I’ve realized one of the things in my current state of being that really drains my energy is working for the man. How did I (we) get ourselves in this round robin scenario where we chase some dream of making it big in the city in some big company or firm. Maybe it happens because we didn’t have any loftier goals other than to make money and get some recognition of some abstract achievement.
Or maybe it’s because I now have a new president that I cannot believe in or support (sorry I’ll keep politics out of my blogs).
Would I have done my life over again? No because I wouldn’t have my two great, now grown, children. However, I wished I could have reached my epiphany sooner as I’ve spent my entire working life (about 3-1/2 decades) pleasing management in large companies. Instead I could have found something that I would have been more meaningful and passionate to do as a profession.
I’m told I do good work. That’s great! I have heard that compliment over and over for the last 30+ years, but now I need something else to drive me. There’s lots of lessons in my life that were presented to me but I didn’t pay any attention to them until the last several months.
When I was younger and just starting out in my climb up the corporate ladder, I had met a gentleman (probably in his 50s at the time) who had his own business. I met him through a service he provided business men in downtown Houston. I worked for Exxon at the corporate office at the time.
Twice a week I would do business with this gentleman. He was my shoe shiner. It wasn’t like those places where you sat in one of those chairs and the shoe shining took place. His business model was simple and yet a unique way of providing service in that he was mobile. He was the only mobile shoe shiner I’ve met to this current day.
He would go up and down the hallways of our building and ask folks if they wanted their shoes shined. He would shine mine and my colleagues shoes while my colleagues and I conducted our hallway conversations. I didn’t know his name and he didn’t know mine either. On some occasions, he would stop in my office and asked, “Mister, would you like your shoes shined?”, which of course I obliged and had him shine my shoes. I paid him $5 per week and he shined my shoes twice in a week. The thing I remembered the most about him was he whistled while he worked.
Now when’s the last time you whistled while you worked? I can tell you I’ve never whistled while working for large corporations. Now I’ve owned several business and I don’t remember whistling when I owned them either – well maybe once or perhaps twice when I had a good profitable day.
In one of our last conversations with my personal mobile shoe shiner, I learned he put all four of his kids through college (all paid for), purchased (yep not mortgaged) his house, and had just bought himself a brand new Cadillac (yep no car payments). I reflect back on those encounters and wished I had found a passion of something other than climbing some invisible and mostly unattainable corporate ladder. The highest level I’ve reached was Progam Manager over the US division. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the C level for the company I work at today, nor do I really want to achieve that anymore.
I really want to whistle while I work as I move towards my retirement, which brings me to this week’s update on my side endeavor.
My food blogging…
My learning for video and short film production is slow going and sometimes frustrating as the big social networks don’t necessary talk and play with each other nicely. My process requires me creating three versions of my instructional videos, one for each of the major social platforms where videos are a means to exposure.
YouTube is my foundation as I can upload two versions of my videos and then embed them into my food blog site. Of course these videos couldn’t be used with Pinterest as they have a 60 second video length limitations, and in addition to the length limitations, I have to make a different video as the media format is not the same as the format used for YouTube or Instagram. I suppose each has to be unique as that’s their service. But it sure makes it harder for folks like me without a production crew. It’s just me, myself, and I.
One thing that is a positive outcome of my food blogging is it requires me to actually cook more of my own meals, which means I don’t go out and eat processed foods at the local fast food establishment and I also control what goes into each meal, where you typically don’t have that option going to a restaurant. The other big advantage is that I can share my meal with S and her family.
For the last couple of times I’ve been with S and her kids (and sometimes her mom and dad), I get to cook, perfect and create my dishes. As an example, I cooked my Cajun gumbo for Sunday dinner. Her boys are the finickier of her children and they both loved my gumbo. Her youngest took one spoonful and said, “load me up with more of this stuff!”, which is a huge compliment coming from him, who typically does not wonder far away from his normal flavor pallet of bread and Nutella.
I didn’t have time to make my jalapeño corn bread, which would have been better pairing than the oven French toast I whipped up as a compliment to the Cajun seasonings of my gumbo recipe. My Cajun cousins from Louisiana (if I had any) would have been proud I could still make my gumbo after being in hiding for many years.
Heart to heart…
Monday (today) marks the one year anniversary of S and my first meeting during our speed dating event. Who would have thought it would have gone this long?
As we approached our first year of being together, this weekend S and I had a heart to heart discussion. We talked about things I do that bother her and in turn things she does that bother me. Now my profession requires me to read people quickly and ascertain the best methods of communicating with them to get our project moving in a forward direction.
Now because I do this in my profession it tends to bleed into my personal life (as it should) as I’m not a light switch that turns off learnings from work and not apply them to my personal life, and vice versa.
In my observations with S over our learnings about each other over the past year, I recanted our prior heart to heart conversations about her having to control every aspect of everything in her life regardless if she has control over it. For example her kids, her parents, and me.
It was an interesting response, which I’ll save for my next posting. Hopefully, if you’re the same way as S is, you can gain some insight into our dialogue.
Stay safe until my next post…
#life #lifeasiknowit #lifeasithappens