Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Or Not

by Daddy X

O my—goals. I’ve never been fond of goals.

Short term goals--sure. I’ve managed to stay busy and productive all my life, working in a variety of situations. It’s what has made my life the wild, eclectic trip it’s been. Stumbling and lurching from situation to situation, career to career with nothing but a drive for something new and doable (plus a hungry belly) to guide me through to the next opportunity. Freedom has always included making my own way in the here and now. I rarely had the luxury of making plans for the future.

Long term goals—not so much.  Except for our marriage itself, vast changes in lifestyle have taken place for Momma X and me because of our collective ability to not only think out of the box, but to sniff out opportunity as it presents itself and act upon that information. I’ve had the business cards printed before the interview, lied on resumes, learned something about the interviewer before he/she knew anything about me, and did virtually anything I thought might make me and my ‘brand’ stick out. Hell, everybody embellishes a resume, using whatever devices to make their own qualifications appear to hit the nail on the head. It’s about acting on opportunity.

In restaurants I wanted to work at, I would go and have dinner a few times, get to know the menu and the owner. I’d hang out at an interesting bar. Become a regular. When a position opened, they already knew me. Often, I found out about a job just as it came up. Maybe I even heard somebody was leaving before the fact.  

I’ve always been leery of plans. Plans seldom if ever go as scripted, considering the random quality of life itself, throwing curves and monkey wrenches at our involvements with such capricious intensity. I’ve seen too many plans come apart in situations where people have left themselves no other choices. Not for me. Secure escape hatches with several options help me stay alert and quick on my feet.

It’s a great perk to make one’s living doing something we love. That’s basically what I’ve always done. Since I could never afford to court hobbies on a level that I wanted to pursue them, it was necessary to turn my hobbies into businesses. That’s how my cooking career began. Also my antique business.

Of course that’s not to say all of my enterprises were successes. Forget “Willy-Nilly Construction, Instruction, and Destruction Company” or “Let Me Take You For a Ride”, (when I bought an old classic car and advertised drives through the Wine Country) and “The Visiting Chef”, (which actually led to my first restaurant job). And let’s not get into the snail farming. Poor Momma X still has nightmares about that one!

Currently I have a collection of stories in the works with an April 2015 target date. For now, that’s my most significant short-term focus. Beyond that, I guess my only real goal for the next year is staying alive and healthy. Heh. Come to think, that’s not much different than when I was younger!

Not that I ever tried that hard to stay healthy. (See bio in ‘About Us’) Alive, yes. At least that goal has been fulfilled—so far.


  1. Daddy:
    I just signed up for Medicare Part A. I hear ya, dude. Guys our age have this nasty habit of waking up feeling fine and by 5PM you're on a slab at the funeral home or at the nursing home in a wheel chair with drool cup. So its best to draw pleasure from each day. I used to be a goal setter-monstrous goals-always living my life in the future of my glorious achievements. Now a plan is just a device that tells me where I was when I went off the road.
    I'm looking forward to reading your story collection.

    1. Just love that Medicare! Finally something positive from this gettin' old BS. That and check-out staff giving me the old timers discount. I like your idea about tracking where the plan went sideways. :>)

    2. I think it would help in intergenerational understanding if young people realized when we were young adults, all our aspirations were labeled as anti-social, communist inspired, drug fueled dangerous visions of a world gone amok.

      Funny, Dick Cheney, the embodiment of the Gmork (The Neverending Story) was a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin at the same time I was being gassed for anti-war activities. Don't get me started.

    3. And today, we can't even get anybody to vote. My nephews, aged twenty and twenty two respectively don't have an aware, let alone political bone their bodies. But the Tea Party seems to always rally its troops. Go figure.

  2. Hey, Daddy,

    "Willy Nilly Construction, Instruction and Destruction Company" sounds like something from out of one of your stories!

    Remind me to tell you someday about "Granny Smith's Guide to World Wide Personal Contacts" - my DH's and my notion for combining our interest in swinging with our love of travel!

    1. Would loooove to read that one! Send it on any time!!!

    2. I think you guys should sell t-shirts for both those things. I would wear them.

  3. From the sound of your various job-seeking stratagems, Daddy X, you were a whiz at planning how to reach your goals, and at following through on your planning. Even plans for escape hatches are goal-oriented. Long-term goals don't amount to much without good step-by-step plans along the way--which is why I've fallen short on some of mine.

  4. I agree with Sacchi—you sound like you really know how to get stuff done. And that you're the type of person who knows how to work people, which is super helpful as far as goals go.

    I love the rebel attitude, as always.

    1. Thanx, Sacchi and Annabeth.
      Getting stuff done is a matter of being able to change directions at a moment's notice. Efficient reading of people we meet and an reliable sense of cause and effect will also get you far. It's just when I look back, I don't remember 'making' any of the 'Big decisions" in my life. There were usually several paths-- I just took the direction that seemed right and propitious in the moment. They only revealed themselves as big decisions in hindsight.


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