And enjoy the fireworks!

Many years ago I was expected to go to University. It seemed this was the sole purpose of 11 years of obligatory education – plus two more of chosen education.  And twelve years-in, I was told “this” was the sole reason for signing-up for another 3-5 years of university education:

“You really should, because qualifications will get you a better job. But more importantly, you really should fulfil your potential (or you are letting all of us down – yourself included).”

In those days there were no loans or personal/family finances attached. Education was free for all (the very small percentage deemed capable of a degree course). Now it is free for all (who can pay).

It seemed to me (even then) that guilt was attached to this “free for all “education.  Was I “achieving” … Was I meeting “expectations” …. Were my grades consistent … Was my work “maturing” …?

These thoughts were prompted by “awkwardp3rsonn” who has written the sum total of two whole posts on their blog: “Hello” and “Two Posts–Day 1”, in the past 48 hours. It was the second which connected.

Is this a “good blogger”? Does this blogger merit a follow (at this very early stage in blogging”)? Shouldn’t I wait until I know I want to read their stuff before following? What if they are not – I will have wasted my time (and yours as well – if you have a look).

What “awkwardp3rsonn” reminded me of is this:

Having ditched the imposed moral/cultural/societal motivation for further education, I came out of the system with no more than I would have two years earlier.  And now a problem of explaining that lack of achievement to prospective employers. So I drifted. I did “jobs”. I did a lot of “jobs”. I had no career to speak of. I had no career path at all. I was an employment grazer. I nibbled a little here and moved on. And each prospective employer saw that grazing – in different pastures – with different herds – no logic – no pattern – no “career path” – no interest in employing me. Not for a “career kind of job”. Not for “real money”. Not for “challenging roles”.

Was I happy? Yes I was.

I worked until the buzz fizzled out and then moved on. I had a social life. I had a home life. I had fun. I was living!  And then one day – now married with two children – I looked around at work and realised I had been doing the same job – with the same company for 18 months – and I still wanted to do this work for the next 18 months.

My “career” had finally found me!

And I stuck with it not for money or prestige or power or all that boring “stuff”. I stuck with it because I loved what I was doing each day: credit control – business to business. Decades later I still do credit control as part of my current role – and I am really good at it!

During the past decades I have shed the big departments, the big blue-chips, the corporate greasy pole, the networking need … all of that.  Along the way I found that climbing the “management ladder” comes with great cost. The cost of compromise – too much cost – too much compromise. Of integrity. Of sincerity. Of family. Of love for those who are invisible – our own children (usually).

Imagine that!

Those who I created with the one I love became invisible Monday – Friday (to all intents and purposes).  A kiss goodbye while they were sleeping.  A kiss goodnight while they were sleeping. The acceptance (fiction!) that quality time is better than just “ordinary time”.

And a wife who (seemed) to treat me like a lodger (because she was so damned tired by the time I got home late again). But who seemed (to me) totally unloving.  Because I was still buzzing from another adrenalin-filled-day at work.  Which led to the biggest compromise of all: “I am doing this for us darling!”

So I expected my wife to be attentive (while I relayed all the giants I had slain that day). and I expected her to reciprocate with all the mothering “giants” she had slain (in her mothering adrenalin-filled-day).  She never did.  Apparently mothering has none of that – and is very tiring as well.  Really?

So I moved to denial: she no longer loved me like she used to.

Compromise again.

So, Paul … nice story. But just what has this to do with God – with being a Christian – with religion – with church … ?

Maybe something …

Maybe nothing al all …



7 thoughts on “And enjoy the fireworks!

  1. Great post Paul. Yes, I think it does have something to with God… indirectly anyway… I did the opposite of you and got those degrees and had a career, and after that I’m “overqualified” for just about everything. 🙂 At least you had fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Those who I created with the one I love became invisible Monday – Friday (to all intents and purposes).  A kiss goodbye while they were sleeping.  A kiss goodnight while they were sleeping. The acceptance (fiction!) that quality time is better than just “ordinary time”.”

    I had that wonderful arrangement when I had a “real job” in the city while living in the suburbs (about 4 hours of commuting). Oh, and I was bi-vocational, too. So I got to play the part of an associate pastor on weekends! 🙂 Finally gave up my delusion for a life in a rural area for less money and lots more time. Finally figured out what “having fun” is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Finally figured out what “having fun” is!” Me too 🙂

      I think it may be one of the reasons why I have a lot of time for those who have “wasted” their lives. There are too many people who told me that for many years. But life is never a waste. Once we all figure that out – then it is so much easier to have fun!


  3. Pingback: And enjoy the Fire (works) | Just me being curious

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