Walt's Look Around: Retired Glass Blower - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Retired Glass Blower

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MONTICELLO, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The flame is lit the same as when Roger Smith's device was fired up for a day's work back when he was the resident blown glass artist at Cypress Gardens, Florida.

The raw ingredients are still pretty much the same, a long hollow tube of glass that is heated and blown into, like you'd blow up a balloon, to create and combine with as many shapes and little hooks and other devices as your imagination can conceive of to make all sorts of things.

Roger still comes to his workshop and creates almost daily, just like he did when this was his all-day job. But when you don't have to do a thing to make a living from it anymore, you can see more why it was ever appealing to you to begin with.

And Roger says it was the ability to bring something into being.

"Seeing something come from raw materials adding color. There's no two pieces alike when you work by hand," said Smith. "But just the idea of, it's that creative energy, the creativity that I enjoy."  

A wise old weatherman once told me that if you love what you do for a living you'll never go to work a day in your life. Evidently that's true for Roger to carry over into retirement what he once did for a living.

Not that there isn't work involved, even when you're doing a thing for fun.

"Nothing comes easy," added Smith. "I have a music background. I had to work at that. That didn't come easy for me either."  

So if you've been expecting your career to fall out of the sky and just land in your lap, maybe you see why that isn't working out for you. You have to at least get up and meet it half way.

And when you do, and have done a thing for 40 years as Roger has, then you discover you have created a life for yourself and not just a job.

And when you ARE able to retire, you already know what you're going to be doing for a pastime. And it's not just to sit and wilt away.

"It's just that creative process and watching it develop and know you've got a part in that," reflected Smith.

I guess you could divide your life into career years and retirement years, but when they easily melt into the other, it just makes for one rewarding lifetime.

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