That’s Something To Be Proud Of

25 Jul

My dad worked at a job he hated for twenty-five years.

Stop and think about that for a moment.  It’s really hard for me to comprehend.  I’ve had some crap jobs during my lifetime (cleaning pig pens comes to mind), but I’ve never stayed with them for more than a year or so. Twenty-five years?  My God, what that must have been like for him, or for any of the millions of other people who have done the same thing over the years . . . coal miners . . . assembly line workers . . . I can’t wrap my brain around what that must be like.

And the thing is, I never heard him complain.  I asked him about it once, back when I was maybe fifteen, or sixteen, I caught up with my dad one Saturday afternoon and asked him how he did it, getting up every morning, going to work at a job he disliked, knowing that day, like all the other days, was as good as it gets . . . no chance for advancement, no future prospects . . . how the hell did he do it, I asked.

And he simply told me that a man should take pride in a job well-done, and in providing for his family, and it was no more complicated than that.

Now, in my sixtieth year, I understand.  Now, as a writer, I get it.

At least, as a writer, I have the privilege to get up each morning and do something I am passionate about, but there are no promises regarding fame or future sales.  For all I know, I may do this for a total of twenty or twenty-five years, with no prospects and no chance of ever being well-known.  That’s just the reality all writers, artists, or musicians face.  So we take pride in doing our jobs well, in being the best writers, artists, or musicians we can be, and by doing that we will have advanced the Arts and done our part to entertain and inform the general public.

We are the voices of our generation, and our work will stand the test of time.

And that’s something to be proud of!

Keep that in mind as you go about the business of creating today.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

20 Responses to “That’s Something To Be Proud Of”

  1. Janine Huldie July 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Aw, your dad sounds a lot like my own, who taught me early on to take pride in my work and have exemplary work ethic with whatever job I set out to do. So, thankful for that as even now I try my best to do all I can with the work at hand that I tackle each and every day here. Happy Tuesday once again, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc July 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

      it stays with us, doesn’t it, Janine? Those lessons from men we respect will go with us to our graves, but hopefully we will have passed them on to our children. 🙂 Thanks a bunch, my friend.

  2. Andrea Stephenson July 25, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

    I was taught that by my dad too. He worked as a plasterer and could have earned more money elsewhere, but stayed with the same family firm he’d been apprenticed to all his working life.

    • Billybuc July 25, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

      I love it, Andrea! I would have like your dad.

  3. Sageleaf July 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Your dad was wise. I’ve learned a few lessons from him, too. And if you complain, you put yourself in a negative state of mind, which can invite all sorts of repercussions. Best to be grateful and to focus on doing a good job.
    Hope you’re well on this fine Tuesday. 🙂 Sending you big hugs from good ol’ NC.

    • Billybuc July 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis and yes, I am well. Busy as all get out, but well….and it’s too hot, but that’s not me complaining. LOL It’s just that I don’t do as well in the heat as I once did, and I’ve got this to do list that isn’t getting any shorter. 🙂 Oh well, right?

      Hugs from sunny and hot Olympia

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown July 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    i AGREE, Love what you do and do what you love!

    • Billybuc July 27, 2017 at 1:26 am #

      Thank you Donna! It comes as no surprise.

  5. Sarah Potter Writes July 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    LOL, I’ve been doing the writing thing for 27 years now, but admit to running out of steam lately. Trying not to complain, of course. Just hoping the slump is temporary.
    Your Dad was such a hero, working all those years for the purpose of providing for the family he loved. My father was self-employed, successful, and an absolute workaholic. He was a bit exhausting. I enjoyed visiting my friends’ houses, where their fathers did ordinary jobs and chilled out on their days off!

    PS could you send some of your Olympian hot weather my way. It’s grey, cold and rainy here on the south coast of the UK in “sunny” Sussex, as it’s called.

    • Billybuc July 27, 2017 at 1:28 am #

      Sarah, it’s always interesting to hear the backgrounds of people I know. We all have differences and yet there are so many similarities. As for the weather, I would gladly send this heat to you. I’m longing for a cloudy day.

  6. Linda Lum July 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

    Bill, you and I have had several conversations about the similarity of our dads–they were both part of that generation that didn’t complain. They did what needed to be done and put God and family above all else, above their own needs and wants. They had a sense of dedication that is hard to find today. You, my friend, have that quality. I know your dad would be so very proud of the man you have become.

    Your dad and mine–they taught us how to be true citizens, participants in this human race. Simply put, I guess you could say that they taught us how to love.

    • Billybuc July 27, 2017 at 1:29 am #

      Linda, that is as good a summary as I could come up with….that was the single most important lesson I learned…to love. Thank you for that, and for the very kind words.

  7. phoenix2327 July 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    Your Dad must have realized that, although his own lot was as good as he could expect, his hard graft would go towards making your own prospects that much better. He must have been so proud knowing it helped you get to college and beyond. I’d say you’ve done all right with the opportunities he provided you.

    • Billybuc July 27, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

      That was very important to him, Zulma, that I go to college. He never saw me graduate, but I know he would have been proud for sure. Thank you my friend.

  8. Manatita July 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    Awesome write!
    Reads like my Monday morning inspirations.
    I see elderly folks in my job and they all have that old-fashioned mentally or grit. Bring back that attitude, I say. That dauntless sense of duty…loyalty…courage…so needed in our world today.
    In Germany. Great inspirations! Great spiritual brothers and sisters…wonderful weather. In NY in two weeks.
    Much Love to you, Bev and family.- Manatita

    • Billybuc July 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

      There is much to be said for that mentality, Manatita, and this country could use more of it. Enjoy Germany, my friend!

  9. Michael Milec August 3, 2017 at 2:51 am #

    Hard work, finish what you started and do your best for any price. Those are my memories of my dad and mom impressed at my fifteen years life together, before I left to pursue my future of self-supporting. It was kind of ‘love’ working doing or you might face winter season starving. Perpetual farming taught me n e v e r give up. Long hours working, skipping vacations and being content , never been sure if that was sufficient. Slovak mentality ‘you could still have done this more…’ earning bread was hard work in post ww2 times. I was still in love with my writing, occasionally publishing mainly short play/ pieces a mission type presentation until interrupted by communistic regime… My heart never been broken and I never stop writing for myself, often wandering why am I doing what am doing… As for now i do not foresee an end , following footsteps of my dad : He was active doing what he loved to do every day in hope to continue in the next morning until that one night he went into a sleep he never woke up on this planet.
    Peace with us and goodnight my friend.

    • Billybuc August 3, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

      Beautiful thoughts, Michael my friend. Our parents were of the same mindset. Satisfaction gained from a job well-done, and always striving to be better. Thank you, my friend, and peace be with you always.

  10. Karen Szklany Gault August 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    So good a message to remember, Bill. Our society needs to separate the monetary value from the quality of our work, and give people credit for working, even when it’s to keep one’s home in good shape. We work even when nobody pays us.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Billybuc August 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

      Great point, Karen. Thank you for that..even when nobody pays us…yes indeed!

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