What’s Your Enjoyment Factor?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

One of these days, just to see who’s paying attention, I’m going to start my post with something a little less upbeat. Not really. I like wishing you all a good day. Besides, that would be just one more thing I’d have to dream up before I finish my first cup of coffee. I’m not that good.

One day, about a year ago, my grandson called and said, “Hi ‘good morning’ man!” I was touched. Not that he read my posts, but that he actually reads. Oh, he went through a phase with the Wimpy Kid series, but aside from that, getting him to read was like getting him to clean his room. I tried reading Huckleberry Finn with him. He just never got into it.

He was always more into sports. And he was always better at that than I was. Especially basketball. I didn’t mind the shooting hoops part of it, but you had to do a lot of running first. And then again. And again, and again, and again. That was just never my thing. I guess that’s why I liked baseball. The only time you had to run is if you actually hit the ball. I didn’t.

To me, there was always a fascination with drifting down the river on a wooden raft. I had two uncles and a cousin who were tugboat captains. They spent their days gazing across a couple-dozen barges as they inched up the Mississippi River. And all they had to do was bump the rudder, blow the horn, and crank up the throttles. That’s my kind of job.

I was always more into adventure. I spent seven years in the Boy Scouts and loved every minute of it. Waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon, paddling a canoe down the creek to the sounds of nature, going to sleep with a pair of red eyes ten feet offshore … okay, some parts were a little more adventure-filled than others. But those were the best days of my life.

I guess that’s why I miss my time in the Navy. Not all of it. For the first four years, my job was Aviation Buffer’s Mate. I spent my days cleaning toilets and swabbing decks. But after I put on a couple of stripes, that part faded. And I have to be honest – I loved being at sea. I didn’t like the family separation and the food pretty well sucked. But I loved being underway.

My brother was a submariner. We had names for those guys, but I can’t really share them here. That’s okay, they had names for us as well. I remember a bubblehead telling me once that the Navy only had two kinds of ships – submarines, and targets. I guess he had a point. But I just couldn’t go underwater in a tin can with a bunch of other men and stay there for three months.

We all have our passions. And there are things we all do a little better than others. Hopefully, we spend our days doing something that fits into both of those categories. I love my job. There are times when I’d rather not face it, but overall, I love what I do.

A job should be more than just a paycheck. Granted, it would be hard to feel a burst of creative energy as you raise a dumpster over your head and empty it into the compactor behind you, but there should at least be some form of enjoyment in what we do. After all, you’ll be doing it a long time. And if you’re lucky, you get to quit when you’re too old to enjoy much of anything.

Work is a necessary part of life. Hopefully you enjoy what you do, but for far too many people that’s not the way it is. Still, unless your uniform has an inmate number, you probably have at least a few options. Those options may involve going back to school, learning new skills, or even moving to a new location. Only you can decide if the changes are worth the cost.

Beyond that, we can all try a little harder to balance our time with something we really do enjoy. Gardening doesn’t pay much for most people, but it sure does a lot to ease stress. I write. I don’t get paid to do it, but it’s something I enjoy. What’s your passion?

Work/life balance is all about averaging the enjoyable with the not-so-enjoyable. Find something you can enjoy, even if it’s just for an hour a day. That hour can make all the difference in the world for your sanity. Then carve out one more hour – an hour for you and your dreams. Work toward something you really want. You might just amaze yourself.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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