Dream Big

Last week I was invited to speak at Career Day at a nearby middle school. Of course I said yes because I enjoy being around young people, and I always jump at any opportunity to talk about my writing. When I arrived I saw others who would be speaking: A pharmacist, a veterinarian, a nurse practitioner, an insurance man, a martial arts teacher, a construction worker, a paint salesman, an event planner, policemen, a robot builder, etc.

 

I thought, oh my goodness how can a simple little writer of books compare to these important people? I was teamed up with the martial arts teacher and the insurance man. Each of us had ten minutes to give our spill, and we had nine different groups to spill it to. I don’t know if it was meant for the kids to be inspired that day or for me to be the one receiving the inspiration.

 

When the insurance guy asked the young people what they wanted to be when they grew up we heard everything from a builder to a lawyer to a cosmetologist. I thought back to when I was that age and remembered I had wanted to become a teacher. Looking back now I know the only reason I wanted to be a teacher was because I wanted to be the boss. Imagine that. I think that is why I love working from home. I really don’t have to answer to anyone but me. But don’t worry I boss myself around all the time. Sometimes I just want to shout, “Shut up self and chill out.”

 

The martial arts teacher told the kids that he was doing what he loved. He matter of factly told them that he would never be rich owning a martial arts school and teaching, but as long as he could pay the bills he was happy. Then the insurance man came back and asked the kids if they had rather work at a job making lots of money that they hate for forty years, or work at a job that they love and just get by. If you really think about it that’s a hard question.

 

Is it better to be happy or be rich? Of course we all want to be comfortable, but is living in the lap of luxury worth the cost? I have worked at being a stay at home mom, a substitute teacher, a certified nursing assistant, a factory worker, a retail salesperson, a buyer for a women’s clothing outlet, an account executive, advertising manager and I even pulled a few months in an insurance office, but I can tell you the absolute truth, since staying home these past six-plus years I have made the least amount of money I’ve ever made in my life and that includes when I used to work in tobacco as a kid, but I’ve never been happier.

 

Yes, we have to be sensible and make enough money to pay our bills and send the kids to the dentist, but if we’re doing something that we hate just for the money then I believe we’re wasting our life, simply throwing it away. A person has to be responsible, but do we have to live to be miserable? Life is far too short to be unhappy all the time. Twenty or thirty years ago I did not have the means to be able to stay at home and do what I do. And don’t think I do not feel blessed that I’m getting to now. There is a season for all things and this is my season to write. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, and if I have to go back to the old nine to five then so be it, but for now I’m having fun.

 

My advice to those young people at the middle school was this: Work hard, have a lot of stick-to-itiveness in you, apply common sense in all things, have a passion for what you’re doing, and DREAM BIG!

 

May I never grow too old to dream a little and be inspired? After all Theo Seuss Geisel the author of 47 children’s books wrote, Green Eggs and Ham when he was a mere fifty-dr seusssix years old. And, he continued writing until the day he passed away at age eighty-seven. Twenty-three years after his death Dr. Seuss books are as popular as ever. If that doesn’t inspire you I don’t know what will. I think Dr. Seuss proved that we are never too old to dream big.

 

Happy birthday Dr. Seuss.

March 2, 1904 – September 21, 1991

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