more like it. I set up a website, wrote the curriculum, and packed a huge bag with a traveling classroom.

I taught the classes all last year and into the summer. It was a huge success and it felt SO good to be back in a classroom again. The only problem was that I had to live in Boston for the whole week to teach the class. I tried to get my own classes started here on the Cape but quickly became overwhelmed with the marketing aspect of making it work.

East Sandwich Beach, by Linda Bartosik

At the end of four years I found out I was neither a writer nor a businesswoman. I could do both things, but a certain fire within was lacking, and everything I tried ended up being a dead end.

A year ago I joined Koko Fit Club, a digital gym, and suddenly I knew, when the time was right, THIS was where I wanted to work. I wanted to be a fitness coach and teach people how to take care of their aging bodies and change their lives.

No more worrying about money, marketing, publishing, readership numbers, traveling, running a website, and the many other aspects involved in publishing a book and/or running a business.

Teaching. This is my passion. This is the thing that ignites the fire within.

My gift is taking a mountain and breaking it down into manageable grains of sand so people can do more than they ever thought they could. There is no greater reward for me than seeing someone succeed and move forward in their life.

Thirty-five years in a classroom and I never worked a day in my life. Four years trying to be a writer and start businesses and it was totally work - each and every day. I was treading water, trying not to drown.

Today I travel five days a week to all five Koko Fit Clubs on Cape Cod, but I don't work. I teach. I'm no longer drowning - I'm swimming laps. Clean, easy, precise laps.

By zeroing in on what I was made to do, my passions have realigned and prioritized themselves. Anything to do with business has gone by the wayside and my writing and art has taken its rightful place - on my mornings off and lovely lazy Sundays spent tapping away on my iPad.

My passion - it was there, inside me all along. There never was a need to find it or chase it.

Click click click. There's no place like home.

Images published courtesy of Linda Bartosik

Linda Bartosik taught fourth grade and kindergarten for thirty-five years in upstate NY. Linda has always had a passion for writing and taught the craft to her students using children's literature.

Currently Linda lives on Cape Cod and now it is her turn to write. To date, Linda has written seven picture books still in the submission phase, and illustrated a picture book for another author that is available on Amazon.

She also writes a daily blog, Another Day Goes By , whose purpose is to not let another day go by without writing.

Linda sits on the board of directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center , serving as second vice-president. She is a member of SCBWI and is a fit coach for Koko Fit Clubs of Cape Cod .

Linda has two adult daughters and lives with her husband, marsh-side on East Sandwich Beach. Daily beach walks and mediation keep her grounded and inspired.