Right now, right this minute, I am slow sauteing a skillet of winter onions and home-grown potatoes before I go to work. The past three days have been brutal (physically), so I’m savoring the quietness of this morning. We have two jobs to wrap up. First stop, strip concrete forms and settle up. Second stop, install a piece of flashing and load up scaffolding. There is rain in the forecast, so it might end up being a short day. I dug the onions this morning so they are crispy fresh. When I have the time to make breakfast like this, it almost feels like a sacred ritual.
I just finished reading Bill’s reflection of that crazy time in his life where he was on the road a lot for his job, while his wife was home raising the kids. He talked about eating breakfast alone at the airport, waiting to catch a flight. His words took me right back to that season in my life where I was also running like a crazy man, trying to stuff too much into my life. I was well-meaning, and trying to figure out the balance between working enough to pay the bills, be a good husband, father and stay active in our local church. Ended up doing nothing well. Someone compared my life to a gushing fire hydrant hose…lots of output and very little to show for it.
Pat and Sue stop a couple of weeks ago to talk about me building them a harvest table. As we were visited about our lives and time commitments, Pat said, “There is always a trade off. If I add something new into my life, something has to give.”
Contrary to what a young man told my son recently ( just before he fired him), it is NOT ” all about the money.” I heard that arrogant comment and my first thought was, someone needs to tap him on the nose with a 2 by 4. (That’s how you get the attention of a mean boar that’s trying to take you/ just a little love tap will do) ;-)
(side note..son and wife just had their first baby, and this 30 something, business owner was angry his masonry crew refused to work in the rain while he sat in his office “administrating.” My son was told he better come up with a “really good story as to why he shouldn’t be let go along with the foreman.” Son refused to grovel and got canned.)
I was visiting with my friend Jim last Saturday about work. Jim used to be a shift foreman @ a local factory. I’d just commented on how much Chris and Jason love working with me (most days) and how there can be such diverse working environments. Moral flows from the top down. If you’re working for a clown like my son used to work for, the days can be long and suck the life right out of you. Jim told me, he had set up a volley ball net behind the shop so that the guys could play if they wanted to at break time. Picture a bunch of red neck welders and laborers who never play volleyball playing volleyball. Made me smile. “So what if the break time would occasionally go 5 minutes over. Those guys would bust their chops, if something broke or needed to get done on short notice.”
My thoughts go out to the young men in the work a day world right now that are trying to make ends meet. You have a significant other in tow, and you may or may not have some little bambino’s that look up to you as well.
If your current job is sucking the life out of you, it may be time to pick a different job. Yea, you may have to sell your house, or God forbid, rent or downsize to a handy man special or live in some small town with a population under 750. Ask your wife if she’d rather have you more involved and not all the material trappings, or keep on doing what you’re doing. I’d be very surprised if she tells you the later.
It really is not all about the money.
You’ll have to excuse me now, I think my breakfast is about done.
Family photo from 1988, when I really didn’t have a clue.