This Blog entry is being written in the midst of the Holiday season chaos that nearly everyone is undoubtedly undergoing. And like many of you, I have a daunting amount of things to do before I can gorge myself with turkey, cranberry sauce and other fattening festive goodness. SO, for once, I promise to at least attempt to make this a short entry, as I am somewhat forced to do so.. No promises.
I took this photo on Tuesday, November 21 just south of North bend NE after a fairly routine, but quite exhausting pour. We were pouring a basement floor on the south side of the lake, with winds in excess of 50mph, and nothing but sand surrounding on all sides. If you’ve ever been in a sandy environment while it’s even remotely windy, you know all to well that it is very similar to the sensation of pointing a sandblasting nozzle in your face.
Between the consecutive 17 hour days that we’ve been working, weather conditions, and very physically demanding work that we do, It was safe to say that I was not in the best mood, and definitely “questioning my career choices”.
(Finally, getting to the Thanksgiving inspiration for this article)
The two things that come to mind when I see this picture are why I am VERY thankful for my current job, and that I need to realize that the majority of the things I complain about on a regular basis are quite short sighted. The downsides of both the line of work I’m in, as well as the company that I work for, is that I work insane hours, I come home aching, grouchy, and the 4-5 hours of sleep that I get in between aren’t really enough to prepare me for the next day. The company I work for has gaps in management and fails at times to appreciate the amount of dedication we put forth. (just like any other company under the sun)
However, when it’s all put into perspective after I reflect on the numerous ways I have been blessed, and begin to attempt to literally count out all of the things I should be truly thankful for, I am immediately humbled, and all of the negative experiences begin to be vastly outweighed by the positives. Just like the particles of sand in this picture represent: Yes, it was incredibly cold, the concrete was not cooperating due to the excessive amounts of sand being gusted on to the floor as well as into our eyes, we could barely see to pump, rake, and screed the mud into place (three tasks that are already quite tiresome on their own). And FURTHARMORE, I just had to clean sand that was lodged in my inner ear not even 15 minutes prior to writing this! But here is the flip side, the Beauty of the sand blowing around in this photo.. If not for my current job, I would not be pushed to endure great amounts physical strain, working far later than I ever would have in the past, learning a trade that I never even saw as an option, and I wouldn’t be able to pretend that I have a small amount of photographic inclination by using the beautiful blend of nature and industry coming together to make a neat looking photo!
My point in this blog entry that turned into a novel is not only applicable in the daily grind. We ALL have gone through some hard times that we think we will never get through. We question what we did to deserve our current situation, and some of us at one time or another in our lives (myself included) come to a point in which our own mind betrays us into believing that we have nothing to offer society, that things will never get better, and that the answer is to give up. But I am here to assure you, with myself as a personal example, that, Guess what? the cliché saying that “you’ve only failed once you cease to try” is true. Regardless of the experiences that we endure, no matter how tragic, inconvenient, heartbreaking, or ominous they are, please rest assured of these three things:
- Trials are temporary, even if it seems like you cant take it any longer, time really does fly, and time is guaranteed to bring change, whether it is for good or bad, is almost entirely up to you at the end of the day.
- You are not alone, and their ARE people out there with very similar problems at all stages of life, and their is ALWAYS someone who cares. I see too many people with this mindset, including myself more times than I’d like to admit and its just not true. End of discussion.
- There is ALWAYS a bright side, and you’re NEVER powerless. In the past I was so good at feeling sorry for myself that I could fully convince myself that there was nothing I could do to make my life better, and things couldn’t possibly get worse. (this is a very dangerous state of mind, that can eventually become a life sentence for people unable to break the cycle).
Thanksgiving is many things to many people across the country, whether you’re at the in-laws, about to consume enough turkey and pumpkin pie to feed half of the football team you’re rooting for this weekend, avoiding thanksgiving dinner with the family to avoid inevitable conflict, or spending the day alone on the couch, binging Netflix with your cat, just remember that life happens and it cannot be controlled, but how we perceive our personal situation is far more important than comparing it to others.
Happy Thanksgiving from Nomad John!