How's my timing?
This probably isn't the best time to be asking myself what do I want to be when I grow up. The economy is in the tank, most of us have gotten use to giving our job loss sympathy speech to people we know and many we love and admittedly I've got little to complain about given I have two jobs.
Still I find myself still asking the question. And maybe its because I have yet to find a job that makes me feel apart of something bigger than myself and its the only thing I feel is missing in my life. There are three basic things most of us desire from the situations in which we put ourselves. Am I apart of something bigger than myself? Am I a celebrity in my own environment? Is it rewarding in ways that keep me motivated?
Taking an introspective look at our family life, how we spend our downtime and how happy our jobs make us will hopefully answer those questions.
I didn't need any more convincing that there were lives dependent on me, as I am already happily married with children, but on the newborn side of my third child it hits again. You plan, you think, you prepare for everything and assume that after two kids its all routine, but even still, nothing is. You think Zaylee, Emmalyn, Haylee or the favorite Emmalee, then there she is ... none of the above. This eight-pound two-ounce life changing (again) thief or your heart (again) named Ella Rose. After 50,001 names narrowed down to four, its the fifth, Ella. And after honestly giving her birth little thought there I was a proud shutterbug, getting in the way of the doctors and nurses trying to get a cry out of her. Ten fingers, ten toes, and 10 dozens pictures ... no audible words.
To say I am apart of something bigger than myself at home is an understatement. All my life I wanted a family to raise and love and a wife to share that with and I could not have asked for much better. My daughters age five, two and new are beautiful and smart and healthy - and in 13 years I'm so screwed ...
You know how a dog greets you when you come home ... licking your face, barking hello with a seemingly overwhelming joy that you are home. Yeah, I get that every day from two little girls. They say that a little girl's daddy is her first love. And that's what makes me a celebrity, every day.
My rewards come everyday also. Seeing how excited my Kailyn is that she is starting to read and how proud of herself she is that she is accomplishing something that will be forever relevant is a milestone for her and and a joy for a dad to watch. Seeing the wheels turning in little Morgan's head when she is on the floor piecing together a puzzle and how she beams when she does it is priceless. The fact that I haven't had to worry (so far) about little Ella having problems going to the bathroom is a relief that can not be understated, or understood unless you know our previous issues.
Every day is new. Every day I learn from them as they learn from me, and I am who I am today because of them. And most of that credit ought to go to my tireless, amazing, selfless wife and her unending supply of love for all of us.
We all have our hobbies. Some of us collect whatever. Some of us create whatever. Some of us write whatever. I play cards.
I have never felt like I was at a poker table that was bigger than myself. I have played in games above my bankroll. I have dealt off debts. I have forced myself to play when I knew I wasn't mentally in the game and far less often I have forced myself to stop when I knew the tides were turning against me. But almost every time I hit a table, I feel comfortable, natural, like the seat always fits me. Even in my biggest poker moment, facing probably the best group of competition I have ever faced, where I should have been my most nervous, I felt like I owned the room. But to the contrary I have also felt incredibly out of place in live bar freerolls that mean nothing.
I have been successful at almost every level of tournament play I have been involved with. I admittedly don't enjoy cash games as much but I go into most tournaments thinking myself as the chalk at the table. You have to. Every single tournament I have gone into with a feeling I am going to lose, I have lost. But there's also been times that I have woke up in the morning knowing I was going to win, and I won.
But the drive is that I want to eventually find myself in a position that I know to be bigger than myself, at a table that I would be considered outclassed, when there is something major on the line, to play above my ability, and come out on top. And so far there has been enough little rewards along the way to keep me motivated to get there.
People on the table know who I am, especially if I am playing well. That's the largest factor in my strategy. I want to be the guy cracking jokes, loosening up the table, being the nice guy, making friends. Because nice guys play bad, poker clowns play loose, and your buddies give you action. I want you to assume that about me. It makes it easier for you to say "nice hand, good luck" when I bust you.
What can I say, the economy sucks. I have twice been a victim of "downsizing." I have worked for more out of business companies that I can count on one hand. I have also applied to work for more out of business companies that I can count on two hands. My friends would say it's no coincidence. Jerks.
As I say, I have two jobs, and may need another. You know the whole one job per kid theory. I like them both, but they offer very different things.
Being a man who likes sports and games, you can imagine that I also thrive on competition. Which would seem an ironic given that I have worked from home for a number of years. I have no co-workers to interact with on a daily basis. I have no daily sense of being better than someone else and I only know where I stand in relation to anyone else in one E-mail once a month. I need someone to beat!
I try to project myself as a celebrity in my work environment by coming up with ideas I think to be outside the box, but probably aren't. I teach that you need to be known for what you do in life. I have a need to be known and respected by the people I do business with. Admittedly it's easier said than done. It's a dog-eat-dog world and if you don't get it done, that guy will.
Let's face it, sales is a tough gig, but I am good at it, so I do it. But oftentimes, and especially a work-at-home situation your biggest reward is your paycheck. Sometimes your motivation isn't completely monetary.
Is it sad to admit that I feel more satisfied and rewarded on a daily basis by my bartending job? I have co-workers to interact with. I feel like part of the success of the place is dependent on me. I have regulars that would ask where I was if I didn't show up on their night. The happy hour guys, the take-out only people, the blazing hot wings freaks. I know them all. What they drink, what they eat and how to keep them happy.
The money isn't nearly as good as the day job, but I love that job, and I'm damn good at it.
The thing is that I don't know if I could ever make a living being a great bartender or a good poker player. I don't think the wife would let me try. And I couldn't blame her. I have never been one to look down on anything anyone does to make a living for their families, but I would understand if my wife was a touch shy about advertising that she was married to a bartender or poker player. There's still a part-time "not a real job" type stigma that comes with the bar thing and the whole gambling for a living idea doesn't go over well in most circles outside of Vegas. Maybe the stigmas are my own ...
When do I grow up?
I don't remember as a child saying I wanted to be a mortgage guy or a bartender or a poker player when I grew up. Then again most of us never became what our narrow minds said we were going to be back then. I think most of us just want to be known as good people and be satisfied in who we are and what we do for the world.
Whenever it is we decide to grow up.