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Monday, November 14, 2011

Artistic Things

     I should preface this entry by saying that I am not an artist.  I cannot draw worth a flip.  I can't sing nor play a musical instrument enough matter.  I can't paint or sculpt.  I can't sew anything but a patch on my jeans.  I'm not a very good writer and I can't tell stories.  I can take pictures but I'm by no means a photographer.  In other words, I'm not very artistic...at all. 
     Now having said all that, I do enjoy some of the things that I mentioned above and I certainly do appreicate good art.  I've always wanted to be a real writer or poet.  I have from time to time written things and even started on a few book ideas.  I've written poetry but not very well.  I'm by no means a writer or poet.  I can sing...as much as anyone else can sing...but I'm no singer.  I can strum a guitar about as much as a monkey knows how to properly use a hammer.  I've wanted to be able to sing and play a guitar well and I've even written a few songs occasionally.  I love photography and feel that I have an eye for the craft but I've never had any formal training nor do I know anything about the technical matters involved with it.  I have an interest in leather working and would like to be able to do some leather working but that's an art that you have to just about be trained to do...kinda like woodworking. 
     Are you an artist?  What is your art, your craft?  Is it a passion?  Is it a hobby for you?  How does one with an interest in such things actually persue it?  I'm interested in so many things that it's hard for me to settle on one thing.  I'd like to be able to have an artistic hobby as an outlet.  Whether it's writing, photography, or leatherworking, I'd love to be able to express myself in a creative way. 
     I think it's human nature to be creative and I think that I'm creative by nature.  I've just never developed a way to practice that creativity.  At least not in any meaningful way.  Artists, in my opinion, are workers of their craft.  They have a passion and they have a need to express it creativly.  How does one get to that point?  Is it natural to be interested in many artistic persuits or is it more normal just to have one passion and focus on that?  I don't know.  Maybe you do...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Job or Career?

    What do you do for a living?  Is it something that you are passionate about?  Is it something that engages you mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually?  Are you satisfied with your work?  Do you have a job or a career?  I have asked these questions to myself often through the years.  I will admit that I have had many ups and downs when it comes to work. 
     Some of my jobs were horrible.  Jobs where you get paid a very low wage by an unappreciative employer just to spend 12 hours a day slaving away doing repetitive to increase the company's profit margin.  Some of the jobs I've had were great.  Diving in a crystal clear and calm lake up in S. Carolina.  I enjoyed my days on that project...didn't matter about the money because I was doing something that I would have paid to have been doing. 
I enjoy the work that I'm doing now.  Working as a consultant in the sub sea oil and gas industry.  I get to travel a lot and I get to see and experience new and interesting things.  I get to be out on the water some.  I do a job that is important to our society and it is challenging.  I am well compensated for the time I spend away from my family performing this work and I work with good, intelligent people. 
     I do enjoy my work.  I hate that I have to be away from home so much though.  It's a shame that you have to be gone so much just to earn a good living but that's the way it is.  You take the good with the bad.  A man has to do something for a living.  You have to make money doing something to support your family and have nice things.  Unfortunately, there's not much of a selection of jobs around where I live.  As a result, I have missed birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries.  I have missed family vacations, cookouts, and crawfish boils.  I missed the birth of my daughter and my Papaw's funeral.  As we say in this business though, "It is what it is.".
I sacrifice because I love my family and I want to support them.  I want them to live a good life full of things that they not only need but things they want.  Things we want.  This work though is not just a job.  It's my career.  A job is just work that I could easily walk away from.  Nothing lost but a day's wage.  My career is something that I've put blood, sweat, and even tears in to.  I've worked hard to earn my good reputation in this business.  I've stressed out over deadlines, tests, drawings, design issues, money, schedules, logistics, quality control, fabrication, and production.  I've enjoyed it all. 
     I enjoy it because it engages my mind and challenges me to be the best at what I do.  I don't have a boss that stands over me requiring me to perform.  It's all up to me.  I love that.  I wake up each morning and say to myself, "It pays to be a winner.  The only easy day was yesterday".  That motivates me to to go out and tackle each day and confront the day's issues with the respect and tenacity that each day deserves.
     This job allows me to follow a structured system yet allow me to be able to think for myself outside the box.  It's a job that not a lot of people do...it's exclusive and I like that.  I don't get to do all the things that I have an interest in though.  I guess that's what hobbies are for.  That's another blog topic though. 
     In conclusion, is you work just a job that you work just in order to pay the bills.  OR, are you one of the fortunate ones who get to make a career doing something that you enjoy?  Whatever you do for a living remember that as long as you do it well and to the best of your ability...it's honorable.