We get that question from the time we’re able to talk, don’t we? And the answers seem so simple then, a fireman, a doctor, a teacher….I love my son’s answer, an inventor. And hey, sometimes it does come to pass, doesn’t it? And sometimes you hear someone say, “I love my job!” And I always look at them and think, what a wonderful thing and wonder what that feels like. I know that many of us, myself included, still haven’t found that job that we love. Some never do. And is that okay? I mean, I have certainly found several passions in my life, just not a job connected to those passions….yet. Haven’t counted myself out of that equation quite yet. Probably because of something that my favorite high school teacher once told me….that the average person changes careers/jobs at least 7 times in their lifetime. That always stuck with me which is just to say that this is nothing new. It’s kind of an ongoing thing for me, off and on. At one point I thought okay, I have to go after the money because, right, I’m just not a serious person if I don’t. So for a few years I doggedly pursued some careers that I thought might bring me money. Egad, I was miserable! Which is not to say pursuing money is a bad thing….if it’s your thing. The key was that I realized it just wasn’t MY thing. I got to thinking about people I admired, people I considered successful and my father-in-law came to mind. I remember being so knocked out at his memorial service. Here was a man who didn’t own a big house, who was working class his whole life, was not famous or rich…..but there were so many people at the service, it was overflowing. And this was a huge, catholic cathedral! People from the community spoke, people he helped, organizations he was a part of and his family…wow. Not just tears, but big tears, big emotions, heartfelt tributes and music. And I thought, “what a rich man.” Rich in all the ways that matter. What a legacy! And in the end, that is what defined him. As a teenager, I would say that one of my biggest goals, without realizing that it was a “goal”….so let’s say a dream…was to have a solid, functional, loving, fun marriage and family life. As I said, I don’t think I realized it was a goal so it’s not something I particularly sought out. But as I look back on my life decisions, I see that at every fork in the road, I chose love, I chose truth, I chose family. And well, right now, I’m really proud of that. I feel rich. I feel successful. And yes, I know I’m lucky too…and there are probably those who look at me and wonder what that feels like. But for all of us, each day is full of possibility. And it’s okay that we don’t have it all right now or even that we may never get it “all”. But we can still pursue our passions simply because they bring us joy. If a job comes with that, hey, jackpot. But if not, then there is dignity in having a job, whether that job is raising or teaching the next generation, fighting a fire, preparing someone’s taxes, stacking books, pouring coffee. There is dignity there.
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