Posted by: guinness222 | May 21, 2009

I want to “reinvent” my career life, and myself!

Been toying with buying this book for about three months and , well, last evening, as I faced another prospect of another tasteless meal, I turned to my wife and said, “Screw it, we’re going out to get some real food for dinner!” And we trundled off to the Olive Garden Restaurant. Granted it’s a chain, like TGIF Fridays and Applebees, but they’ve always had pretty decent chow and cost about half of going to my favorite real Italian restaurant. (Besides the cardiac nurse who has me on this horrid diet and the whole re-hab thing is married to my buddy who owns the restaurant, so both of us would get shit if I went there. Him for serving me, and me for even going there!

        So I enjoyed a big salad with Italian Dressing, and croutons (family style) , hot soft bread sticks fresh from the oven with a drizzle of butter over them, a Chicken Marsala with some Roasted cubed potatoes splashed with Olive Oil, a Tirimisu for dessert (split it with my wife), oh and two glasses of a really good and well chilled Pinot Grigio. So ask me if I felt guilty,……HELL NO! Enjoyed every morsel of it. In fact they actually gave me three small chicken breast (The diet only gives me one) , so I took one home with some of the potatoes, covered in the Marsala Sauce and mushrooms for supper tonight after my wife goes to work.

        During the Tirimisu I decided to buy the book and said to the wife, “I want to stop by Barnes & Noble (the bookstore) after we finish there’s a book I want to pick up.”

        The book? It’s titled “Finding the Work You Love: The Essential Guide to Reinventing Your Life” by Greengard. I started reading it last evening and will continue this afternoon and evening. It is about making the decision to change what you do for a career, regardless of the impacts. If it means less money, adjust to it. If it means going back to college to get more specialized knowledge to make the change,…do it. It is not age restricted, anyone from thier twneties to thier sixties or seventies can do it,…you just need to do two things.

         1. Commit to do it regardless of the obstacles you may encounter and the “friends” who are ready to have you certified and put away on the “funny farm”.

          2. Determine what you need to do to make it happen, be it more education, better physical shape, a deep rethink of your own motivations and “comfort zones”,….whatever.

          Another apt title may be “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. For how often are we really doing exactly what we want to do, and completely happy with where it’s leading us, …no with where we know it’s going to take us. How often do we have to sacrifice “ourselves” to the job, or career, how often do we “do” our job or career without that passion in the pit of our stomach that makes it all worthwhile, regardless of compensation, recognition, or even the physical and mental demands which seem to be minimal and not really being tallied and quantified in our “logical mind” (for example, “Man I spent over thirty six straight hours on this and never even took a break to have a good dinner or sleep. It seems like only a couple of hours since I started!”)

       Another way of dealing with this is what I call “the trade-off” , that’s when we will work the 36 straight hours, skip dinner, exist on candy bars and snack food, loathing every minute of it consciously but living for “the trade-off” the , “When I finish this I’m taking five days off and going to the seashore and just crash, get a tan, and consume vaste quantities of Marguritas!”

         The “trade-off” is not a bad thing, but it rings of Faust. Pretty soon you are trading off your soul for just about anything,….and not really being thrilled or passionate with the “anything”. Like wanting something really special, something that you have wanted for years, if not decades. It has become the pursuit, the hunt, the nirvana, but then you get it. What could possibly top it, do you really have a #2, or a #36 about which you can be equally passionate? I sincerely doubt it.

          The grass always looks greener in the next pasture, but is it really when you are in that pasture. For example I’ve a good friend who seems to be living the life he wants, where he wants and how he wants, without an abundance of money or back up,….he is just living life his way. Could I do that, just chuck everything, move half way around the world, wake up to see each day and not know exactly what the day would bring, how it would play out, and if at the end of the day I still had my own soul all to myself, on my terms.

       Then again I have a friend who spent a quarter of a million dollars on a car, could not possibly spend even a quarter of what he has before he dies, has no children, has a custom made home overlooking the ocean, all paid for, a housekeeper, a gardener, and a handy man. Is he in command of his own soul, or is he simply living in a “trade-off” life, or lifestyle?

          But what of me, what do I really want to be, to do, to re-ignite my passions about? I am reminded of a little piece of scripture that goes something like, “What does it profit a man to gain the entire world and lose his immortal soul?”

         So I’m beginning the introspective look at myself, taking a piece of paper and making two columns, one labeled “Things I have  really loved” and the other, “Things I’ve done”. I got a hunch this is a rather lengthy exercise, but the outcome is probably the highest and best opportunity to actual find and embrace the “Holy Grail” of this life.

        It’s probably in that category of “I could be happy with only five or ten years left in this world if I could only achieve that level of “happiness” and fulfillment of which I’ve periodically had a “Taste” thus far.

        I am inclined to say it’s got to be easier as a “grown-up” at 64 as regardless of what I do, what I decide, where, or if, I go anywhere, or do anything, it will be up for “excused” because I am an “old fart”  who is losing it.

        Is it “losing it”, ….or is it “finding it”.


        I’ll keep you appraised on my progress toward the “grail”, just keep an open mind, don’t forget we can all dream, and we can all try to make our dreams come true!


  1. “The Essential Guide to Reinventing Your Life” – didn’t read it but might be able to write it 😉

    “it’s got to be easier as a “grown-up” at 64” – You, grow up? HA! If you ever did you’d not like it 😉

    That two column idea is a good one, send a report.

    Ok, I think we’ve visited this question before: What would you really like to do if you had a chance to do it?
    – sims here

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