Neither crisis nor revelation, more like meditations….
“Before one considers whether the glass is half empty or half full, you should ask yourself ‘Do I want to even drink the beverage?’” – Me
I have been giving much thought,lately, to the definitions of success as I enter (what I hope to be) my middle years. My company has been recently sold to an offshore company and I am starting to see the usual panic that naturally occurs when this happens. I will not publicly comment on any aspect of the decision. I only bring it up because I was asked “What are your career goals?” Not an easy question for me to answer because I don’t think in terms of career. I have always looked at earning a living as the thing that provides the necessities and items that may add some enjoyment in life but not anything that I personally live for. My response, wise or unwise as it may be, is that I do not have career goals but life goals.
Fortunately, my lifestyle is rather simple. I do not watch much tv and I do not have any credit cards. If I want something bad enough, I save up for it or make decisions in order to purchase the item outright. My only debts, at present, is my mortgage and the support I provide for my boys. My house is a fixer upper, but it works and the payments are less than many I know pay for rent. I was teased a little about the purchase but, after the housing crisis, those that teased seem to be going with a house at all, so time has tested my philosophy there. So, while I contemplate the future, I think I will write down what I consider to be some of my life goals. Most should note that none of them are really dependent on what I choose for a career.
1. I always want to make my boys feel that they are the best things that have ever happened in my life. That they are loved, appreciated, and that they bring out the best that I am or ever could be.
2. Someday I want to be the crazy old guy that sits on his porch with a guitar singing songs nobody remembers or probably ever heard of. The neighbors think I am crazy but the grandkids love to visit him and wonder how their dads could have ever been bored in that house.
3. I want to always find simple pleasures the ultimate that life can bring. Seeing birds in the feeders and houses I build, rafting down a shallow river that is close to my home as delightful as some find yachting in the Florida Keys. To always be able to look at the skies in wonder and find sharing a few beers by a firepit the ultimate in night club entertainment.
4. When I need a piece of furniture or something around the house, the first inclination is to consult the lumber yard and go to my shop, rather than a big chain store.
5. To always remember that one cannot legislate morality, change, or a better way of life through any governmental system. One changes the world by the decisions they make in their own home.
Regardless of the future, how I make my living, what “great” things I do for a corporation, I will never consider myself a success if I forget where true success lies.
Not woodworking per se. Just consider it a woodworkers philosophy.
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.