I was just sitting here musing about this fun trip I have been a part of for over 53 years now. You know, life.
And specifically, the wildly varied things I have done to keep from starving. Now, I went to college. Got two degrees, including an MBA. Just that alone would make some people conclude that my path has been a smooth upward climb to some cushy gig on Mahogany Row.
Starts and stops. Interruptions for various personal reasons. Realizations that what I was trained to do I really didn’t want to do.
A not-complete list of my varied vocations includes the following:
· Working in the produce department at a grocery store
· Valet parking cars in Palm Beach
· Raking traps at a golf course
· Hosting a radio talk show on fantasy football
· Pressure-cleaning roofs of houses
· Texas Hold-‘Em poker dealer
· Audio-visual technician
· Running a sporting goods store
· Professional golfer
· Professional golf hustler
· Transportation consultant
· Computer trainee
· Ran a transportation project that provided free trips Cuban refugees in Miami
· Selling college alumni directories over the phone
· Running a miniature golf course
· Investment broker trainee
· Insurance salesman trainee
…and those are the legal ones. All I can say to that is, a man has to pay the bills.
Now for the kicker. I do none of those things now. My career is in the mega-glamorous field of public transportation management. I design bus routes. I know…control yourselves. But it is a nice career, one I have been at for over 25 years now. And it is weird to think more of my career is behind me than in front of me. If things go according to plan (which they never do), I should retire in 12 years. Wow.
But my point in this little exercise is to show how unpredictable life can be. And since most of my story’s been written, I am thinking about my 18-year old, very talented son. He is an artist. Next year he will be accepting a scholarship somewhere and will be off to college in preparation for his career. Now, he seems extremely focused and appears to have a clear idea on what he wants to do. And I think that is wonderful.
I also think it is unrealistic.
Why? Because that’s life. You never know what’s around the corner.
And, really, ain’t that great?
I mean look. I think it’s wonderful that there are people who know at a very early age what they want to do with their lives, and further, have the means to achieve it. And for my son’s sake I hope he is one of those fortunate souls. I hope he takes that awesome talent of his and is able to transform it into a rewarding, enriching career that he loves every minute of. Nothing would make me prouder as a father.
But also, I will feel a little sad for him.
Because he will never get to experience the joy of pressure-cleaning a roof.