Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Early morning blather

I used to be a go getter. Very ambitious and competetive. I found that if I put my mind and body to it, I could usually succeed in getting what I wanted - better position, better hours, more perks. But as I rose like the proverbial cream, each time I arrived at the place I wanted to be, I questioned why I wanted it in the first place. Money being the dominant motivating factor for many years, I took on jobs requiring more of that which I am most loathe to give, my time. With each new career plateau, the patina of the job title or the company car wore off within weeks of racking up 60+ hours leaving me wondering, what is it I want again out of life?

My parents have stuck it out with the same employer the huge majority of their adult lives and I admire them for that, that huge sacrifice of resigning oneself to the inevitably repetetive nature of our jobs. As for me, I never get too attached to the employer, I often have several sources of income which I juggle. There will be no retirement benefits waiting for me, but I'm preparing for that in other ways.

Nowadays, life is sweet. I essentially have 12 weeks off per year since I teach and there's ample Christmas break time as well as two solid months in the summer. I am in the classroom 24 hours per week. This has of course presented other budgetary challenges, but as most people who know me know, I'm a good saver. (Plus real estate has been kind to us.) Today I am so grateful how my life has led me to today. I am thankful to have more time than money. I feel lucky to be living in a tolerant society with food, shelter and transportation easily acquirable. I know it's only Tuesday, but thanksgiving should be free to come out when and where it happens.

Or maybe this really should have been titled "Some Pompous Narcissistic Crap" You tell me.


r said...

This post isn't one of the pompous narcissistic ones.

It's good that you are doing what you want to be doing and are successful at it.

This year I'm working more hours than ever; yet I'm doing what I want to do. I'm not getting any more money for staying until 7pm or going in on weekends, but I like my job.

So that's my payoff. I feel like I'm making a difference, and that, more than money or free time, is what's important to me.

Adam said...

I didnt think you were pompous at all. You were appropriately introspective and thankful for the life that you have, you're exuding contentment.

This does remind me of a line from the Smiths song "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."

"In my life
why do i give valuable time
to people who don't care if I live or die"

St. Dickeybird said...

It's important to express your happiness in life.
Not pompous or narcissistic at all.
And I should know, I'm both!

dantallion said...

Quality of life rather than quanitiy of income seems to be becoming the rule these days. I think it's a good thing - just as long as a sense of entitlement doesn't become part of the package (ie: I don't have to work hard - I can do the bare minimum because life owes me a living).

That said, kudos to you. Sounds like you've found a good balance. I'm jealous of all your vacation time.

R J Keefe said...

Sounds like a plan, and anything but narcissistic, much less pompous.