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Work and the Almighty Dollar

It’s day seven of the Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. Three more days of work until we’re done but I’m wearing down. Each day I sleep a little later trying to catch up from the 8-14 hour days. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was really busy but half working and half sitting around reading a book exhausts me.

Despite the less than stellar sales we are slowly building our nest egg. The usual unforeseen expenses have popped up that have retarded our financial growth. The Suburban has started to seriously leak oil from an oil cooler line. I took it to a shop to see if they could replace it for me. They said I could schedule a time to get an estimate then they could schedule a day to actually do the work. Who has that kind of time? I went to Autozone and ordered the hose and I’ll install it myself in between shows.

The motorhome has a hydraulic levelling setup. It appears after several hours of diagnostic, the selenoid controlling the hydraulic pump has gone out. That’s the good news, the pumps are wicked expensive and a selenoid is pretty cheap. The bad news, I have to order one and we can’t level out the motorhome easily (I could jump the selenoid whenever we want to level the motorhome- they don’t call it Jerry Rigging for nothing:) until I fix the problem.

It’s hard to fit anything ‘else’ into your day working these long shows. Either I’m trying to recuperate, prepare for the oncoming evening, fixing something in the booth, cleaning, or working. I also try to fit some time in the morning to play with the kids and actually talk to my wife.

It kind of sounds like the normal nine to five husband going off to work, doesn’t it? Close, but my wife and kids come visit me at work and we get to hang out if I’m not busy. Sometimes I even get to play firefly with Emma where I chase her around the midway while she waves her magic wand. Try doing that in your typical 9-5 cube office!

I worry, as anyone would, about earning enough to carry us through the winter. But I shouldn’t. My avarice is kicking in a little. I’m planning and scheming about upgrading the booth, changing next seasons transportation, tweaking the menu to maximize profits. Gee, I sound like a capitalist. I am.

Inevitably, however, I think that we all need something to provide direction and motivation for us to push through the hard stuff, the dumb things we have to do, in order to reach a goal or realize a dream. Otherwise, we just wander aimlessly without purpose or drive throughout each day. In the end, all the beautiful sunsets and cold beers lose their meaning because the sacrifice is lost.

Sadly, it’s a never ending struggle. We work, we sacrifice, we realize a dream or goal and then it’s over. There’s that moment in time (a day, a month, a year, a decade..) where we can stop and simmer in delight from our achievement and bath in the light of success. After a while, that reality becomes the norm, your everyday reality. That’s called retirement, by the way.

Depending on your inner chi, new dreams begin to form. Hopes and aspirations evolve and a new plan begins to form amongst the blurred chores of daily living.

I don’t know how many times I’ve espoused this theory, but I believe it to my core-

Life is short. Things change. The world is big.

Profound advice, I know. But like all things simple, an apparent truth that can’t be denied but easily ignored.

So we work. We don’t work for the dollars, or the donuts for that matter (although they are good). We work for the ever evolving dream. In our case, realized in the fall to be reborn every spring.

And guess what, the dream will change. That’s ok too.

What about the Almighty Dollar? Sure it’s important. But it’s just a way to transport energy easily- emotional energy, mental energy, physical energy. Money is like a battery. It holds the capacity for your dreams. Your battery runs low, nothing works. You run out of money and things stop moving forward. I’m not sure the quantity is super critical- just enough to move ‘on yonder fields and pastures’. I don’t think anyone would argue that more is better than less.

But the delicate balance becomes capitalizing on your capital in a real and meaningful way during this short life we lead…before it’s too late.(mad scientist laughs in background)

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