1/26/07 – I painted a bathroom the other day and today I am currently painting my son's room. I know it's not exactly the equivalent of a man walking on the face of Mars, but for me, it might as well be. I know my limitations so we hired a painter to take care of the tougher parts of the house (although a skateboard themed 10-year-old's room painted in bright blues and reds isn't a cakewalk by any means) and I asked for a few tips.
What's interesting to me is that while I was asking him for help, the painter was in awe of what I do for a living. People always look at you the way I imagine they look at a sword swallower or a stuntman when you tell them you are on the radio. And yet I was in awe of him. Painting is hard work. You need strong arms and a good eye and talent. These things aren't just picked up on a whim. You get paint on yourself and have to smell chemicals all day long. It's good old fashioned manual labor.
Painting rooms around the house is therapeutic for me. It's fun, actually. Even when I spill that drop of paint on the carpet, I roll with it and keep going. But it also gives me a renewed appreciation for getting my hands dirty.
Quite frankly, I sit for a living. Most of my day is spent sitting and reading, since talk show hosts have to have do research to have the facts at their fingertips. Then I sit for three hours straight when I do the show. And I talk. Meanwhile people are teetering on scaffolds, reaching for that tough little whisp of primer that still needs covering. Somewhere as you read this, a scalpel is slicing skin and muscle with life and death precision. Around the next corner, a police officer's heart is exploding with adrenaline in pursuit of a criminal. And millions of minds are learning something that they didn't know a moment before.
People need to look in the mirror and realize that their jobs ARE unique and important. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or work for animal control (some moms would argue those jobs are one and the same), your job and responsibilities matter. Think about that next time you are in awe of a radio talk show host, zoologist, magician, or astronaut. Because chances are, they find what you do to be equally fascinating and important.