What am I going to be when I grow up?

When I was young and had all the time in the world, I so wish I had learned some things.  I should have learned to play the guitar and how to knit and probably 100 other useful things.

The fact is, I am now 51 years old and over the course of this life, I have found some hobbies and often thought oh man, I wish I had learned to…….. (I bet we can all fill in the blank with 10 different things)

Time is probably running short.  No one knows how long of a life we will have nor if those years will be healthy ones.  We can only hope to be productive for a whole life and be able to look back at a life well lived when it is all over!

Occasionally, I look back at what I have done for profession and wonder what if……..

When I discovered group exercise, I LOVED it.  I went to as many different classes as I could to see what was out there and combining that with learning to really eat healthily, I thought… hmmm if I had majored in exercise physiology and nutrition, what a cool career I could have had…..  that was my late 20s and early thirties.  I took so many Step classes that I developed heel spurs and subsequently could barely walk downstairs.  That taught me there is too much of a good thing.  Moderation…… 

Every job I ever had lasted 7 years.  There is perhaps something astrologically important about that number to me!  I started out at the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe because it was close enough to walk to and seemed like a good place to learn how to WORK.  I stayed there from the time I was 16 till the last semester of college.  I learned a lot about serving people, the importance of time management, how to make a killer milkshake and so much more.  That job showed me that I am a real go getter and my superiors admired my work ethic and were happy to show me more and more responsibility which I DUG.  I credit that job and my first boss, Andy Amygdalos, with really opening my eyes to a lot of things including Greek culture and some language.   That job taught me a very important PRACTICAL thing too.  I know how to count change. I never thought that was amazing or anything but today’s workers really seem to struggle with the whole concept.  God forbid you deal in actual Federal Reserve Notes and give someone a piece or more of change.  Blink blink go the eyes and considerable looks of consternation accompany that action.   In the old days, we did not have a cash register that told us how much change to return to a customer.  We had a total and that was it.  Andy kept an eye on the register and made sure we didn’t make mistakes and corrected them as soon as they happened.  He watched over me personally too and became a real mentor to me.  I have thought of him hundreds of times over the years.  He was a good man! I am GRATEFUL my first real work experience was a good one.

After college I took a job that again I stayed at for 7 really unhappy years.  If I could go back and do that over, I would have stayed maybe two years and then moved on to something more creative, challenging and DIFFERENT.  Financial services is a place where a young entry level person becomes a prisoner at a desk with a phone and computer, perhaps an IBM Select typewriter.   I can sum up that job by saying WEARING mandatory PANTYHOSE was horrible.  The people for the most part were great but I wasted some really good youthful years in a job that would never have taken me places.  I look back at that and want to kick myself in the behind.  ☹ I had nightmares about that job for at least 10 years after I left where I was working there again and avidly wondering in the dream WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LIFE????  To their credit, I could be in the minority as so many people I worked with decades ago are STILL there and have literally made a career of it.  God Bless them for their stamina on that one!!!  I do still maintain my investments there but have a hard time even walking into THE OFFICE.  Doing that brings one of those dreams IMMEDIATELY back that very night.  ☹  Perhaps I should go to counseling about those unresolved unhappy feelings!!! 

When I see kids (high school to recent college grads) bounce around from job to job within a few months, I wonder if that is the right idea or was I better off, proving I can be counted upon for many years.  The things that mattered to employers way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth (my younger days) may not be the same thing.  Technology, the internet, online education and so many other new inventions have changed the way we work.  I didn’t get to work from home until I became an agent for Motivational Speakers, my job after leaving Mother Merrill.  Nowadays, it seems like many young people have that unbelievable good fortune to work from home- no pantyhose, no boss checking in to your cubicle.  I hope at least these kids have to work for a year or two in a real brick and mortar office under intense supervision so they can really appreciate the flexibility and freedom of working from home.  It is truly one of the BEST things ever and I appreciate every day I can be home and do a few things to try to make some income!

Anyway, so these days I am trying to make this farm of mine a business, while still trying to do some marketing for these speakers, yet have my eye firmly on the idea of being a personal “for hire” chef.  I could be completely bananas for thinking all this will actually happen.  Believe me, as I start 1000 seeds or so for the farm “crops” this year and make my calendar for direct sow planting and putting those growing plants into the ground, I am exhausted and it is only EARLY spring!!! 

On my mind this week is formulating a plan on how to get a root cellar built into the ground underneath our dome home and wondering if my chickens need a playground to keep them mentally stimulated.  I saw some discarded playground equipment that a neighbor a few miles away is tossing out.  Should I pull over and grab those??? 

I just finished boiling sap into syrup, I need to clear the herb garden, we repaired fencing to keep the farm secure but there is still a ton of debris along those fence lines that needs cleared and burned, and oh.. did I pull a chicken from the freezer to begin thawing for Sunday?  It takes two days so we must plan ahead for the meals. 

So, that is what I am doing for the most part in what I imagine are the final decades of thinking What Will I Be When I Grow up?  Am I grown up yet?  I still really want to be a Rockstar and every time we go out to karaoke I think it could have been… maybe…. ya never know….   There is no age limit to auditioning for the Voice, maybe I should give it a try!!! 

Perhaps we should always continue to dream and thank WHAT IF…..  perhaps that longing for something more fulfilling keeps us young and perhaps will lead us to the perfect profession!  Have fun growing up.  Keep moving and learning and if you can make a few bucks by doing things you enjoy, DO IT!