Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One of Life's Big Secrets

Every now and then it's a good idea to stop to count your blessings. At least for me, it's easy to get caught up in the minor irritations that are part and parcel of daily living. Frustration builds and the next thing you know, I'm whining about how much life sucks.

My cholesterol level is up, my activity level is down, and on some level I really don't care. I am losing my hair--or worse, picking it up in unexpected and awkward places. I am gaining a midsection, seeing less, and peeing more often. It's rare that I get what you'd call a good night of sleep. But aside from these minor irritations, and maybe a few character flaws and such that are a bit more serious but still trivial in the overall scheme of things, it ain't bad being me.

I think perhaps a thread of serendipity runs through many life stories. Certainly in my case there were many moments when I was at the right place at the right time. When I look back at those pivotal moments now, they are not random, unrelated incidents. They go together to form the chain of events that brought me to where I am today. In retrospect, it looks so planned. I swear there was never a plan...ever. Who knew?

After more than 23 years, my work still excites me. The job description is the same, but the focus changes, new priorities emerge, and new issues appear. It's not hard to love your job when you create and direct your own work. There are institutional guidelines and parameters, of course. But beyond that I have a tremendous amount of latitude to do my job the way I want.

Because my dad was a workaholic (or so I believed--but that's another story), I swore from a very early age that I would never be all about work. I'm blessed that I am able to maintain a healthy balance between work and a life outside of work. Lots of people work overlong hours at jobs they hate. Been there, done that, and very glad that's not the case today.

The big secret is that most people never even try. For whatever reason, a lot of the people you will encounter are barely competent, if that. They go through all the motions. Sometimes it even looks like they're doing something, but at the end of the day they have nothing to show for their effort. Some can't help it. Others don't know any better. With some, it's a form of art. Do what you are supposed to do and you really stand out.

At a time when lots of people can't find work, having any kind of a job is a blessing. Having a rewarding and satisfying job you love, well...frankly to me it's downright miraculous. I never saw it coming. It's why I really have no excuse for remaining...

The Crotchety Old Man

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