Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 8, 2003 Herald Journal
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When something stops being fun, it's time to quit

By RYAN GUENINGSMAN

This past week, I had the opportunity to see some of the Wisconsin countryside sitting shotgun in an 18-wheeler for a story I was working on for our Farm Horizons publication, which will be published Monday, Sept. 22.

Several weeks back, I had the chance to do a ride-along with one of our local law enforcement agencies.

To put this in perspective, a truck driver told me not to long ago that he dislikes cops because "They watch for every little thing we do."

A cop once told me that he dislikes truck drivers because they "Think they own the road."

I've also been shotgun in a garbage truck, ambulance, milk truck, and have also sat backstage at Winstock with the country singer who had the number one song in the nation at the time for a chat (Darryl Worley).

Sound like I am bragging? Nah, just reflecting on how many different ways there are for people to make a living, and also how many different outlooks on life there are.

People may complain about how much they hate their jobs, that the pay is never enough, and no matter what you do, it seems there is someone who can do it two times as well as you can.

The way I look at it is, that no matter how much you hate your job ­ at least you have one. There are some people out there who may not have a job, or may not be able to work because of a disability. Maybe if you do not enjoy what you are doing, look for something different ­ something that you will like.

My job gives me the opportunity to see a lot of other people at their jobs, doing what they do to make a living.

Who would think that picking up garbage would be something that someone would want to do?

Not me ­ until I did a story on a garbage hauler from Winsted who won an award for his truck driving skills. Picking up garbage is his life; he is proud of it, and enjoys going out there everyday.

I also never would have thought that spending countless hours behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler would be fun ­ but for some people, they enjoy each and every mile they put on.

Happiness all depends on if you like what you have to do every day. If you absolutely hate with a passion what you do each day, of course it is not going to be fun.

Whether your "job" is school, or a full-time job, if you don't enjoy it, you're not going to get anything out of it, and you're not going to be fulfilled in your life.

Especially if you are in school, no matter how much it stinks sometimes, enjoy every minute of it. Before you know it, you will be out in the "real world" wondering "OK, I'm here. Now what?"

Time flies ­ if you're not enjoying what you are doing everyday, look at something else. Life is too short to waste it doing something that you do not like.

At Winstock 2000, country legend Merle Haggard told me something that I try to live by every day.

"When it stops being fun, then it's time to quit," he told me.

Haggard is still on the road, making new music, and bringing it to his fans.

It hasn't stopped being fun for him for more than 40 years. Take the Hag's advice ­ if it stops being "fun, then it's time to quit."

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