“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Everyone probably knows this famous quote by John Lennon. I never thought that one day I would actually use this to assist my son with what seemed to have been a challenging question to answer at school. He asked me after school what I did for a living? I was quite intrigued by this question as I thought he might have been in a debate with his mates on whose dad is the coolest and I knew he was probably not going to win this one. I asked him why? It wasn’t that at all, it was only his teacher that was filling in a list of what the learners parents do for a living. Not sure why it has anything to do with the school, but I understand, so I asked him what he sad. He said he wanted to say “photographer” but it does not seem to be work as I am always going down to the beach and that does not sound like work to him because I never complain the same way I used to when going to the airport. That’s when I thought about the quote of John Lennon and I knew I had to formulate my answer very carefully…
We all want our kids to become self-sufficient at some stage of their lives. So I guess most people will say that you have to work hard, go to university, study for something and find a good job. At least that is how I was brainwashed. No-one ever told me that happiness was the key to life when I was 5 years old. I guess happiness doesn’t pay well although I can safely say that unhappiness can cost you more in the end which you cannot put a monetary value to. I cannot really say that I was unhappy in my previous job, but I was definitely missing something. A life jumps into my mind immediately when I think of what I might have been missing. I cannot say that I am much happier right now than what I previously was, but I have a life now, I have time with my children, I work when I want to and I definitely don’t complain anymore when I go to work. I told him that work is not something that you have to complain about, but you have to know that your work is something that you will be doing for the rest of your live, 8 hours a day and 90% of the year. What makes you unhappy is something you need to avoid as much as you can, so find a job you love. It might not pay as well, but as long as you can be happy and make a living then you can call it a job.
He asked me again, if he could say “photographer” next time. I said no, tell your teacher I am a stay-at home-daddy and I am happy because I have all the time in the world to share my wisdom with my kids. He looked even more puzzled but I am sure one day it will all make sense to him.