"It's what you do"
I'm not Kobe, LeBron, Wade, A-Rod, never the superstar, never a person who seeks the spotlight. My father instilled that quality in me, for the past nearly 40 years he has been fixing elevators, getting called at ungodly hours to drive/fly somewhere in the Midwest region because some mechanic kid doesn't know the difference between the blue wire and the red wire and the building's contractor is bitching out the home office something fierce because they cannot complete their $50 million cubical maze without an OSHA sign off on the lifts. He puts head down, gets it done without flair, without demands, without extra needs. He could expense bigger hotels, better meals, but chooses to pack a lunch/dinner with chocolate chip bars from my mom while staying in a place that's no more than a bed to lay down on after making things right at the job site for 12-14 hours then comes back home to be an on-call help desk.
He missed his kids growing up and just now at the age of 60 as started to get to know them. I love my father dearly, always have, always will and I see little bit of myself in him. Just the honor of someone appreciating my hard work is worth doing the job. Some may call that being naive and those people would be absolutely correct. But as long as I receive the satisfaction of doing something right, my reward may not be tangible but its worth more than anything currently parked in Paris Hilton's gargage.
All my life, I just yearn for a chance. My current employ, where I will probably retire from in the year 2035, has shot me down for several promotions due to a lack of a piece of paper that I currently am in the pursuit of achieving for both personal and professional reasons. But when one has a disability there is always a nagging itch with each denial. "Is it because I cannot hear?". It's an irritation that grows with every rejection, and wondering "am I in the right business?", "should I be taking my talents somewhere else?". Instead I put my head down and keep churning out productivity.
I am not a genius, nor do I feel particularly talented at anything but I work harder than most as people who know my schedule get winded just reading it. While sitting up in the metal bleachers at Field #1 behind my parent's home and Cedar Island elementary school directly to my right where I attended and teachers still asked about me 25 years later, I still wonder what I did to make such a lasting impression besides my unkept hair, ability to say "what?!?" every other word, and do my multiplication tables faster than anyone in the room. Then I looked up at my boy finally showing some effort on the field, sliding side-to-side for grounders and showing a bit of the smooth batting stroke that got his father a place on a few baseball/softball teams. Of course in my lap was a copy of Fundamentals of Corporate Finance and a rather dry chapter about WACC, betas, CAPM, and the cost of equity since my time was in short supply this week. But, cool, nearly windless night made it perfect to sit outside and watch my son finally show some effort that I hope I can instill in him as my father did in me.
Hard work does pay off, it may take longer for someone who doesn't chirp about not getting "his due", but the person who doesn't ask for those extras shouldn't expect them, instead receiving the little satifsfaction like a son's smile after finally catching a fly ball, getting an insignificant grade on a college paper, or working long hours on a blog post that felt good to finish and not caring how many people read it because you were proud of the words put to print.
A good friend told me "it's what you do" and he couldn't be more right.
And I'll continue to be a parent, a writer, a number jockey, a friend, a husband, a provider, a student until I'm ask not to. When all those jobs are done and there's nothing left, I'll take myself somewhere to rest with a handle of rum in my hand of course. But until then its time to get back to work.