There’s a saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I guess that means I haven’t worked in a very long time. If that’s the case though, what in the h--- do I do from sometimes way before Sun up to way past Sun down? Seven days a week at times during the season.
I recently read a very eye-opening but older blog on the Forbes.com website from 2010 which states about the above saying, “This is a blatant, hurtful lie that far too many people fall for. And they end up feeling like something is wrong with them, when really something is wrong with the idea they’ve been sold.”
Okay, let’s get something straight first. I do love my job, whatever that maybe on whatever day of the week it is. I’m always perplexed when I go somewhere and have to fill out an application which asks what my occupation is. Journalist, welder, machinist, mechanic, racer, businessman? I just don’t know. Can I just leave that box blank because there isn’t enough room for me to list all my occupations? I guess chief cook and bottle washer just about says it all.
Growing up I thought it would be so cool to race or be involved in the sport for a living. I guess you better watch what you wish for. I’m not complaining… at least today I’m not. But my obsession with this sport has become a job, a job “they” told me I’d never have if I did what I love. Regardless though, it is a job, one that really is no different than any other 8-5 Monday through Friday, except maybe for the added hours. And with most any “job” comes the question of retirement.
Yeah, I’ve been doing this a long time. Yeah, I probably could retire or look for that day when my “job” is sitting on a beach someplace or hitting that stupid white ball around a green pasture, but I’m not that retire-kind of guy, nor do I even understand what the word means. Of course, my wife would be quick to enjoy sitting on a beach somewhere but I like what I’m doing too much. Yes, I complain. I get overwhelmed with work, overwhelmed with deadlines, overwhelmed with orders, but in the general scheme of things, it’s just work. And I guess I should relish those times when I am overwhelmed. But it is work, and the truth is I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Terry McMillen said it best in our story on him in our last issue (March 2018, Passion, Desire & Drive), when asked about retiring, he said, “…it is just my preference that the desire and drive I have is fueled by that fear of just sitting around doing nothing.”
That’s me too. I don’t want to retire and I pray to God I won’t have to. I like my “job.”
As was pointed out in the Forbes piece, “That doesn’t mean you won’t end up enjoying or maybe even loving the work you do. But it will also be work. You probably won’t mistake it for anything else.”
Last year I spent 129 days on the road (yes, I count them). By the time I had gotten to the last Vegas national event in October, I was tired. But watching the racing; and I am a poor spectator; it enthused me to the point I was thinking, “I’d like to get behind the wheel a couple of more times before the end of the year.” Problem was, back home in the east, temperatures at best might reach 50 and that’s too far below my ideal number. As the late Brian Olsen once pointed out to me, “I play golf and shoot in the 70s. Of course, if it’s any colder than that, I’m not playing.”
Not only do I miss that guy, but he’s spot on when it comes to me racing. I love getting behind the wheel. Like everyone else though, I just need to have the finances to do that… so I go to “work.”