I stopped to think and forgot to start again (bill_schubert) wrote,
I stopped to think and forgot to start again

What are you going to do when you grow up?

I'm in the midst of what may turn out to be a 'significant life event', as they say.  The initial meeting of what might turn out to been the end of my company happened a couple of days ago.  The way things happen in my business, computer support and managed services, is that either you go out of business or a bigger fish swallows you.  I've managed to avoid the former and have always thought due to our geographic location that the latter was inevitable.  All lovely in theory.  We merge, I get some kind of 'package' and am eased out or ease myself out and I go on my merry way. I'm 63.  It is time.

But now what do I do when I grow up?

Turns out that getting what I thought would happen and is, frankly, the most desirable path has me rattled.

One of the games I play with myself when i meet others in a social situation, especially other men, is to see how long we go before someone say 'so what do you do for a living?'.  The object being to peg the person in a hole.  You are what you do for a living.  "I'm in real estate"  "I run my own company" etc.  Define the man by what he does not as a hobby, not as a spiritual being (or whatever) but as his job.  It is the shorthand of our lives.  I am my company and have been for 11 years, one sixth of my life, half of my marriage.  Running a business can be a little consuming and I'm essentially lazy and took the opportunity to define myself as my company.  It is a shorthand in social situations, an automatic topic of conversation.

All this is so very trite and predictable at my age and in my position.  Sigh.

I've never had a driving passion to do something.  Instead I've been very good at maximizing whatever I happened to fall into.  Other than the theater which is all about passion or nothing, I did well in the Navy and in Prudential and in my current business.  Never stellar, never the lead dog.  You need passion for that.  But always fairly well.  Better than average.  The top third or better.

When I was home from college once, an aquaintence of my father's was having drinks in our house and I was introduced.  He asked "So what do you want to do when you grow up?"  It was an awkward question to ask of a 20 year old and kind of a show stopper but I bumbled through an answer and let him off the hook.  I can't remember my answer but the question still rattles around my head.

Well, I've got three chickens now, two dogs, two cats and six fish.  So maybe I'll be a menagerie developer.  A new career classification.

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