Many years ago, I had one of those memorable dream assignments. I was doing a story for the National Geographic Traveler on Manor Homes in Ireland – places where tourists could stay. They ranged from small, historic homes to grand estates. My husband and daughter came along, because this was one of those opportunities I wanted to share with them.
One of the homes we stayed in was actually a large farm owned by the Allen family. It was a delightful family and everyone was involved with the operation of the farm, the restaurant and inn, and the food – the glorious food. When I arranged the dates to photograph this property, the inn was full, so they graciously put us up in their private quarters. That ended up being a blessing in many ways.
One morning, Mr. Allen, the patriarch of the family told his son Rory that he was going to the village to get a flat tire fixed. When he returned, Rory asked his father how much they had charged him. His father replied “they did it for the pleasure of it.” There’s not a day that I don’t think about that remark.
I have never thought of my work as “work” at all. The line between work and pleasure has never been present in my life – at times it has been a blurred line at most. Sometimes because I didn’t make this distinction, I found it difficult to stop “working” at the end of the day. My husband, who is also my partner, would occasionally tell me “enough” – but for me there were days it was never enough. I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing.
For starters, I got to share it with my family and friends. I watched films, went to symposiums and workshops and networked with all sorts of people at parties and events. It was my reward for all the blood, sweat, tears, hours, days and months that I have invested in this project.
As I met and talked with other filmmakers last week, I was reminded of why I was here, with a film at a film festival. I’ve been doing my work “for the pleasure of it.” It’s what I love to do.