OK, I have a cool job. There is a guy on campus whose passion is developing harnesses for actors and dancers for when they need to "fly". Now, I don't claim to understand how this got to be his passion, but it seriously keeps him up at night. He and I were chatting, and I mentioned that I'm a rock climber. Rock climbers have a certain fondness for flying and harnesses, too, as it turns out. Of course it takes even an expert rock climber three or four minutes to get adequately attached to the various ropes and harnesses and carabiners that keep us alive. Oddly enough, this would not work in a stage setting. So, our harnesses are not the same as their harnesses.
But it opened the conversation. And because I have some experience he let me play with his inventions. So I spent a half-hour this morning flying. What did you do???? Even if I can't understand someone's work...even if I can't understand how, in a world with so many possibilities, THAT became someone's passion (I offer you mathematics as one possibility in that category.)... I love being in an environment where people are passionate about ideas and projects.
But walking back across campus, I thought of jobs I'm profoundly glad I don't have. Bless the hearts of the people shoveling snow today. Holy cripes. I am glad I'm not among them. I'm glad I'm not the person in charge of driving 18-wheelers down the little windy streets of this town -or worse, in the Chicago Loop. I probably shouldn't consider a career in professional light-bulb-changing, since that project isn't going all that well.
All things considered, I'm better off where I am.