The heat has broken.
Our meteorologists here in Richmond tell us the hottest days of 2019 are in our rear view mirrors.
I’m sitting here enjoying the gentle liquid sunshine and the cooler temperature.
And looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer
I hope you can join us here in August for Andy Offutt Irwin’s Tall-Tale Workshop.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
I frequently write about my dad. I cannot exaggerate his influence in my life of for that matter his impact on the lives of many. A friend once asked me if my dad really said all those things or was I just using him as a proxy for my positions. I can’t swear daddy expressed himself with the exact words l attribute to him, but the older I get the more often I have these epiphanies where I realize what something my dad had said meant.
Case in point, daddy used to tell me to find work I loved. He was a bricklayer and later a contractor. He told me he looked forward to going to work every day. And he looked forward to coming home to my momma and me every night. He said there were few things sadder than men who worked all day long at jobs they hated, slaving away waiting for the weekend or vacation or retirement. He’d say those guys were miserable and it had to impact their relationships on and off the job.
I started carrying brick for daddy the summer I turned 10. As the years passed, I carried brick, and block. I carried buckets of water, and wheelbarrows of mortar. I mixed mortar, back breaking work if there ever was. I dug ditches. As much as I loved my daddy, as a child and later as a teenager it was hard to love this work. I was always looking for easier work. The problem was this work paid well and I loved the money, but you earned every dollar. My cousins and I complained all the time.
Daddy would follow up his admonition to find work you loved with,
“Until you can find the work you love; find a way to love the work you have.”
As I got older, I began to look forward to breaking ground for a new job. I found satisfaction in laying off the site, situating the project correctly. I found pleasure in estimating, procuring and delivering the materials. I even found satisfaction in digging the footing and pouring the concrete foundation. I learned new skills: framing and finish carpentry, hanging siding and storm windows, and finishing concrete. I am proud to have mastered these crafts and that mastery brought with it joy.
Years later, I was given a book titled, “Fish!”
The book articulated The Fish Philosophy and its four principles:
1. Adult Work Should Be Play
2. Be Present
3. Look for Ways to Make People’s Day
4. Choose Your Attitude
Number 4 encapsulates my dad’s point of view.
Good day? Bad day? Your choice. It does not matter what the job is; it’s your choice how you respond. Don’t want to do it? Fine, look for another job; but in the interim look for a way to find joy in executing the tasks well. Find the intrinsic value in doing the job well and take pride in your excellence.
Let me encourage you to read this little parable. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. Which leads me to my last point. I’ve a personal mission:
Enjoy life and enthuse others to find joy in theirs.
Reading Fish! Might help you discover joy you’ve overlooked. If so, my mission for today is accomplished.
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
I’m going out in the rain to look for Jeremiah, I hear he has some mighty fine wine.
If this last reference is a little vague, ask Andy about it the next time you see him.
Consider The Ad Below
The banner ad below is promoting an audio book of three of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories: Morella, Berenice, and Ligeia.
I encourage you to check it out.
We’re about to release our next e-book, Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Dark Humor. I’ll be going into the studio shortly thereafter to record it as an audio book.
I Want to Hear from You
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what stories or storytelling topics you’d like me to explore.
Til next time,