When I Grow Up . . .

Santa closes the parade.

Santa closes the parade.

Have you ever seen a more perfect elf?

Have you ever seen a more perfect elf?

The young boy sitting next to me had it own miniature santa.

The young boy sitting next to me had it own miniature santa.

I believe this guy was part of the Chattanooga Zoo entourage.

I believe this guy was part of the Chattanooga Zoo entourage.

The Chatt Zoo mascott.

The Chatt Zoo mascott.

A serious color guard does the flag proud.

A serious color guard does the flag proud.

The Chatt Roller Girls pose briefly

The Chatt Roller Girls pose briefly

Some girls grow up to be roller derby stars.   This is a sport I think I can relate to–I’ve never actually seen a roller derby, so I’m only guessing.  It just seems like if you’ve had a really bad day at the office and you like to roller skate, this would be the perfect sport.

With helmets, knee, and elbow pads, it’s enough protection to eliminate the whole fear of skin sticking to wood floors.  I’ve heard there are often broken bones, but heck, broken bones grow back stronger.

This gets me thinking about the classic question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I’m guessing not too many parents says things to their kids like, “Stay in school, get good grades, roller skate every evening, and you can get into the roller derby.”  Yet, why not?

I think there should be a few ground rules for deciding what you want to be when:

  1. Know your instinct.  Before you knew people expected things from you, before you knew you had to make enough money to support a family, before you knew you would be judged for what job you had, what was the thing you said you wanted to be?  Keep some of that with you.
  2. Ignore what other people think.  Many people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.  Even long after they’ve grown up.  This usually happens when a person allows their sense of responsibility to overcome their desire to be happy.  Don’t do this to yourself.  A job you love is far easier to go do well every day, whether it meets other people’s expectations or not.  A job you do well is a job that creates opportunities for you.
  3. Think short term.  Setting a course is just a direction; it doesn’t obligate you to decide permanently.  Just because you wanted to be a firefighter when you were 7 doesn’t mean that at 18 you’re obligated to go off to firefighter school.  There’s a lot to be said for experimentation.
  4. Bring your best “you” to work.  No matter what you do or how long you do it, it’s a job.  It’s not a “come hang out and talk to me while I work” or a “come get a bunch of free samples”.  And there are always people looking for the up and comers.  Don’t forget to bring your character to work with you–don’t expect to receive what you don’t give.
  5. Remember what’s important.  Every once in a while, remind yourself you’re doing your job for 8+ hours a day, 5+ days a week and ask your internal child (the one that looks something like the Santa’s elf image) if this is how you really want to spend most of your waking hours.

BTW, my brother used to want to be a UPS driver–he thought delivering packages all year was far better than only doing it on Christmas.

 

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2 responses to “When I Grow Up . . .

  1. Wow, what a great post! I have been missing out… 😦 I love the reference to the roller derby gals and #2. I think it applies even more to grown ups or what they want to be. I personally want a do-over 😀 and you know what I mean. I love the photos. I think you captured the true spirit of each person.

    I spoke with someone the other day who delivers flowers part time and has a landscaping business in the summer–he said he loved delivering smiles to people even his landscaping business does that. I thought how great to hear someone say this! 😀 Thank you! Please take care…

    • Yeah. My parents both loved what they did for a living. I think it set an expectation for me that I’m supposed to know what my “calling” is an follow it. Sometimes I’m pretty jealous about that. I think delivering flowers would be a real joy–except to funerals, of course.

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