When I was still serving in the military, I often had people trying to convince me to stay in. Their logic, which I was supposedly deficient for not concurring with, was that all jobs suck. And as all jobs suck, I might as well stick in one that came with health care… and very few choices on what I was getting to do. Rather than settling for the slow destruction of my body and the more rapid destruction of my soul, I chose to depart for greener pastures. I don’t think that anyone should have to stay in a job that makes them miserable just for the sake of having a few coins to rub together.
I simply cannot understand this attitude – no amount of money is worth misery if you can avoid it. Oh sure, we can’t all have our dream job or be rock stars, but we should feel like our work is of some value. Job satisfaction shouldn’t be a pipe dream – it should be the standard. Even a fast-food gig can be fun if you have the right attitude; there is no shame in enjoying crafting tasties for someone else to enjoy.
The big problem, in my opinion, is that society has become incredibly wanty. It’s not completely the average joe’s fault – there are a lot of pressures on them to fit in this mold. From the college experience movie telling them that their life isn’t complete without keggers and STDs to advertisements telling them just how sad and unsexy they are for not buying X and Y. It’s hard to resist this sort of pressure; I presume that conformity provides some queer sort of comfort. I honestly have no idea – I’ve generally been blind to this desire. All I crave is a basic level of comfort and an abundance of time to engage in things that provide me enjoyment.
Having said that, I should probably comment on our current living standards. We work, together, enough hours to make about minimum wage. We could work more to make more, and in future, we might take our business big enough scale to be amongst the idle rich… though I strongly suspect we’d not for the simple fact that we both enjoy working. But still, on those wages, we manage our mortgage, baby, car, and even the occasional vacation as well. This isn’t accounting for the fact that a good chunk of our wage has been going towards the paperwork that enables me to live here; this year should see the last of that past us, giving us even more free cash.
Anyways, I found a good piece that could stand to be shared, and makes for some good thinkery. It’s a few years old, but it’s definitely worthwhile:
Living to Work or Working to Live: Advice for the Dotcom Generation
Take what you will or won’t out of it all; we all have our own lives and priorities. I merely speculate on this topic because I see so much pointless misery in the world, and I cannot understand the why of it. 🙂