As I’ve mentioned, I worked in the garbage business for 21 years. In the immortal words of Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire, “It is an up at dawn, pride swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about”. Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I thought that clip applied pretty well to me when I saw it. My best friend, Todd Klimoski worked in the same industry with me, we even had a few runs working with the same company in a few different parts of the country (Maine, Ohio/Pennsylvania and Vermont).
As we moved through the week we had regular calls or “meetings” on Fridays during which we would talk some about work, but mostly about fun, interesting stuff like music, movies, weekend plans, etc. It was a great routine for both of us to close the week and launch into the weekend. Most Sunday afternoons as we were running around our respective homes doing what needed to be done, playing with kids, mowing the lawn, cutting wood, etc., one of us would text the other “SUNDAY AIN’T MONDAY!!!!”
We would do this to help rail against the Sunday afternoon depression (or at least melancholy) due to the fact that we had to go back to work Monday morning. Too often we would start thinking about the upcoming week on Sunday and it would take away from our enjoyment of the only two days we had each week to do what we wanted to; to do what we enjoyed. “Hell no it ain’t!”, we would respond as we did our best to throw off the “have tos” waiting for us on Monday morning.
Now, I ask you…how psychotic is that?!?! This went on for years! Why would we, or anyone else, continue working at a job that made us feel like that?! The answer is much easier than the solution. The answer is pretty simple – we had bills, we needed the money, and we didn’t see any other more attractive options. The solution – ah, that takes courage…or maybe tragedy.
Have you ever heard of the metaphor of the frog in the water? It’s simple – if you boil water and throw a frog in it (we know, it sounds mean, but I didn’t make it up!), the frog will immediately try to jump out. However, if you place that frog in comfortable water in that same pot and slowly turn the temperature up, it will slowly boil to death!
Similarly, sometimes we “wake up” one day and realize that the temperature of our water isn’t right for us. We say, “That’s It!” and we jump out and find water (work) that better suits us. Other times we don’t even notice the water temperature rising and our boss throws us out of it! For Todd, it was the former, for me it was the latter. He had enough of that way of life and leveraged everything to buy his own small business. I “kept the faith in the man” and tried again in another place in the country. Same thing – different place.
The point? As the great Joseph Campbell advises, “Follow your bliss!” We must have the courage to listen to ourselves (heart, spirit, whatever works for you) and find something we can do for money that is not in conflict with our true nature; that which makes us truly happy. Todd is growing his business and has his entrepreneurial headaches…but it is his business, and they are his headaches. For me, by some good fortune, I have found the perfect career in Wellness Coaching/Herbalife with Lori Baker.
Now, neither of us send each other those “Sunday Ain’t Monday” texts, because there is no difference between Sunday and Monday (or any other day of the week) for us! Every day is our time, what we do for money is what we “want to” do for money, and the temperature of our water is just right! What’s crazy about it is I wish someone I trusted could have conveyed this to me years ago; someone who would have convinced me that it is OK to have the courage to make the jump and help me identify viable options.
That is one of the primary objectives of this blog, and what Lori and I do! Now that I’m on the other side, it’s too easy and too awesome to not share it and pay it forward by doing everything possible to help others see it, believe it, and be it!
Here’s the call to action: Check the temperature of your water, make sure what you do for money is consistent with what makes you happy. In the end, as it says in one of the slides on the cover of this blog, “If you live to be 72 years old you have 29,298 days in the life of your body – how many of those do you have to waste” trading your time for money and being miserable in your job and/or life?
We’d love to hear your comments, conflicted or not, on where you stand. What’s the temperature of your water?