I learned early on in life that it’s not fun to work all day without the motivation of play time. Whether it’s homework, school work, your occupation, or just plain old chores, it’s always been a mind set that the faster and harder I work, the faster I get to play, and play hard. This is what life is about for me. Who wants to have to work all their life and not have any fun? I don’t. I make it a point to live life to the fullest, for me that is achieving higher standards, working hard and playing even harder.
I grew up in a household of men. My mom disappeared from our lives, due to addiction, very early. We literally woke up one morning and she was gone. This was the case until I was 13 when she started to be in our lives again. Her departure from the family left a lot to be done around the house while Dad was at work. There was laundry to do, food to be cooked, dishes to be washed, and animals to be fed, on top of the everyday chores my brothers Ryan. Jason and I shared. This was the “suckie” part of the day but we knew that the sooner we got home, the swifter we did our chores, and the quicker our homework got done the faster we would be able to go enjoy the last light of the day. This was the fun part. I grew up in the country, Calaveras and Tuolumne County to be exact. My brothers and I would run down to the water swing every day after chores where done. We would take our bikes out and ride in the tall grass of the cow fields. We would ride and ride until our legs gave out, then we would lay in the grass and watch the sun set. This was the reward of work well done. This was us playing hard and this was my childhood.
As I moved into adolescence, school became the chore in itself to compromise with. Of course there was recess and lunch, but honestly in comparison with a seven and a half hour school day it brought little relief. That’s where the creativity started for me. I realized that if I put my mind to it and really did the work instead of day dreaming about what I was doing for PE that day or who I was going to hang out with after school that the time passed in a blink of an eye. So I did work hard and it seemed for every good grade I got I had an activity to go along with it. In middle school I was getting A’s and B’s and after school I was in baseball, soccer and competed in men’s gymnastics. On top of this came outings with the family and friends. My life was full of fun activities.
In high school Life became a little more mature in the sense that on top of school I got a job. This meant that there was double the work and half the fun. This was a very rude awakening, I mean “Transition”, from childhood to adolescence to now, adulthood. This was a turning point for me. I started realizing that by working hard it was enabling me to play harder. For example I worked 30 hours a week instead of 25 I had more money to “play harder” or go on the vacations that I wanted to go on. I now had the” true work hard and play harder” mentality; I now had the upper hand in my life.
This now brings me to the current chapter of my life. I work forty plus hours a week and I excel at my job. I work for a software company in the Financial District and I am going to school at San Francisco Community College for my Prerequisites so I can Transfer to CSU as a junior for my B.S. in Nursing. I still work hard and still play even harder. I no longer do gymnastics at this time and am no longer in baseball, soccer or track. But I do live life to the fullest. Sometimes, for me, working hard and playing harder just means getting the job done and then going home and watching some T.V. and playing games with my partner. And other times it means breaking sweat at work, and then going out on the weekends. I am always going somewhere or doing something on the weekends. I took up bowling with my partner and some friends; on the weekends we go rock climbing, camping, water skiing, bike riding, and when I really work hard the occasional trip to Cancun or cruise to Mexico. Every day I work hard so I can play harder.
Today my work hard to play harder mentality is more of a perspective. I know that the harder I work the more rewards that come of it. I learned this as a child by doing the chores and enjoying the freedoms of being a kid with no responsibilities. I learned it in Adolescence when I got to see the tangible proof that if I worked hard good things came of it. And I learn it every day as an adult. My experience in life is that nothing comes freely. Love takes work, healing takes work, learning takes work, and life in general takes work. So every new day I try to work a little harder, So I can then play, whether in my head with a day dream, or on the lake in the sun with a fishing pole in my hand, breeze in my face and friends at my side. I work hard to play harder.
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