Friday, October 25, 2013

So Your Man Wants to Drive a Bread Truck

I was sitting at work yesterday, chatting it up with a coworker of mine, when the topic of conversation steered to my plans for the next couple years. I plan on leaving my full-time role as an administrative assistant when Aaron graduates next spring. He will become the full-time corporate employee and I will focus most of my time on my business and kiddos.

"So what's he going to do?" asked my coworker.

"Oh, most likely accounting," I'd said. "He's getting his degree in Finance and Business Management. He's an accountant right now for a small manufacturing company......." blah blah blah. The conversation continued like this for a few minutes, me detailing the standard hopes and dreams of many American families...a good, steady job, good pay, good benefits...my coworker nodding his head in appreciation, listening as I expressed fears about the current job market and making ends meet.

Then I dropped this incredible thought:

"Ya know, if he had it his way, I mean really had it his way, you know what he would be? What he really wants to be?"

My coworker kinda raised his eyebrows, interested, but not sure where I was going.

"A bread truck driver. He would want to drive a bread truck. A real bread truck. With bread on it."

This was met with silence and unblinking eyes.

"I mean think about it, bread is light, easy to carry, and smells good. He would smell good all the time, just driving around his bread truck. Best job ever."

My coworker just kinda continued staring at me for a minute, then did that eye dart thing everyone unconsciously does when checking for hidden cameras.

"Oh wow...!" he said. "Yea...uhm......not much room to grow there, as a....uhm....bread truck driver."

He trailed off and slowly started to walk away. Now this is a nice guy, my coworker. He wasn't trying to be snotty, or uppity, or holier-than-thou. He was simply expressing his opinion - alluding to what it means to be successful in his eyes. To my coworker, a successful career means room to grow in a company, to advance, to become an executive, perhaps.

Our convo got me thinking.....

Ten years ago, had you asked me what kind of man I'd like to marry, a bread truck driver would've probably come in dead last. Ok it wouldn't have even been mentioned. Seriously who thinks of things like driving bread trucks??

Well Aaron, that's who.

Aaron's been deployed to Iraq twice, the first time for 15 months, the second for 13 months. He earned the rank of sergeant and had the incredible opportunity to be hand-selected for the Personal Security Detachment for the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of his unit...which basically means he was a bodyguard for a big, high-ranking guy. He manned the 50-cal on top of the CSM's Humvee. Aaron was chosen for this job because during his first deployment he was caught in an ambush and survived primarily because he had the quick thinking to shoot out a generator supplying light to the streetlamps illuminating his entire convoy and making them an easy target for the heavily-armed terrorist snipers surrounding their position.

To him, a bread truck sounds nice.

Success. It can mean a million things and for each of the millions of possibilities it can mean for one person, it can mean equally as many things to someone else.

Success is making your oldest daughter laugh like a crazy person.


It's surviving an 8-hour plane ride with a kid suffering from motion sickness.



It's watching your dad and your daughter catch her very first fish.



It's maintaining, improving, and cherishing a marriage regardless of relentless obstacles.



It's having your baby girl open her eyes for the first time......and see you



It's surviving.


Nope, driving a bread truck won't nab the big bucks, or a corner office, or even, in some cases, the respect of others. But that's ok. There's more than one way to make your mark in this world.

Aaron may end up becoming an accountant. He may end up being a bread truck driver. He may hate both those things and just start working for his soon-to-be-famous wife (eh? ehhhhh???). Whatever he chooses, I know he will be successful, as he's always been, as I know he can be.

Do what makes you happy. Whether it's a six-figure paycheck or the scent of fresh-baked yeast, reach for your goals with intention and the knowledge that if you want something bad enough, I mean really want it, nothing can stop you. Not a confused coworker, not lack of time, not lack of money, nothing. The true measure of your desire is your commitment to making it a reality.

Here's to the dreamers, corner-office dwellers, and bread truck drivers.



Jen
jen@jenniferludwigsen.com


12 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I've found as I get older my values have changed. I am an accountant by the way. I want to spend my time doing something more fulfilling to me. My brother and I have often talked about going into business together. I talked to him yesterday and he's all about making as much money as he can and I realized this will never work. We are looking for two different things. I think driving a bread truck sounds pretty good. I could listen to books on tape while driving my truck.

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    1. Yes - I completely agree. Our values evolve and thank gosh for that!! Ha hahaha - otherwise Captain Morgan would still be my dream man! I think it would be difficult to partner with someone who had a different focus...right now I work for an executive and I must say, I don't know how he does it. I would have a hard time staying motivated and focused, I think. Thanks so much for reading!!

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  2. I LOVE this! You're right sometimes it's not the largeness of the dream but simply having it and achieving it. You husband is truly a Hero and if a bread truck driver is what he wants I hope he makes it happen...

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    1. Thank you!! Dreams make the world go 'round, I think. How boring would life be if you had nothing to work towards, nothing to yearn for, nothing to inspire creativity and excitement? Thank you so much for reading and I'll be sure to pass along the compliment to Aaron :)

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  3. How awesome!! You have a lovely family Jen! A big THANK YOU to your husband for his service to our country!! Our son-in-law also fought over in Iraq and praise God he made it back safely to our shores. A bread truck driver sounds like the perfect "dream" job for your husband...tell him to go for it!! Thanks so much for stopping by from the SITs Sharefest! May you and your family have a wonderful weekend!!

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    1. Aww thank you so much Michell ~ ! I love hearing about others who've returned safely....it's such a beautiful disaster, the life of a military family. There are things I miss so much about it, but others I truly never want to experience again. I'm so glad your son-in-law returned home safe and sound and please pass along a thank you from us as well. Brothers and sisters in arms :)

      Have an incredible weekend and thank you so much for reading!!

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  4. I love and needed this. I especially appreciate your last thought: "The true measure of your desire is your commitment to making it a reality." I am striving to do this everyday!

    Your husband is awesome regardless. I love the photos! Thanks to him for serving our country.

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    1. Thank you Melanie!! I get so dragged down sometimes with the overwhelming difficulty of making a dream into something tangible and real....I found eliminating the excuses and never settling is the only way I stay on track. And I will pass the complement to my husband :) Thank you so much for reading!!

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  5. FABulous post. And please thank your husband for putting himself in harms way to protect our way of life. Your post is an incredible perspective on what makes us happy and what is important to us which is determined by what we have lived, experienced and seen. Thank you for a great story.

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    1. Thank you! I will absolutely pass along your gratitude and am so glad you stopped by. I think it's incredible how unique we all are and yes - our desires are absolutely shaped by our experiences. Thank you so much for reading!

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  6. My husband has worked 2 to 3 jobs at a time for the entirety of our 16 year relationship. Just a week ago, he quit all of his jobs to drive....A BREAD TRUCK. This is his dream. It is our dream and the dream for our family. We will never make a million or have an office, but he will be happy working for himself. Our son (who has mild autism) will always have a job if he wants it. My husband has done everything from retail management to selling cars to selling insurance. Nothing gave him the satisfaction that his part time bread ob gave him. He did part time bread for 7 years and discovered a passion for the orderly work and (of course!) the bread. We laid in bed talking one night about a year ago and he said "Why can't I just do bread? It's the only job that makes me happy." Happiness is what you choose to make it. We choose to live a simple life, and we don't need the latest gadgets. Now we own our own business (and bread route). Your blog post was touching and true. You and your husband have good perspective on life and happiness. Thanks for writing it down!

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    1. What an incredible story! I love it. I've worked for executives for quite some time now and I'm coming to find salary does not always equate to happiness. I think the goal is to be comfortable - financially, mentally, and physically comfortable. It's reachable, realistic, and like you said, happiness is what you make it. Finding your happy can be so hard and I'm glad to hear your husband found it!! What awesome proof of the power of perspective :) Congrats on the new business!! Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful week :)

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