Nathan Doneen

I spent this past winter living in a ski town nestled in the Rocky Mountains. I accepted a low paying job and moved out there to experience the ski bum lifestyle. I've been skiing and snowboarding most of my life, and previously had never spent a whole winter in the midst of the mountains. That was what I wanted to do.

So I became a lifty. Yup, I was one of those under-appreciated, underpaid, and under-stimulated (see video for demonstration) attendants that stands in the freezing weather all day and that you'll see saving someone's life on occasion … though we don't make a big deal of it.

After a few weeks of working on the mountain, I decided a second job would be a good idea. After all, my credit card was still feeling the effects of Peru and my stint as a Junketeer. And, with my crappy mountain wage, there was no way to alleviate those effects without some added income.

Fast forward a few months. I'm working between 65 and 80 hours a week. But I was still clinging to the idea of the ski bum. I would work four 16-17 hour days in a row. C'mon, a ski bum needs at least a three day weekend right? But when the town got busy, I would work about 80 hours in 5 days.

This started to take a toll on my body. I eventually was using one of my days off just to rest and catch up on sleep. Then another large portion of another day would go toward preparing my meals for the upcoming week, because I definitely didn't have any time to cook once I was into my work week. Snowboarding was being put on the back burner.

A friend pointed this out to me. She I said I was working too much. She was right. I moved to this town at the top of the Rockies so I could snowboard all winter … and I was blowing that. Yet, it didn't feel wrong to me.

My response to her was, "Some dreams are bigger than others."

Yes, I did want to be a ski bum for a winter, but my real dream is to travel. That sometimes comes with some financial obligations. So yes, I was working too many hours. But I wasn't working that many hours for the fun of it. It was for my grander aspirations of travel.

Not only that, but me working didn't violate that bigger dream. I was traveling in a sense. I had relocated to a new town, a new state. I was experiencing a new culture. And I was meeting all kinds of interesting people.

At my second job alone, I worked with people from all over the United states plus people from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, and South Africa. I wasn't going to get to know any of these people if I had spent all of my time snowboarding. So really, I was living my dream.

Dreams and goals are the best to have. But they might conflict occasionally, at which time you'll need to decide which is more important to you. Which of you goals is the more desired goal? Which of your dreams is the bigger dream?

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