It is likely the title of this post makes you think of a romantic or familial love you may have experienced. It could be your present partner, the one who got away, or even your first serious crush on someone. It could be your family or a favorite Aunt or Uncle. Your relationship with a grandparent might have been a vital part of becoming who you are. Heavens, maybe a pet qualifies.
While that might make an exciting and emotional topic to explore, I am going in a different direction this time. I want to talk about the love of your life that was not romantic or how you felt (or feel) about another person.
Instead, I want us to think about the love of our life in a broader context. Maybe it was based on a career choice, a job you once held, or a time at a volunteer organization that really ignited your passions.
Maybe it is whenever you can curl up with a good book and lose yourself in a magnificent story. Some folks I know can’t get enough of traveling, whether in an RV, a cruise ship, or spending a few months on the back roads of a foreign country.
For my grandkids and their parents, it would be anything Disney. If they have a free three days, you will likely find them queuing up for Pirates of the Caribbean or ordering something tasty at Cafe Orleans. These trips are the love of their life, at least for now. The seven-hour drive each way doesn’t faze them.
This setup allows me to pick a love of my life with a different definition. Since Betty and I recently celebrated our 46th anniversary, that part is prominent. But, what else would I feel comfortable calling one of the “loves of my life?”
I pick my career in radio. Of course, for younger generations, radio is about as relevant as VHS tapes. Music comes from the Internet. The idea of commercials inserted between songs along with someone talking is silly. Who would listen to that? Not picking what you want to hear but being forced to listen to what someone else selects…impossible!
Disk jockeys don’t exist much anymore, but the term DJ does. The young men and women who play dance music in front of a wildly enthusiastic mob of gyrating young people are stars in their own right.
What captivated me at the age of 12 and didn’t let go for forty years has passed from the scene, but not from my memories. There are a few clips of me on the radio fifty years ago floating around the Internet. I admit that, on occasion, I will jump in the wayback machine to hear my 21-year-old self. Those few minutes instantly transport me back inside that radio studio in that city. I remember the sounds, the feel, the lighting, the sense of control, how the walls looked… everything.
I can recall the lunches a group of us announcers had every day at a nearby cafe. The rush of introducing Rod Stewart, The Moody Blues, and Aerosmith in front of several thousand screaming fans at a concert is still quite visceral. Being asked for my autograph was a very lovely ego boost.
My love of radio continued for another thirty years. Most of this period was not spent on the air but behind the scenes acting as a consultant and market researcher to radio stations that paid me well for my advice. I may not have been “playing the hits,” but helping others decide what their listeners would hear.
Without this turning into a biography, suffice it to say, the part of my life spent on and in radio was memorable, stimulating, and rewarding. Of course, there were plenty of problems and mistakes along the way, but never enough to prompt me to consider another way to support me, my family, and eventually my retirement.
How I earned my living was a forty-year love affair.
What moment, decision, career path, or creative choice would you label one of the loves of your life? Anything that you remember fondly, or are still doing whenever you can, qualifies. If people can collect toilet seats, barbed wire, or washing machines, the “love of your life” can cover a lot of territory!