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Bill Watterson: To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy…and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble


Bill Watterson is an artist and creator of the greatest comic strip of all time, Calvin and Hobbes. I have seen his comic strips in the newspaper now and again but do not quite get it then. I have always thought though that his comics are quite cute and witty but never really took the time to read more of his comics only because I don’t like reading newspapers. In my time, they are big and bulky papers so I really didn’t bother!

I came across this comic strip in one of my newsletter subscriptions and was quite impressed by the message behind this and thought I share it with you today.

This is not quite the story of my life. But it is quite similar.

This will apply to some people but not most of you – I don’t think. Correct me if I’m wrong though. This comic does not only apply to those arty farty people out there like me-self. But I believe it applies to other jobs out there as well.

Not many people will take the road less traveled. I personally think it takes guts and lots of humility – especially in this demanding world we live in and there are just so many expectations to live up to. People expect the best from us; our parents, family, friends, people that we look up to and not want to disappoint.

But what if our best and being our best self is not having a job and salary that most people define is the sole measure of our worth?

What if your vocation or calling is to look after your family and this is what you do best?

I am aware of those who cannot stay home because they need to survive in this world and to pay bills, food, rent etc. or want the extra comfort to travel and have nice things. But just saying to those who can afford to do so.

In my case, I love my family and I love being there looking after my family and running a household. When I was growing up, I never really have my parents at home to greet me when I came back from school or made me lunch or take me to my school activities. My parents had to work and had lots of responsibilities back then and we were always left with our sitter. And if I could give the “gift of myself” now to my children, I certainly would.

But I also love what I do and would never in my wildest dream quit what I’m doing – designing. Because this is who I am and deep down this is who God made me to be. To be a wife, mother and living the creative dream. A designer mum. Haha. All jokes aside, my priority now is my family and my career will be second down the road. Hence I am freelancing two days a week and the rest to spend time with my son. And I get the best of both worlds. In my view, I would have all the time in the world to focus on my career later on especially when my kids are grown and have gone to school. But at the same time, I am still keeping in touch with skills and constantly upgrading them.

I always thought I will be a career woman chasing the dream, but life changes so plans will have to change accordingly. When I had my son, it has changed my perspective on life. Life is so precious, unpredictable but at the same time surprisingly beautiful.

I am happy that I have decided to be what I am today. It took guts for me to do what I do and to defy all that is conventional because I come from a family whose parents are both running their own businesses and had lots of expectations of me to be a career woman and to be successful. But at the same time I am blessed that my family do not judge me and accepts me for who I am. And I’ve never been happier.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy…and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble. – Bill Watterson

So my question for you today is: Would you take the first step and dare to be different?

Zen pencils comic 1

Zen pencils comic 2

Zen pencils comic 3


To view the rest of the comic strip (originated from Zen Pencils) click here.

2 thoughts on “Bill Watterson: To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy…and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble”

  1. “… of me to be a career woman and to be successful.”

    You are successful – you are helping to raise the next generation! Enjoy your son, while you can – they grow up WAY too fast!!

    i left my career when my daughter was born 27 years ago, I thought, “I’ll stay home with her until she starts school, and then I’ll go back to work.” I then was blessed with a second daughter two years later – and a son ten years after that. He will graduate from high school in 3 years – and at that time, I will have been a stay-at-home mom for 30 years. Over the years I have, for several moments at a time, second guessed myself. However, it’s been the best 30 years of my life and I wouldn’t change a minute of it!

    1. Hi Audrey

      Sorry for the slack reply. I’m almost due with my 2nd son on the way and I have been caught up with everyday life. Yes, I totally understand when you say that you second guessed yourself. At the end of the day we have to do what is right for us. A happy mum makes a happy home and a happy life for our kids. It takes a lot of guts and strength to do what we do. And being a stay-at-home mum is one of the hardest jobs in the world but a most fulfilling one. For me, I have all the time in the world to build my career. And staying home with my son (though I do work part time from home) is the best decision I’ve ever made as you only have that short period of time with them and soon they will leave home and lead their own lives. Thanks for sharing!

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