Every point has a counter-point, every thesis an antithesis and every lesson has an equal and opposite scenario where I learned nothing. My work shirts, those golf or polo or dress shirts, have no story to tell.

I’d like to hope that in this moment I’m wrong. Weird statement, huh? I mean, who wants to be wrong? Humor me for the next 6-700 words if you will. I hope I’m wrong about the shirts I wear for work. I hope that someday I’ll look back on that red golf shirt and remember something I learned while I wore it. I hope that down the road I’ll gaze at that white dress shirt and think of the time I received some valuable insight into the human condition, my own life or personality and I’ve carried it with me all those years. I hope this, because right now, I got nothin’.

I look at the shirts hanging in my closet, the afore-mentioned ones, the ones I haven’t given away to Goodwill and nothing, absolutely nothing, resonates. It makes me a little sad. I spend hours and hours in those shirts. Doing good work, doing things that put bread on the table and my kids through college and I have no takeaways. I don’t recall any big deals or triumphs I’ve experienced while I wore them. I don’t remember wearing one of them when I learned that my job was being eliminated or when I found out I was getting that bonus. You would think that either good or bad, some of them would elicit an emotion and yet they don’t.

I want to be clear that this is not a rant about the job(s) I do being unfulfilling. I’ve had good jobs, useful jobs, jobs where I grew up and jobs where I probably went backwards. The jobs I’ve had didn’t have an obligation to me whatsoever to be meaningful. I think that responsibility rests on my shoulders. So, maybe I should be a little down on myself, maybe. I’m a big boy, I can accept my shortcomings. I’ll admit to phoning it in at times. I’ll admit to not getting fired up to be all I can be each and every day. I’ll even admit to sitting down at my desk and thinking “Don’t know that I’ll be getting much done today.” That’s a “me” thing not a job thing. No, the shame in this whole deal is that I have put in 28 or so years in the big-boy, real-job world and I’ve got nothin’.

So what’s the resolution, what’s the lesson, what’s the point Doug? (I know you’re saying this, I can hear you) Maybe it’s a slant on “The Shawshank Redemption” line “Get busy livin, or get busy dyin.” Maybe the lesson is that the past 28 years don’t have enough lessons, or enough that stand out much. Maybe the lesson is that I ought to get busy doin’ something that teaches me somethin’. Or at least means more to me than bread on the table or the kids through college (not that those things aren’t really, really important). Maybe the answer is right here on this page. If I’m honest I have to admit there’s no “maybe” about it.

The introduction on the home page makes the statement “I am a writer.” That may not sound like much but that simple four word declarative statement is monumental. It means more than all the oxfords and polo’s combined over all these years. I’ve known that I was made to write for years and I’ve put it off. There are lots of reasons and I won’t bore you with them but I’ll bet one thing; I’ll bet you have something inside you that you have been denying, maybe for years. Like me, you’ve been putting on your uniform and doing your work. There’s honor in that, please don’t get me wrong. If there weren’t I wouldn’t have done it for so long. I’ve just come to the conclusion that this other thing, this way I’m made has been under wraps (or shirts) for long enough. It’s time to take those off (no I’m not sitting here writing this naked that’s a major “Eeewwww!” point). What I’m saying is that for me the time has come and I hope it will for you too.

Maybe your passion is cooking or gardening or needlepoint, I don’t know. Maybe you just love to fix classic cars or plumbing or computers; the possibilities are endless. There’s lots of maybe’s out there but I think you know what yours is. I encourage you to do it. Now. Lest you think I’ve thrown caution and responsibility to the wind you should know I’m still putting on those button-downs and those business-casual-acceptable golf shirts. I might put them on until I’m a very old guy and that’s fine if that’s how it works out but I know that this other thing, this writing thing, will be what I’m about from here on out. I hope you take the wheel and do your thing and do it in some shirt or smock or blouse or uniform that years from now you look at and say “I remember when I wore that…” That would be really cool.

We all have something that lights a fire under us. What’s yours? What are you doing to stoke that fire? How are you getting the fire started, fanning the flame? I‘d love to hear your story below.


If you like this and you have a friend that you think would get something out of it, won’t you share it with them? I bet they would appreciate it and your encouragement to pursue their thing. The icons are below.

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