I never liked the term rat race to describe corporate life. Too many good people and good firms are out there.

At times though, you might feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, an endless cycle that keeps spinning…  Get a job.  Get married.  Buy a house.  Have kids…  You need to run faster just to keep up…  Get a bigger job.  Commute longer.  Have bigger expenses.  Have more kids… You might even begin to feel a little trapped.

There are good things about the “wheel” though, like stability and opportunity for achievement. But, it can be hard to steer the wheel and even harder to get off it.
And sometimes, the wheel goes one way and life another way

So, I had to leap off that wheel and not look back.  

But the wheel then haunted me, luring me back with the promise of stability that I no longer had. My sure-bet, new-career firms were all gone, either their decision or mine. Then, I lost my iPod with my motivational tunes. Next, my indoor-rowing exercise ended and I didn’t know how to row the outdoor boat. Even my GPS broke.

My new-career compass needed fixing.

Before too long, I found my iPod hiding in a busy car trunk. Those songs and artists reminded me of my direction.

God, what a mess, on the ladder of success 
When you take one step and, miss the whole first rung 
Dreams unfulfilled…
~ The Replacements, “Bastards of Young”

I never let myself dream much… work though satisfying has mostly been something
I do to live not something I live to do.

Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day…
Big wheel keep on turnin’…
~ Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Proud Mary”

 

I took a deep breath for the first time in a long time, hoping to stop the spinning and reflect for a while.

Young, like a new moon rising 
Fierce, through the rain and lightning 
Wandering out into this great unknown 
~ Kid Rock, “Born Free”

 

I earned the right to take a risk, I told myself… not knowing what lied ahead. 

Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh 
What do I stand for? What do I stand for? 
Most nights, I don’t know, anymore
~ Fun, “Some Nights”

I thought about past experiences — things I love to do and do well — to figure out who I am and who I want to be… with my kids watching closely.

Can – you – hear – me – when – I – sing?
You’re the reason I sing
You’re the reason why, the opera is in me
~ U2, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”

Inspiration came from many sources, some expected some not.

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you
~ Bob Dylan, “Positively 4th Street”

I imagined myself in other peoples’ careers, and my wife and I swapped roles a bit.

Well you wish upon a star
That turns into a plane
 
And I guess that’s right on par
Who’s left to blame?
~ The Replacements, “Valentine”

I thought I found the one… a few different times.

We may well be the ones
to set this world on its ear
We may well get it done
If nothing, why are we here?
~ Paul Westerberg, “We May Be the Ones”

If not me, then who?

I will sing, sing a new song 
I will sing, sing a new song
How long, to sing this song?
How long, to sing this song?
~ U2, ” 40″

I remained determined, yet patient.

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight
~ Bruce Springsteen “The Rising”

My time is now!

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today 
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today 
Look at me, I can be…
~ John Fogerty, “Centerfield”

https://youtu.be/YqY7e4bP9PQ

I can be… not just centerfield… but a few things that are more true to me and all fit together and help each other.

I am on the road to becoming a financial advisor for an independent, established firm and team who believe in me, will mentor me, and share my values for giving financial advice.

I am a writer and speaker, reflecting on life, work, family, music and my heroes.
I am a coach and teacherhelping a friend expand his basketball camp to include instruction for sports writing and broadcasting.

And when it’s donewin or lose 
You always did your best’cause inside you knew 
One shining moment, you reached deep inside 
One shining moment, you knew you were alive 
– David Barrett,  “One Shining Moment”

Instead of rolling a steady wheel, I feel more free now… like I’m riding a winding roller coaster… and my family is riding with me.

My life and work are finally becoming one.

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