Monday, April 10, 2017

14 Years Ago This Month

Today's agenda is packed; important meeting, three days worth of paperwork to complete, a half dozen phone calls that have to be made, and a plethora of other various and sundry items to check off my list. But, it's the best kind of "packed" since the purpose of all the activity is to accommodate a five day, four night escape to the beach!

"Hold on a second," you might be thinking. "Didn't you just get back from a four night getaway to Florida?"

Well, yes. Yes I did. Let me explain how life works.

The first five years that I spent in this business were a brutal gauntlet of ten hour days filled with rejection, failure and virtually no money. That was precipitated by the fact that A. My chosen field of endeavor was insanely difficult to break into and B. Our decision for Pam to be a stay at home Mom. The following five years were only marginally better. Money began to be made, but the hours remained brutal. Many days I would look at my paycheck...yes, back then we actually got paper checks...and wonder why the heck I had chosen a career where there was no guarantee of anything. Why had I insisted on being my own boss? Didn't I realize what a cantankerous boss I would be? The next five years started to get better. The money was better and the hours got more normal. Then, out of nowhere I found myself laying on a cold table listening to myself counting backwards from 10. Open heart surgery is like a telegram from God reminding you that he will not, in fact, be mocked. From that moment on, my life goals changed. No longer did I care about how much money I made. Well, I cared, just nowhere near as much. Instead, I laid out fresh new goals. Goal number one was to take off more days this year than I did last year. With very few exceptions, I have accomplished my goals. There's nothing quite so motivating to your plans for self improvement like the possibility of sudden death.

It's been 14 years ago this month since I obtained the eight inch scar in the middle of my chest. Back then it looked like a swollen zipper and I was horrified at the sight of it. Today, it's hardly noticeable. But, looking back, it might just have been the best thing that ever happened to me.

So, yeah...I take a lot of time off. In a couple of weeks we will head down to see my daughter for several days, two weeks after that it will be Nashville for some time with my son. July will bring yet another week at the beach with the Dunnevant clan, and for three weeks in September, a lake house in Maine will be our home. Since I don't have an employer , I don't have paid vacations. So, my income will take a hit. A very  small price to pay.