128 – May 8
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
For many years I had studied acting, gotten my B.A. Degree in Dramatic Art, and made the trek to Hollywood as countless thousands before me. I got my Equity card performing in “Hello, Dolly!” with Martha Rae, my SAG card in “The Time of Your Life” with James Whitmore, and did odds and ends of dinner theaters, commercials, and Disneyland. Though even minor stardom eluded me, I enjoyed my creative pursuit of the dream.
In between acting jobs, I took secretarial jobs to pay the bills—luckily, during one summer- school session, my mother had said “Learn to type, honey!” Each time a show closed, I’d call the employment agency and they’d send me on my next temporary assignment. One fateful day in September, a play I was in closed when the backers ran out of money. The temporary secretarial assignment was supposed to last for two weeks.
I was there for four years.
The catch was they kept promoting me. With every promotion, I got more involved with the company and my coworkers, my skills improved and I discovered a love for the creative side of business. I found myself turning auditions—and then parts—down. I had clearly come to a crisis about what work I was meant to do.
Agonizing over my choices, I called my friend, Gaye Kruger. She asked me what I loved about acting. I said I loved being creative, the fun I had with the other actors, the applause and acknowledgment, the money, and feeling important. She asked me what I loved about my office job. I said I loved being creative, the fun I had with my co-workers, the praise and acknowledgment, the money, and feeling important. She said, “It’s the same list. Go for the underlying value. You have everything you want where you are now.” She was right. The ruby slippers were on my feet and everything I wanted was in my own backyard. I never acted again.
And never missed it, either.
What are the underlying values in your life and work?
“All my desires are worthy and I always get everything I desire.”
A couple of years ago, I had just started my 8-week series of Financial Stress Reduction® teleclasses Monday and Tuesday, so I took Wednesday afternoon off and went down to the Bicycle Casino to play in their small 2:00 pm Omaha High-Low tournament.
Note: Omaha is a card game played like Texas Hold’em, except each player is dealt 4 cards instead of 2, and the best high hand splits the pot with the best low hand. You have to use 3 cards on the board and 2 cards in your hand and the low hand must be 5 low cards the highest of which can be an 8.
There were about 40 players, and we started with $5,000 in tournament chips (the buy-in was $50) I won some chips early, but then had a bad patch where I lost all but $1,000. But I won the next hand I played, and then had some wonderful winning hands – like a club flush with A-2-3-4-5 lowest possible hand, too. They call this “nut-nut” – having the “nuts” is having the best possible hand and having “nut-nut” is having the best possible high and low hands.
I finished 3rd winning $285, then played a cash game of $8-16 limit holdem and won another $281. So it was a fun, relaxing, and profitable day off!
What are your hobbies? Are they relaxing? Profitable? Fun? Share your stories here with us!