We almost had some extreme action this Saturday. A guy came into the ER with 9 gunshot wounds. They clamped his aorta and rushed him into the OR because he was "bleeding out." They carved the guy up like a turkey trying to get to all the severed arteries to stem the bleeding, but he ended up checking out anyway. He was shot in the chest, abdomen, both knees, and both elbows. It's really tragic when you think about the hatred required to do that to someone, the evil.
I've been trying to spend more time doing other things besides watching TV and sitting here, at the box. I have spent several hours over the last couple of weeks out back in my small shop. When we moved here, there was already a 12x24 foot building next to an above ground pool which housed the pump for the pool. It was chipboard inside and dingy, but it had potential. There was a hole in the back wall with an old air-conditioner in it that ran but didn't cool. Also on the back wall was a natural gas heater with a gas line running from the house. There was a pair of 8 foot fluorescent lights overhead and electrical outlets about every 6 feet all the way around the walls. After we lived here a year or two, I got my dad to come help me paint the inside. We borrowed a spray rig from his former employer, bought white paint, and sprayed the entire inside. I had already replaced the old AC with a smaller, newer unit I had and then I painted the floor with grey deck paint. The result is a very nice little shop with all my tools in it; cozy in winter, cool in summer. So, I've been wasting it. Now I'm trying not to. Evan was offered the choice of naming the shop when we moved in (a little over 5 years ago). We gave him "shed," "shop," or "cabana." It has been the cabana ever since. Appropriate, in a tongue-in-cheek way, since it houses the pump for the pool and is adjoining the deck around the pool.
My major interest there is woodworking. I have a table saw, drill press, and compound miter saw. I still want a bandsaw and a lathe. I have a budget lathe that is currently non-functioning. Who knows, maybe I'll find my "passion" out there since it isn't nursing. I recently realized that even at 41, I haven't found a "job" that I can be passionate about. I can find things to do with my own time that inspire passion, but so far no money-making job with passion included.
I hope to do better with my sons than I have with myself in this area. I encourage them to pursue their passions, knowing that anything you are passionate about can be made into a career if you pursue it faithfully enough. I mean, Lance Armstrong just won his 6th Tour de France because he is absurdly passionate about riding a bicycle! How's that for an example? So, I encourage them to be thinking about "what they want to be" and "what they want to do" when they grow up. I think it is working. My parents didn't know to do this with me. I never had a grasp of the concept they were trying to promote. They would say, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up" but that didn't give me a starting place. For instance, if I said I wanted to be an astronaut, they didn't explain that I would need to make good grades, stay in good physical condition, probably serve in the military after getting a college degree, most likely in aerodynamics/physics/engineering. They would say, "Well you can do that if you try!"
I woke up one day in a furniture factory full of ignorant yokels who had no desire to be anything. I felt I didn't belong, but realized no one was going to get me out of there but me. In a matter of days, I was enlisted in the Marine Corps, and I've never looked back. But I am going to make sure my sons have a better grasp on direction long before they realize they aren't heading in one. I seek to feed their passions and encourage them in pursuits that make them happy, no matter how frivolous. After all, I'm sure there are some wealthy video game programmers out there who simply fed their gaming passions. It doesn't have to be rocket surgery to make one a paycheck and happy at the same time, does it? I'm thinking the answer is no. At least, that's what I'm choosing to believe, and what I'm going to tell them.