Some things I've learned in the past few months:
1) You can actually do your job while sound asleep. Coupling and uncoupling a cut of rail cars and shoving them into a cane-loading elevator siding can be a challenge when totally asleep, but it can be done. So is getting on and off moving locomotives. Do it enough times and you just go through the motions like an automaton.
2) Working seven day's a week with no breaks for months on end does fabulous things to one's attitude, demeanor and awareness for one's surroundings...
3) When one has been working seven day's a week with no breaks and finally does take a day off, it is very possible for that person to actually sleep for twenty-four hours straight.
4) Money isn't everything.
5) Sleep is everything.
I have quite a few decisions to make in the next few months... I have several options open to me at this stage of the game. Important decisions. Ones that I shan't take lightly. Ones that involve Texas, Washington, Idaho, Louisiana and Alaska... And even here in Florida. All have to do with the railroad.
I'm at a crossroads of a sort and with everything else going on I'm finding it more and more difficult to decide just what is it I should do. I know, whatever decision I make I'm going to upset or hurt someone along the way, but I know in my heart of hearts this can't be helped. I'm leaning strongly right now in one or two areas and I'll elaborate more when it becomes clearer in my mind.
I do know this, it will relate to the railroad. That is my one and ultimate goal... I was born for this job and no matter how much money I can make at another job, if I'm not happy with what I'm doing, I'll be no good at anything and be miserable.
I'll relate this story I heard a few years ago. It involved this high-powered Wall Street broker. Made buckets of money... Had the huge house, nice cars... He had everything. One day he chucked it all and went to Africa to work in the Peace Corps. His friends and family were horrified... His reply to them? "What's making two million a year, living where you really don't want to be and being miserable and making a dollar a day and being truly happy?"
I can really identify.
I opt for happiness.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden