It all began back in 1990, when for lack of a better word, I became a scrapper.
I was working a 40-hour week making $6.15 an hour. Not bad at that point of my life, but what if I took a graveyard job on the weekends for $5.05 over 36 hours? My math figured that would come out to $10.00 an hour for a 40-hour week, squeezed into 76 hours.
That was fat city!
Luckily, that only lasted for three months. But, during that 3-month stint, I realized that there is only so much time during the week.
I became obsessed with making every hour count.
I am not sure where I developed this attitude but as each day passed I began to think that in order to provide for me and my family, I was going to have to get serious about life, get out there and get my two cents wherever I could and more importantly, however I could.
It was pretty sad.
All my life I was taught to look out for the little guy and to help those that are less fortunate. But, something went off inside of me and I developed the attitude that no one is going to take care of me, so if I don’t want to end up homeless, I need to get after it and take care of business and not worry about anybody else but me.
Over the next three decades I have had many opportunities to work two jobs at the same time. That was until I hit the jackpot…
THE OIL FIELD!
Work as much as you want at only one job! It was a no-brainer.
Over the past 5 years, I have easily worked about 13 years of my life away.
Don’t do the math, you gotta trust me on this one.
My mentality was, “Don’t let the work dry up, so I can keep putting in the hours”. As employees quit or were fired, I was always there to remind them not to let the door hit them on the way out. I figured there is only so much work and the fewer employees meant more work for me.
About 4 years ago, the story of the apricot tree was told to me.
“If you know anything about apricot trees, they produce a lot of fruit. Not just a handful but bushels of fruit. I approached the apricot tree thinking there were only two apricots at the top of the tree. I could only imagine I was going to have to fight off others, climb that tree, snagged those apricots, and escape without having to share any of them.
It was a pretty sad life but I didn’t know any better.
Then it happened, I was taught the law of abundance. I found out the apricot tree actually produces so much fruit that in order to get the apricots to grow larger and juicier, it is important to prune the fruit early in the season. When the harvest season begins there is still an abundance of fruit. You just have to go get it.”
Well, this changed my life. I realized just like the apricot tree and its fruit, there is just not a small pittance of money to go around for everyone. You don’t have to be cutthroat and eliminate all the competition.
There is an abundance.
You can actually take your time, format your plan, and then go to work. There is plenty to go around. We could end this blog right now and walk away with this knowledge and have everyone happy, right?! Well, not so fast, because here is the piece de resistance…
As I shared this new found knowledge with friends and family, my mother-in-law, Donna Martinson went a step further.
For my birthday, she painted and gave me what I refer to as My Life Masterpiece. It was an apricot tree with an abundance of apricots on all the branches. I still remember when I opened this present and the emotions I felt. Here was a lesson I had learned, which had clearly changed the way I think about everything, and I now had the perfect reminder for me, to look to everyday and keep this life lesson fresh and new.
Now, as many of you know I live in a man camp in the oil fields of North Dakota. You wouldn’t believe the expressions I received when I unpacked and put the picture of the apricot tree in our living room. Little did they know, that it is my key to being productive out here in this oil paradise. I know there is an abundance, not only of money, but of friends, memories, and just plain old good times.
It is very, very easy to get depressed in life. But, if we take time to step back, take a deep breath, show gratitude for everything we have, and realize that in this life there exists plenty for the taking and the sharing. Once we change our mindset and see the possibilities that are placed in front of us, we can tackle each day with vigor and smile and think to ourselves…
There is more tomorrow.