Okay, you asked for it.
This is very much an “abbreviated” summary (no, not redundant, I summarized, then made it even more brief. Like I said, I could write a complete novel on the subject.)
Well, it all started with getting a good education… I went to public school but my father taught me a lot at home that I couldn’t get in schools. Like computer programming. Hey, in the early 1970’s, you didn’t get computer courses in elementary school. I started learning programming from my IBM Dad when I was 8. By the time I was 10, he brought home a printout of a program a team of IBM programmers had been working on “debugging” and “fixing” for 2 months, and they couldn’t locate the bug causing the program to freeze up. I looked over the printout, got out a pencil and scratch paper, ran the program through using a scratch pad instead of a computer, marked up the needed changes and sent it back. Let’s say they were impressed, because I solved in one afternoon what a team of top IBM programmers could not do in months. I suppose it just came natural to me.
2 months later I beat out a lot of top chefs to win a cooking competition. Yes, I was still just 10 years old.
When I finally got my chance to go to University, I had difficulty settling on any one thing, so I studied a varied set of courses toward multiple degrees, with majors in Computer Science and Writing and with minor studies in Psychology, Accounting, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Music. The only subject I ever had any trouble with was History, because while I tend to have a keen understanding of how things work in almost any field, I have difficulty memorizing dates.
I have, over the years, done everything from being an Italian Chef, own a breakfast catering company, restaurant management, Marriage Counseling, Computer programming, engineering design and drafting, writer, science teacher, music teacher, law enforcement, Insurance, bank management, traveling evangelist, and was even pastor of a small church. I have loved everything I’ve done, but my favorite by far is being a father. It is also the most challenging and the most rewarding at the same time.
Let’s face it though, I worked my way through school, starting my career as I went. So I got a head start on things. I’m not rich, but I am able to stay at home and retire partly because I have already worked so hard in life, and partly because I have a supportive wife who wanted to pursue her career. Since I have already had such a wonderful success at so many careers, I decided to be supportive and stay home with the children while she pursued hers. I married later in life to a younger woman who wanted both career and family, and she is doing quite well with it. Me being in a position to stay home makes it easier for her to concentrate on her career AND have her family, so she is thrilled over it.
We calculated things up, and discovered that if I were working right now, we’d actually not be able to keep as much money as we do now, because of taxes and child care expenses, etc. So we actually make more money by me not having an income, or by keeping my income as low as possible. Some of the maintenance I do for my existing clients have had to be done for free because charging would have put me into the higher bracket, and cost us much more than would be worth.