“If I were not upon the stage, someone else I’d like to be…” You know the song, even if your lyrics may differ from anyone else. It’s an old standard from panto, and has even been performed by Sir Paul McCartney. Having done a few “turns” myself, I felt a mention of that particular verse would be a fitting introduction to the message I wanted to put across today.

I’ve held down a few jobs in my time, which may be an indication I wasn’t any good at them! Or perhaps I was just being picky… But then my experience is not uncommon. I genuinely believe those who leave education to find one career for the whole of their working lives are the rare ones. And lucky. Or are they?

I think it depends on attitude.

Do you love what you do? I can honestly say I do. At this time in my life, I genuinely love to write. I enjoy the challenge of filling a page with words, sentences and paragraphs that make sense when they connect. Someone else should be able to read “what I wrote” (to quote that leg-end of the small screen, Ernie Wise), and most importantly, they need to understand what I am trying to say. What about you? Everything clear so far? Good. I met the challenge, and I enjoyed putting it together – regardless of whether you got a buzz out of the experience!

But life hasn’t always been like that. For instance, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed being a clerk in a big insurance office – but it did give me the motivation to look for something I might like better. At that time, I had two potential objectives in mind: acting and photography. It wasn’t until I’d tried both professions that I realised what I had in mind was more glamourised than the reality. So, I moved on until (curiously) in later life I returned to both pursuits and enjoyed them so much more.

To quote an old saying: Life is what you make it. There’s that attitude thing again. It doesn’t really matter what it is you do, or for how long. The important thing is to approach it with a determination to make life work for you.

I recently lost two close family members. One was a nurse by profession – an occupation that necessarily comes with huge stress and demands on a daily basis. She loved it, and she lived until she was 94. More tragically, my nephew just died at the age of 51. He also loved his work as an engineer, and even pursued similar skills in his leisure time. Two people with a positive attitude towards their day jobs, and who loved life with all its demands and responsibilities.

Whether you live a long life or a short one, make the most of it. Don’t be that comic character on stage, wishing you were someone else. Be proud of who you are, and what you do.

Life is for living, and life is for loving.

In Memory of:



SIMON JOHN DALE, 1972 – 2023

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