Chasing Rabbits

When I was @ the lumberyard yesterday,  the store manager asked me if I’d built such and such a building this fall… (a $400,00 commercial project  30 minutes from here).

“Nope, I said, although Jason and I did spend a month doing the landscaping…”

“Oh, I was just wondering” he said….

I thought to myself, I don’t have the crew nor desire to take on that large of a project….

Then fleeting thoughts of  “failure…looser”  went through my mind, but I ignored them.

This year, I have been doing mostly small repairs, building doors for a dairy set up, tables, fixing holes in buildings.. still working, but nothing large.

Yes,  there are times I wish I was generating more $ 😉

(see my last post)

and yet….there is a young man I know whom  I see regularly at the lumberyard, He just starting  his own business. He recently purchased a 2016 full size pickup with all the bells and whistles.   I know from various sources, he has financial problems…  Doing the type of work I do, there is no way, I  generate enough net income to afford that  truck….but if you were to meet him and I, and judge us solely by the  trucks we drive, you would think he is more successful than I…..

(I drive a Toyota Tundra with 180,000 miles on it, that is paid for)

I love what I do…but (and I’ve written about this before) when our kids were younger,  I was doing a poor job of managing my time. My marriage and  family was floundering.  We were living pay check to pay check. I was gone a lot. My wife was doing 99% of  the work raising our kids,  and we were drifting apart as a couple.

She finally said to me, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Then came across the following…

“If you make it to the top of the company ladder, but loose your family in the process, you are a fool….”

and another one…”if you are a hero to strangers, but a stranger to your children... (same thing/ you are a fool).

Whop/ Felt like someone had hit me across the nose with a 2 by 4…

So here I sit, almost 30  years removed from that season of my life, no longer a driven, workaholic and I meet young men all of the time chasing the  same rabbit around the track I used to chase…

But there is more than one way  to measure success.

I have two areas of my life that I keep an eye on.

Like gauges on an engine…

One is called relationship.

Relationship.  My relationship with God, (as I understand him)  my relationship with my wife and children.. relationships with the rest of the people in my life. (Which is also why I invest time blogging..I really do value those of you that I interact with here!)

And the second (and equally important)  gauge, my heart…

Not my physical heart, but, the  inner/ hidden person of my heart.

There is a mantra (I try) to keep in the fore-front of my life, that goes like this:   “Keep, (or guard) your heart with all vigilance (or diligence)  for from it flows the springs of life…” 

ie. inner life: (peace, joy, and all of that) flow out of an artesian spring, down deep in the bedrock of my heart… because of the world  in which I live, my heart  can easily become dirty and fouled, cluttered with too many job pressures,  financial pressures, etc.

So, if work, (or anything for that matter)  is choking the life out of me, then it behooves me to do something about it.


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18 thoughts on “Chasing Rabbits

  1. When my kids were young – I worked the graveyard shift as a baker – it was the only thing I could come up with that would allow me to still participate in the day to day things of child rearing. Ultimately, i catnapped a lot (including in the car waiting for the school bell), was (in my mind anyway) short tempered and impatient, felt I was being too strict/not strict enough……
    Oddly, both of my kids (now mid thirties) think I was an awesome mom – go figure. They are also more involved/connected parents than I was. The downside – to me, is that they are both workaholics, and neither knows how to just slow down and relax. It never crossed my mind back in the day – that I would be passing that trait onto them. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • You can’t put a price tag on these relationships with our adult children can you…… Sounds like you were doing what you had to do to make it work, and they still love their mama 😉 I would much rather have one that is a hard worker that needs to learn how to slow down, than a lazy one that won’t do a thing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • She’s here in 4 days and just having you ask about her makes me smile!! I love her so much. When I decided to have a child, I had no idea just how big the love would become! It was a practical decision, like, yeah, I want to have a family, I’m child bearing age, done with college, it’s the appropriate time – ha! I was so silly about it! You have more than one – There must be a crazy amount of love energy when your family gets together around the holidays !

        Liked by 1 person

        • We had a family get together this past June..(Christmas in June sort of thing) in case everyone could not get back over the holidays… It totally lived up to and exceeded my expectations. There IS an energy I feel when the immediate family is all together..yes we love the inlaws and grandchildren…but before all of that, there was our immediate family. I miss that, because everyone has other people they have to take into consideration when the whole tribe is together, we did get a family picture with just the 6 of us, my favorite picture out of the many that were taken… I feel your joy, looking forward to your time w/ your daughter…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the reminder! You have such wisdom! Having this broken ankle has been a real eye opener for me. And since we know God allows all the trials we go through for his glory, it has given me a serious pause to reflect on what’s happening in my life right now. Taking my faith and trust to a whole new level I never dreamed of. I talk a good game of being okay with being poor, but am I really okay with it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to work in a landscape nursery about 10-12 years ago. You know Valley Crest? It’s a nationwide landscaping company I think. Man they have nice, new, shiny equipment. I was always amazed at the cash sunk in equipment there. They used to come in a lot and get stuff.
    Darren was another customer of the nursery. He had his own small business with a small crew and three trucks. Except his trucks were late eighties box body Chevy trucks. He had bought them right, with engine troubles or whatnot, and did the work to get them going reliably. (remember, you trip over parts for these trucks in every parts store in the country) He painted them all basic white that looked OK from 20 ft (or more) and had probably less than $15k in three trucks.
    He used to be so proud of them, and the work they did for him for so little cash. He was one of my favorite customers because he lacked that pretentiousness that tells people they need to impress others.
    I’m sure you’re familiar with the Dave Ramsey quote, about buying things you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t like. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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