I wake up in the morning there’s an achin’ in my head,
A ringin’ in my ears. Am I better off dead?
I’m getting too old and I don’t know any more
I kick off the sheets and I roll out of bed
I’m blind to the world and my eyes are all red
I look at the clock and it’s only half past four. Go on about my day and that’s a fact
Cuz I’m too young to die but I’m too old to act
Like it matters to me.
Shuffle off to work just to get my pay
Got a bad attitude but that’s okay
Someday I’m gonna be free.
I’m living life, the life of a working man
If you wanna go far you gotta have a plan
Time’s too short you got to take it by the hand. Lunchtime’s over got my belt on tight
Nap in the back room got me feelin’ alright
Think I’ll coast on through the afternoon
Boss man come up to me with a smile
Says “Hello John it’s been a good long while
Looks like your workin’ days are through.”
So, I packed up the tools and threw ‘em in the truck.
I backed it on up and said, “What the fuck,
I don’t gotta come back no more.”
I pulled up to the house and sat in the drive
Momma come out and said “Sakes alive!”
She sat next to me and poured us both a beer
We smoked a joint, then another one
We both knew my work was done
I’m glad that its over I won’t shed a tear

I wrote this song after a new song by James McMurtry inspired me. I liked the cadence and the words he used. This song sounds nothing like his and the theme is not related. But it was the catalyst for my creativity.

I’ve been thinking about the path I want to follow with my writing career. It seems that maybe the things that I would like to do are not the things that are best suited for me and when I follow a certain way sometimes it ends in disappointment. I’m sure a lot of people can identify with this. It’s is a theme that I have been exploring as I plan the next quarter and review the goals for my ideal life.

Regardless of the dreams and goals I have had in my life, I am a blue-collar worker. I have been a pipe fitter since 1991 and in that time I have come to know, and be known, by a great many people. It is not uncommon for me to go somewhere in my own city and see a friend or co-worker. Sometimes I see someone I know or who has a mutual friend. I belong to a large network of working men and women who have at least one common goal; make a living by earning a livable wage with health insurance and a retirement.

I joined Local 469 at my fathers suggestion because I had a young family and needed a decent wage and health insurance. At the time survival was at the forefront of my mind and retirement was a distant light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Through the years the long tunnel became brighter and shorter but I was so wrapped up in making a living that I didn’t notice.

I’m now closer to the end of my career than the beginning, or even the middle, and I’m still thinking about my path. The clues to the path forward are hidden in plain sight. They can be found by looking at the past and being in the present. My mission in being a writer is not only to bring entertainment to people, but to share meaningful thoughts that help others to reach their aspirations.

I’ve had this in me for many years but self-doubt is an ever-present companion that each of us must deal with. I do have a great deal of self-confidence in other areas but my thought for years was, “who would want to hear from me about success?” Plenty of people, that’s who.

In recent years I’ve come to be recognized when I go places and some people have told me of the positive impact I’ve had on them and it has made me realize that I’ve brought value into these people’s experience. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and without trying to do anything different than being myself I’ve done it.

So, what’s the takeaway? It has to do with the path I’m following and have been following all my life. The life of a working man. I started at about ten years old knocking on neighbor’s doors looking for odd jobs and continues today as I sit in orientation for yet another company where my skills are in demand.

What does any of this have to do with my career as a writer? One of the keys to success is to find the right audience and what the message to them is. I’ve always seen myself as a motivational type and that is part of the message I want to share. Motivation for what? Why success, of course. But success means different things to different people. Yes, it does and if I don’t see myself as a success in any business other than my career where is my audience?

I’ve been trying to figure that out and I’ve found it right in front of me the whole time. Anybody who follows my social media page knows that I’ve been posting videos of me playing the guitar and that I’m writing this blog. In the course of planning I have been looking at the statistics for the posts and have found that the posts that are directly related to my experiences as a blue-collar worker receive the most attention. It makes me wonder why I’ve been trying to run away from it my entire career. This is who I am and I embrace it. I don’t need to look for somethings that I already have.

It seems that instead of finding my audience, my audience found me and they are just like me. Sure, we have differences, maybe religious or political differences but, at the end of the day, we all want the same things out of life. That’s something we can all identify with.

Thank you all so much for your support over the years as I’ve made my way through my career and thanks for letting me be me. Peace and love to you all.

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