“90% of life is just showing up” (Allen, Woody).
I’ve been thinking a lot about life, (early retirement, etc), and what a mature person such as I can pass on as a wise old lady’s sayings.
- relatively old. in my opinion, I am very young and immature, but my kids seem to think I passed my expiration date, so.
I think the most important thing I can tell my kids is :
No matter what- keep going. keep showing up.
*Don’t give up because whatever you are doing is boring.
(I think because of people’s super short attention span these days, almost everything bores them after 15 minutes- or less.).
*Don’t give up a promising job position just because in the first couple of years your salary embarrasses you:
many great jobs start off with minimal wages and after a short while +proving your abilities- your salary should reflect your abilities, and slowly but surely- provided you are doing a good job- you will see your income increase and your position secured.
I’ve seen people job hop around me, and I can tell you I didn’t see it did them any good -in the long term that is: in the short term-sure- some made a lot of $$$, but those dream jobs didn’t last long, and the hopping gets more difficult as the years go by.
*I am aware of how outdated I sound, but this is my opinion, and I already told you I am a certified uncool nerd, so I don’t give a dang.
If your goal is finding your dream job which will serve as your true calling, your meaningful destination, what fate has cooked especially for you- well then, keep looking. maybe there is something like that hiding somewhere -probably near unicorn avenue and fairytale street.
If- on the other hand- your goal is to find a good enough job, that will allow you to save enough money for early retirement while feeling that your skills are used in an acceptable way and your work environment is amicable- then if you happen to find something like that- look for the long run when haggling your salary. because energetically and emotionally- job-hopping- in my personal opinion as a class A introvert- isn’t the best use of your time.
Again- if you happen to love interviews and long periods of being out of work (“in-between jobs”)- fine. do that. but if these situations flare up your anxiety-try to avoid them.
*Don’t give up just because you fucked up.
I cannot recount the (many) times I fucked up.
In all sorts of things- no need to name names now.
I kept telling myself that the only people that don’t fuck up are those who refrain from doing anything. and that- in my opinion- is the worst fuck up of them all.
The only thing that helped get me back on track after fucking up, was owning the failure.
I mean fully admitting it, not hiding behind anyone or anything.
Can’t say it was fun- the possible shame, the possible humiliation, the ego getting hurt- not fun.
But- once you let the failure see sunlight- I can guarantee you it shrinks!
So keep showing up even when you fail. if you keep working hard and try to learn from your mistakes- the chances are that you won’t make the same mistake again. you’ll make a different one.
*Don’t give up just because the task looks too hard.
I built this myself.
But- when I started out- I operated the drill in the opposite way, and the screws ( naturally) refused to go in .
So I returned the drill , defeated, and told my partner that either the drill- or I- are not fit for the job.
He looked at the drill, and in a split second switched it to the right mode, and everything went smoothly from there on.
Until I got to cutting the wood I collected.
The only difference between the pictures is me . showing . up. 3 days of sweat and hard work. manual sawing . I can tell you I now have the arms of a builder.
Well a few of the huge logs were cut by my partner and his chainsaw . because come on- they were actual logs, not branches, (and because he had to add something to the pile so he can say “we arranged the wood for next year” (men. children. no difference. )
The thing is- I was ready to give up even before I started- because the drill was not in the right power mode, then I was discouraged when I saw the huge pile of wood I needed to cut, then it was hot, then I ran out of energy, then my arms hurt, then I was done.
Every morning when I get into the pool, I tell myself I can’t finish 90 laps (25 meter pool, lap being 1 side of the pool- don’t get all excited here).
Then I tell myself to just start.
And I put my music on, and start swimming, and time flies, and the laps fly by too.
The thing is-
Enthusiasm and bursts of energy and optimism can only get you so far.
The real deal is perseverance.
Showing up. every. day.
Hot, cold, boring. exciting, aching, sad, anxious, happy.
Show up .
You don’t need to be the fastest, the smartest, the prettiest.
You need to be there and do whatever you need to do.
The results will follow.
That’s the best advice I can give my kids.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.