The Many Miles Man

Three days. Not a day less. That was my guess.

By the tight grip of his jaw, medicine I knew the man seated alone at a table next to a window in Blu had to have been on the road for at least three days.

I was almost right.

David had already been out on business for four days straight. In that time he had wound his watch to keep current in three different times zones. He wouldn’t be home again to Pennsylvania for another four days and by then he would go from Milwaukee to Chicago to Miami to Arkansas. Not the type of trip you plan for efficiency and pretty airports, view that was for sure.

David was in the sort of business where it probably made sense to wear a tie, but no way, no how did David need one. He was sure and confident and a necktie wouldn’t have proved anything worthwhile to anyone he passed by on the road. But you can be certain that if he had knotted something around his neck, it would have been as impressive as he was. With his shaved head, piercing eyes, and tight, compact frame he looked like he could have been Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luther. But something told me that David was more concerned with saving the world than destroying it.

David was a road warrior and he seemed to be winning whatever battle he had signed up for. Executive recruitment was his trade, and he was on a multi city swing finding leaders to fill voids and making clients happy. And now, for a moment, it was time for David to be happy.

David’s red wine arrived. He grabbed it with hands that looked like they could easily shatter the long stemmed glass holding the drink. He took a long sip. His strong shoulders relaxed. You could almost hear his body say, “Ahhhhhhhh.”

David stared into the night, his eyes sharply focused on the shining lights of the Milwaukee skyline. He looked like he was hatching a plan, some scheme that would be a stunner for sure. He reached for the wine. Another sip. A little more tension released from his shoulders. A little more calm in his face suggested that when he chose to, his smile would fill a room with light and wonder.

Those eyes, those piercing eyes staring into the night–they were full of intrigue, intellect and a little bit of danger. The hand shifted again, but this time it passed over his wine and headed for the breast pocket of his sport coat. He reached toward his chest. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a shining revolver at the end of his powerful grip as the hand emerged from his neatly tailored jacket. And if he wanted your wallet, you would have given it happily and thanked him for the honor of choosing you to stick up.

As his hand emerged from his jacket, a phone appeared in his palm instead of a weapon of mass destruction. I somehow imagined that David was actually capable of doing even more damage with his phone than any chamber full of bullets. He lifted the screen at an angle and typed. He waited.

A moment passed.


A message.

Then a smile.

I offered a hand and said hello. His fingers could have crushed the meta out of my carpals, but instead he warmly accepted the friendly gesture. After four days, it wasn’t the worst thing to see a smile coming back at you in a comfortable place on top of the city and a few floors above the bed where you’d hang your head.

“Everything okay with you?” I asked.

“Yeah,” said David. “I miss my wife. I always miss my wife.”

It was nice to know that the most impressive gentleman in the joint was simply pining for his sweetheart.

We traded pleasantries and I bid him a good night. Glancing back a moment after saying goodbye, I saw him smiling down at his phone. His wife had written back, something sweet, something funny, something that deserved another pull of wine.

I asked the waitress to send him a glass of whatever he was drinking as soon as he was ready for his next. David had many more miles to go, but tonight, alone in the dark he earned a quiet moment to remember that he’d be home soon enough to say, “I love you, oh yes I do.”

Two Texans

Two Texans,

architectural engineers,

college students,

conference attendees

named Shannon and Michaela

want me to write them love letters for their boyfriends.

two texans
Shannon and Michaela


Shannon lovingingly describes her boyfriend, Ryan, as

“a sarcastic ass always picking on me and my big head!”

She goes on to say she met him at a country club dance hall

four and a half years ago

and she’s “still waiting for the proposal

and make sure you put that in the letter!”

I ask Shannon why Ryan is holding back

she says Ryan claims he needs to “make sure it’s the right go” first

and that he is “still checking things out.”

Ryans passions?

“Trucking, working, and mudding in his ’97 blue Ford.”

She also adds “Shiner bock” and “Ziegen Bock,”

beers you can only find in Texas, apparently.ryan



Michaela’s “goofball” is named Justin,

and he is “the weirdest person you will ever meet,

a shy country boy who loves hunting and fishing.”

A little over a year ago Michaela asked him out,

and later on she had to ask Justin

to confirm if we were dating,

and his reply,

“Do I really need to?”

Michaela and Justin have two dogs,

June and Avery.

Michaela tells me she imagines that her boyfriend

is crying in bed and holding June now

that she has been gone for two days.

Typical behavior for the industrial technology student

who loves Fords but hates his own Dodge truck,

who loves Ziegen bach and Shiner beers.

justin letter

I am given a third assignment,

to write a letter to their friend Tate,

a “ditzy fashionista,

the owner of a wiener dog,

a smart, outgoing blonde”

who’s also studying architectural engineering

in Kingsville Texas

and is planning for her elaborate wedding

“which is not happening anytime soon.”

Her passions:

Chic Fil A, naps, sushi,

her football player boyfriend, Max.

Tate gets mad at Shannon and Michaela when they jaywalk.

“Really mad.”

Lastly, Tate collects trays,

shabby chic vintage trays.

She has so many she stores them in stacks.



Wasn’t One of Our Ancestors a French Bishop Or Something?

Two of my second cousins are in town

so my Grandma and Mom take us all out

to a Monday noon lunch at the Pfister café.

My cousin Courtney, lifelong Texas resident

introduces us to her new husband, Michael

who, to our collective delight is as Wisconsin as

Green Bay where he was raised.

Courtney and Michael.

Then there is my cousin Amy and her new husband, Punit

who grew up in Zambia, Africa.

Soon Amy & Punit (of Kansas) will voyage to India

to visit all his grandparents and family there.

Many countries and continents encompass our family,

but today’s meeting concerns the Italian “De Simone” side.

I attended Amy & Punit’s wedding last summer.

My mom wants you to know De Simone

should be pronounced Deh-si-MON-eh

not Dee-Simone as they switched it long ago

to fit their new American life in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


Courtney says she thought she once heard

that De Simone is really a French name

and that one of our ancestors married a French bishop,

which would be against the Vatican’s wishes if true.

But my mom says no, that’s not right, at all,


Grandpa (my great-grandpa) had an uncle who was an archbishop,

Filippo, born in Acri, Consenza, Calabria in 1807

long before it was considered Italy, unified as we know it today.

Filippo was installed as the bishop in the Cathedral of Santa Severina

which my parents snapped a picture of when they visited Italy in 1983.


Santa Severina’s cathedral is in the middle.


Outside the castle village of Santa Severina.

Bishop Filippo’s brother and sister-in-law lived with him,

as the caretakers of his house.

Once, when this sister-in-law turned gravely ill,

her husband prayed to let her live

and to have him be the one to die instead…

and that’s just what happened.

Then the bishop’s widowed sister-in-law remarried

to a man with the last name of Pignataro.

The bishop’s sister-in-law, Dominica Patarino De Simone Pignataro  with her second husband Francisco Pignataro.

Years later, her son Giuseppe De Simone

(from her first marriage),

moved to America and worked

to provide enough for his teenage bride, Maria

and their first son

as well as his sisters and half-sisters

to all cross over in 1914.

Years later my mother explained to Maria all about her new waterbed

Maria was repulsed at the idea of a swaying, watery bed,

“I came over on the boat, that’s enough for me.”


Maria and Giuseppe’s son, Alberto De Simone was my Grandpa.

My cousin Amy’s Grandpa was Alberto’s brother, Alfredo.

Both Al’s eliminated the o’s off the ends of their name

so they wouldn’t stick out as Italians.

Courtney’s Grandma, Elvira became Vera.

Salvatore became Uncle Sam,

Guillermo became Uncle Willy.

Aunts Florence and Eva didn’t change their names,

Aunts Adeline and Angeline did not survive childhood.

Left to right: Vera, Maria with baby Albert (my grandpa!), Sam, Giuseppe (Peppi) and Alfred around 1920.


Now, a century after Giuseppe (a.k.a “Peppi”) came over to America

looking for his new life as a blacksmith,

his offspring gather in the Pfister, ordering a bloody mary,

With beefstick (among other delectables), and beer chaser.

cream of broccoli soup and a couple of salmon salads

while wondering,

“Wasn’t one of our ancestors a French Bishop or something?”

No, he wasn’t,

but isn’t this game of generational telephone interesting?

My grandparents getting information from a local in 1983.

Under the Pfister Sky

In the lounge I spy a woman with two screens: a glowing tablet in her lap and a texting device in her hand.  I decide I must approach this woman of information. All at the same time she is reading, treat texting someone and telling me, “I’m not actually all that technologically advanced” and suggests that I ask one of her close friends about her because they’d confirm to me that she is not that quick on the gadgets.  Unfortunately, none of her friends are available for questioning here tonight since she is visiting from England.  She lives in England, but she was born in Scotland, Morag is her name.

Like any other living organism, Morag continues to grow layers, sections, rings and cells of ideas.  She studies anthropology and is enrolled at a Welsh university.  The glowing screen in her lap is open to a manuscript from her course on “Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.”  I ask her what the heck that’s all about and she gives me a simple noun: the sky.  “Everything in the sky has impacted every aspect of our lives.”  Morag explains that European cities have less sky and as a result many Europeans crave horizons.  American cities have much more horizon, more space to be filled.  She is nearly whispering and it is hard to hear her over the piano’s medley of Hollywood movie themes.  I ask her in my usual highly audible volume, “Is that why Americans talk so loud?” Morag shrugs, “Well, you have more expansive personalities.”  I agree with that statement with a great big “Mmmmm!”  Perhaps too emphatic because Morag quickly corrects herself, “But that is a gross generalization of course!”

Ah yes, I remember now, generalizations are dangerous!  Assumptions are dangerous!  New experiences are the antidote to ignorance!  Morag knows this truth by heart. She’s been to an ice bar in the Netherlands.  An ice bar is a place where you get dressed up in wooly clothes; a full snowsuit and you are given a drinking glass hewn of ice.  “Obviously you are drinking vodka,” she adds.  “You pay by the hour, but no one lasts longer than an hour at an ice bar.  And the whole while everyone there is giggling at you because you look ridiculous.”  Aside from being a university student she is a professional costume designer for operas and ballets.  She knows the fluidity of facades.  Even her haircutter has a dual life as a creative writer.  “Being a hairdresser informs her writing because she’s learned how to talk to people…  perhaps you can relate to that?”

Yes, I can.  Thanks for talking with me, Morag.


Travel By Association ~ or ~ Travel Lite


Travelers. Travelers everywhere. Transient folks of every stripe walking, running, sitting, working, swimming, eating. Carrying luggage. Grabbing a cup of coffee. Adding sugar to their tea. En route toward somewhere. Arriving from someplace else.

Ah, airports. All of humanity distilled to a small area becoming a sudden, immediate culture. Unique and specific to that individual moment. The energy of not knowing what awaits on the other side of the tarmac touchdown chirp. I haven’t seen an airport in awhile but all the travelers inside this hotel make me feel as though I’m spending my time in a very relaxed version of one.

The experience of travel. Not just the carrot dangle destination, but getting there as well. I have these conventions, habits which only happen when traveling. I always try to arrive at the airport early to immerse in the vibe of transience, and chuckle about the seriousness of the TSA folks. After checking my luggage I order a Cinnabon roll slathered with frosting (reserved for airports alone). Then I might have a beer, even if the sun is out. I don’t have anywhere else to be and I’m not driving. Then I buy a new magazine, which I generally don’t read until reaching my destination. The reading material is only for the rare event that my neighbors prefer not conversing as much as I enjoy it.

There’s a curiosity and a titillation which exists inside places of travel or temporary residence. The immediacy that your only time to get to know all these people exists between now and your destination or connecting flight. A chance to learn from someone who may not look like you. They might only speak your language in words that provide the most * POP * to get their point across. They might not speak your language at all. They probably won’t share your political views, and will have completely different political issues in their city, or state, or continent.

I like having the time constraint of only the flight duration to try and understand another person.

There is also no accountability. You have no emotional attachment to another traveler, their past, or their future. Conversely, they hold none toward you. People are free to confide in one another regarding experiences or feelings they may not otherwise discuss openly with family, friends, or even their spouse. A person can tell a stranger all the details of their life they don’t care to be reminded of when they wake up the next day, fully rested to experience their new surroundings.

These things are all great, but what about when you can’t travel? When you’re busy.When a vacation is not in the budget. Times when work is too busy or you’re immersed in your studies. When family requirements may not allow for time outside the immediate zip code.

Despair not fellow hearts diagnosed with an incurable case wanderlust!

I invite you to indulge in something I refer to as Travel Lite. The Lite Beer of travels. This is travel by association. Chances are you’ve never met Doug from Virginia and heard his recommendations on California wine. Or Rick’s afternoon spent downhill skiing while in Dubai. Sandra’s experience working as a city planner in New York City. The bird dogs Ole has raised over the years. That time when the locals told Erica and Steve they weren’t crazy, that probably was a pointing dorsal fin, and that South America does indeed have freshwater sharks (as they dried with towels on the beach).

That is the lovely thing I’ve learned over the past few months. Any time you have a spare hour you’re able to stop in at your friendly neighborhood upscale hotel for a dose of travel lite. It’s as if all the best about travel has been brought to you. Except the food and drink is better and cab fare is cheaper than airfare.


The Midwesterner

A friend once told me that when she moved to Portland, Oregon she had a difficult time finding a job. Portland has become a bit of a mecca for young liberal folks looking to live the relaxed western life. However the city is a famously difficult place to find employment. She encountered this problem, but only until she informed potential employers that she was from Milwaukee. “Oh, you’re from the Midwest?” One possible employer said during an interview, “We’ll figure out a position for you. No problem.” It seemed she had cracked the code.

I was reminded of this story after having breakfast with a gentleman this morning. His name is Bill and while he may currently work in the produce business, not so long ago he was buttoning up a three-piece suit for 60+ hours a week in Nevada. But why don’t we start this from the beginning…

Not entirely fulfilled as a high school science teacher Bill decided to go back to school to become a lawyer. He was accepted to the University of Wisconsin’s program in Madison. Long hours studying paid off for Bill as he found himself writing for Madison’s Law Review and eventually graduated near the top of his class. Madison has a highly regarded program and after graduating Bill received several requests for interviews.

On the top of his list was a firm in Nevada, the largest in the state at the time. After a job-fair style interview in Madison the firm’s head partner requested an interview with Bill at their office in Las Vegas. Living in Beaver Dam at the time, Bill was shocked that they offered to pay his airfare, picked him up from the airport in a limousine, and took him out for a lavish steak dinner “interview.” “I was just a farm boy from Burnett, Wisconsin and it didn’t take much to impress me.” Before leaving Vegas the firm made Bill an offer which made him fly straight home and start packing boxes.

After working at the firm a few weeks Bill was called in to the Accounts Payable office.

“William I can’t seem to find your moving expense receipts,” explained the head of Accounts Payable.

“Well, I provided an itemized list of receipts for gas and my portion of the U-Haul,” Bill explained while developing sweaty palms and a sudden dry throat.

Bill moved across the country with two friends and thought it made sense that he only charge the company for his third of the cost of transportation.

“U-Haul? William, what are you talking about?” she asked, “You drove a U-Haul yourself?” The woman started chuckling, and picked up her telephone. She rang the head of the firm and told him he needed to come down to her office right away. “You’ve got to hear this for yourself,” she said, through laughter.

Until his boss arrived Bill assumed he was in serious trouble. He could have sworn they told him moving expenses were included. The young barrister started wondering where he was going to get his next job. Had he squandered a great opportunity? He’d moved across the country, canceled his lease in Wisconsin and hadn’t even had time to un-box his life in Nevada. He started considering the varieties of part-time work he could get in Vegas while planning his next move.

The elevator opened and Bill’s posture straightened as his boss approached.

“Get a load of this, Wisconsin William here packed himself and rented a U-Haul and drove himself clear across the country!”

The two erupted with laughter. Bill chuckled a little, nervously, waiting for the joke to become funny.

“That’s never happened!” explained Bill’s employer. “In all my years nobody has ever thought to drive their own moving truck. Most of these kids here come from law school already from a family with money. None of them would ever lift a finger to carry their own boxes. They all hire moving companies. William from Wisconsin moves himself! God, I love you Midwestern boys…”

The big boss patted him on the back while Bill sighed and chuckled with relief. Walking back to the elevator his superior kept shaking his head incredulous, “…moved himself…Wisconsin…what a guy…”

“Hire a moving company?” Sophomore Bill thought to himself, “Why would anybody pay to hire a moving company?”

Within a few years Bill realized the high stress world of three piece suits and professional debate was not for him. Although he found success with the firm and they loved his Wisconsin work ethic they couldn’t convince Bill to stay. He came back to Wisconsin and for several years has worked as a broker for Amish farmers in western Wisconsin.

“From courtrooms to farming? Why such a dramatic switch?” I asked.

“It’s about the people, and about how open they are. I think the land makes a person honest. You can’t talk your way into growing a crop. Either you do the right things to have a productive farm or you don’t. The old phrase about reaping what one sows is definitely true. In the field, in relationships, in life. The farmers are one big community, they’re happy to share their tips and experience with one another. Their take on life is that if we share our information everyone can prosper together. In law it was the complete opposite. You’re always trying to withhold information from the other party, your adversary, so you can throw it at them in court. Catch them off guard. You can’t catch the soil off-guard and convince it to produce zucchini. I appreciate that kind of honesty.”

Personal Baggage

         Sometimes I forget the Pfister is a hotel, click meant for housing travelers and providing room and board. So much else happens there that it becomes its own community of comings and goings, drinks and dinners, events and celebration. So of course it struck me when I was headed out through the lobby and saw a line at the registration desk.

            Sure, that’s what the desk is for—checking people into rooms—but more often I see the staff checking in on people, rather than checking them in. “How was the pizza?” “How was the show?” “Did you make it to the pool like you’d been planning?”

            The line today was full of order and patience and a stunning number of people who weren’t casting their eyes about. How can you not? The ceiling above the central desk alone is breathtaking. Yet, these road-weary travelers, each of whom seemed to represent a different happening at the hotel, were blinders-focused on the desk.

            I know that feeling, that need to settle in first. I forgave them that. But in reflection I have to report to them (hope you’re reading, guys!) what a fantastically motley crew they created. The line jutted out past the bell stand, near the stairs. Tromping down the stairs was one of the dancers in the annual ballroom dance extravaganza the hotel hosts. Her hair and make up were show ready. Her shoes—heels I wouldn’t dare touch—clicked down the stairs calling attention to her descent. Yet, her sweatshirt and jeans belied that she was about to swirl in gorgeous rounds on a dance floor. I was captivated by her, but the folks in line were dedicated to their task. There were even other dancers in line, waiting to get to their rooms to make ready to compete. They, too, were wearing the stiletto dance footwear that spelled only broken ankles to me, but perhaps a victorious foxtrot to them.

            After the dancer passes, I notice nothing else can turn the heads of those awaiting a golden key. Each methodically moved first their luggage, then their bodies forward toward the desk as a guest in front of them would clear. The routine shuffle was familiar to them all, and revealed that it wasn’t their first day traveling. Kindergarteners everywhere could have taken a lesson from the perfunctory straightness of the line.

            But what set each guest apart from the others was their luggage. Portable wheelie bags designed for carry on luggage—bespeckled with colorful tags and strings for distinction made way for my favorite bag in the line: A cumbersome old vinyl brown suitcase from decades ago. Even better, the case was transported by a gentleman who clearly was younger than the luggage. I liked the vintage appeal of grandpa’s brown suitcase partnering with a contemporary traveler in a historic hotel. Decades of adventure were well-represented in Samsonite.

            It wasn’t just how they marched to the desk, waited in line, or shepherded various forms of clothing containers along with them…on this particular day, they were each there for different reasons and from different places: the dance competition, a visit with family, a business trip and more.

            The perfect diversity of this line of guests reminded me that while so many locals make use of the Pfister for its romance and ambiance, it provides shelter to so many from afar. I laughed at myself as I remembered the hand game we learned in school where you folded your fingers together, layering thumbs and pinkies properly and turned your hands inside out to reveal wiggling fingers, matched to the chorus “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people!” 

That’s the case at the Pfister. The doors are beautiful, the tower views breathtaking, but in the end, it’s always about the people.

Mapping a Model For Us

There are so many songs about the open road, view taking a trip, beginning a journey or getting lost on a deserted highway. The first sunny day of spring, I always choose an Indigo Girls’ song that directs me to “get out the map, get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down.”

Kit’s family instructed her that exact routine since she was a young girl. One of four daughters, tadalafil Kit professed that she loved when folks would tease her father, “Oh, no, all those women in one house! Four daughters, how awful!” and he would shock the naysayers, replying with excitement that girls were easier to handle—they were willing to try anything.

What they tried most often, buy and what I learned about as I spoke with this retired English teacher as she recanted her holiday adventures, was road trips. “We were Sunday drivers,” Kit said. The entire family would pile in the car and their father would pass the map to one of the girls and insist “Ok, get us out of here. Take us away from Madison.” Not only was it a crash course in geography and map reading, but it was also the consistent adventure and reliance on one another that bonded the siblings.

I spotted Kit across the lobby bar thoughtfully putting pen to paper and occasionally pausing to look up and smile, chewing over what she had just written or was just about to. The prose was about the gathering at her family Christmas celebration—all four girls and their families (now reaching the grandchild generation)—more than 30 people in all. “And we’re all like that,” she said. She meant “close” and willing to travel together, willing to have what she and I agreed may be a-typical holiday gatherings where, as she put it, “we all really want to be together. People think that’s strange, but it’s true.”

What Kit was teaching me (though she proclaimed to be retired, she still performed all the patient speaking and careful listening of a great pedagogue) was that old habits die hard. The girls grew up together, braved the highways together and were trained in adventure. Now, as they’ve grown and begun families of their own, the group simply increases the capacity of the adventure: this year was the family trip to Ireland. Ages 8 to 80, big and small alike all flew together, rented a bus and toured the country of their heritage. More than 150 planned destinations and “things to see” and the group accomplished all but four of them without voting out a single member of the family.  

Packer football dictates that many of the ticket-holding men head north while the women stay home and have their own party in front of one of the wives’ big screen televisions. The cousins, the next generation in the group, now get together on their own, mimicking the bonding, support and adventure that Kit and her sisters charted for them.

Kit’s not done with her journey, or with leading others in the right direction. She was in the lobby letting the artistry of the Pfister inspire her stage design for a local production of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—one which she immediately claimed would be the work of all students involved, not simply her contribution to the process. “Oh, no! We all work on it, we all have to or it doesn’t get done!” Kit, the retired English teacher, still offered the perfect lesson in metaphor. Her family’s model, her delight and pride at their cohesiveness and willingness to forge a trail, clearly provides excellent navigation for teaching…and life.

Happy Hour as a Career High

Friday night happy hour is only an event because you were supposedly unhappy in the preceding hours at your work. Organizational theorists, business consulting gurus and all the Seth Godin’s of the world could supplement their next best seller with a happy hour at the Pfister.

Tonight’s crowd ran the gamut in examples of the intersection of work and life. John and Kathy (who you’ll meet again in another post) made a life together around job relocation. After I asked, “So you moved seven times for work?” Kathy eagerly reminded me, “Oh, no, honey, eight times!”

John and I wax philosophical on an issue I’ve been thinking about for some time. Contemporary workplaces no longer keep you for 35 years. John got lucky and built an entire career within one organization. Moving up through the ranks, moving with the company and seeing the country (Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York), John and his family proudly traveled for their kin—the company.

Now, John agrees, workplaces and the new generation of workers have to revision what it means to be loyal.

Just as John and Kathy head off to continue their anniversary celebration (45 years!), Dave and Julie take their seats and are the living, breathing example of just what John and I had been discussing. Both lawyers by trade, together they’ve moved from Seattle to Denver to Milwaukee with their careers, but not their company. And though regulars at the Pfister, they were in tonight to court an interviewee on her quest to be a part of a Milwaukee-based company. Potentially hiring in from Denver, their guest had already finished the stress of the day’s interview with Dave, but because she was spending the night in town, the pair offered to keep her company with a drink…at the Pfister.

It’s true so much of our life is our work life. John and Kathy now travel to visit work friends—not for work. Dave and Julie continue to remake their life based on where they work and between them, now, is this potentially new Milwaukee resident experiencing the Pfister for the first time because of work she hopes to get.

It’s inspiring to be around folks at mid-career, at retirement or as they shape their career…and to get all this coaching and career advice while hearing holiday tunes on the piano and the rumble of giggles and small talk as office work parties commence in the lobby and the Rouge Room.

Career coaching is available to you while you sit in the Pfister lobby, but the most important thing you’ll learn is that that our happiest hours may very well be because of our work and we should find the ways we can make our work work for our life.