The hour is early after a restless night with but a few hours of sleep here I sit pondering why no sleep.
I often wonder how many years one knocks off their lives with these kinds of nights. Oh well I guess we just have to plug through another day.
Gather around for a break away from Smoothwolf the novel. Maybe the chapters are too long to read. Lets see where these two fingers take my thoughts. I can reassure you one thing I beat that pesky noisy Robin up this morning. Maybe I should sit on the fence rather than her and awake the day.
She certainly is well practiced and rest assured she does the same during the winter months away from Canada. Who knows she may be your Robin as well. They really are a pleasure to have around.
So welcome and of course accept the hugs which are attached.
Have you ever noticed how the hard questions and thoughts come to us at the strangest times, I mean the really hard ones. They can hit us full force or they build and as they do they take on a life of their own. When they finally do manifest to a place of having to be dealt with they have sometimes grown and suddenly become a burden. It is then we struggle with the question. "Have I made the right choice?"
We have a few options open to us. Understand what the long term will mean for us and those who care and love us or do we just toss it over our shoulder and say I will deal with it later.
Being raised in a small town where my father had a Barber Shop and Pool Hall offered a good life in many ways. Most days as I reflect meant shelter and having enough food because life was hard.
I am not one to judge what or if my parents did the right thing. They did the best that they could with what they had. They did not have it easy through those years, both being raised in poor families, both experiencing the depression. Both having to go through a war with my father away and newly married. His first daughter being born while he served on the front lines and coming home to a far different life than what he expected. Then the attempts to rebuild the years they had lost. It was hard on them yet they still had three more children.
At first I could never understand why our family was so different. Meaning I did not have the same toys as the rest of my age group. I would even say at times I was resentful at first but in my later years I came to realize I had far more than many kids or adults my own age. I had two loving parents that encouraged me to grow. I had full access to the Pool Hall which was unheard of in those days. My father taught me young to shoot his small caliber gun and by the age of 8 I was already hunting gophers who had a bounty on their heads. I learned to appreciate hard work selling newspapers, doing chores for not only our household but several others. Often the small amount of money I made would buy a little extra food to help my parents out.
I suppose I could have gone through life feeling sorry for myself but rather it taught me to appreciate parents who taught us all the importance of going to church. The importance of having a faith in life. I left home at 14 ½ to make my way in life with little education. It took me little time to realize the importance of an education. I took night school and correspondence to get my grade twelve all on a salary of a whole 125 dollars a month. At the time it was the threshold for what was needed to succeed in life and still working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Could I or would I if I had been spoiled.
Going without taught me the greatest lessons in life. It taught me respect for my elders, appreciation for what I had and maybe just the right insight to strive to succeed. Success comes in many forms but the greatest success comes through finding peace in life.
How many times have you spoken the words. "If I could just have a do over." All fine and dandy because you would base that decision on the knowledge on the lessons you had learned through that bad decision. Would you make another bad decision later in a totally different area of your life. I am certain we could all say yes to that question.
Learning comes in many forms yet the best is in searching within. I worked some brutal jobs in conditions were unnatural. Is a man of 20 suppose to find himself 8500 feet underground risking his health or for that matter his safety. Is he suppose to get involved in drilling for oil and gas, should he risk his life in the dangerous logging industry. Yes to all of the above if you strived to care for your own personal needs without having to ask for help.
I made a bold move at 47 years old, I returned back to the classroom at a college. I enrolled in a Turf Management program, primarily directed towards being a Superintendent of a golf course. It was an intense program directed at those who had been in the industry but were seeking more qualifications. There were 37 people enrolled in two three week programs. Each period had a full years teaching crammed into those three weeks. It meant 10 hours a day 6 days a week of a very heavy teaching schedule plus an even more heavy load of homework each night.
I was by far the oldest student, often called Gramps. Of the 37 only 9 of us graduated. Again that basic parenting taught me if you believed in something then you pursued it. I won bursaries and went onto taking Golf Course Design and Construction, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Arboriculture. Survival was the driving force knowing I wanted to succeed.
That same training took me through the better part of the next 30 years of earning a good living and watching people enjoy the work of my hands and the many people who worked under me. In the later years I mainly consulted in the Design and Construction aspect of the industry.
Could I have done better, I suppose but the more important matter was did I enjoy what I was doing?
I certainly did, there is nothing better than to stand at the top of the hill at the end of the day looking at the evidence of a good days work, then coming back the next day to do it all over again. After all it is what my parents did for us as children.
What Has Changed
I often look at the youth of today and I am not judging as being very spoiled expecting nothing but the best in having the education provided. Yes I know several work menial jobs to help pay for what they get, I admire those who do.
Many a parent of my age group said my children will never go without like I did. They have also made the mistake of providing everything a child or young adult wants. What it has come down too is more often a lack of respect for what they have. Take any profession in life that requires much further education. Often that great need at the time for say Sports Medicine as an example, by the time they have gone through all the training the demand has dwindled and work in that field cannot be found.
If I had any advice for anyone at a young age it would be to get a blue collar job, Get a trade of some kind. Pick one, anyone, Electrician, Plummer, Welder anything really so that you will always have something to fall back on should it be needed. There will be work no matter where you choose to live, if you are a tradesman there will always be a demand.
Closing thoughts... be thankful for what you have. Be faithful in what you do and you are certain to be able to do whatever you desire and succeed.
I have always said the past is the past, sometimes you wish you could change it. Some thing you can, some not. Just keep in mind... "The road you have travelled has brought you to where you are today." My dear old grandmother had a saying I so love. "Life is but a pathway of roses but along that pathway there will be thorns. Have the courage to stop and deal with the thorn and carry on with a joyful Heart and peace will come."
© Rolly A. Chabot
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