I have decorated cakes since 1980. I worked in one cake shop for almost 10 years and quit to take a 6 month break. I went back to work at another cake shop and have been there ever since. I remember a few years ago, looking at my life and what I’ve accomplished. I wondered at that time when a “job” became a “career”? I don’t think I planned it that way. It just happened. When I was young, I wanted to sing and be able to make a living at it. Well, I quit college after 2 years, got married, had two kids and life went on. When the kids were grown, I went back to school and finished my degree in music just so I could say I did. It was an amazing experience. I was older than my peers, or my peers were now my teachers. And I was now supposed to remember what I read and be able to account for it. I was used to reading romance novels. I got my degree in my middle 40’s. It was fun to learn again and gain affirmation as a person with a bit of talent. But, meanwhile, I was decorating cakes. Over the years I specialized in wedding cakes until that is what I did more than any other thing. When you do one thing for 30-40 hours a week year after year, you get good at it. I love being creative. My work never gets boring. It is not usually repetitive so it is always fresh or new. The down side is dealing with the public. Actually, that is not always a down side either. It makes for great behind-the-scenes conversations! Anyone who has ever dealt with the public knows exactly what I am talking about. Anyway, since I have done this so long, I am finally making a bit more than minimum wage. Not an excessive amount, since I started back when $5 an hour was a good wage, but livable. The thing is, the economy is doing it’s best to make it difficult to live on that type of money. And working in “Mom and Pop” businesses, the kind that are the backbone of our country, the small businesses, usually don’t have all the big time benefits like sick days and insurance and more than one week of vacation a year. So, you weigh the pros and cons. I love what I do, versus more money or more stress and repetitive, boring , same old work. I think I have it good.
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