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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
Allotting time for life
I often wonder why people take up careers and jobs that leave very little time for anything else. I know they want more than just their job because I often hear them complain about their lack of free time or ability to do anything else. Yet still they work and complain about their job, career, or major. Why does one take up a college major in music when it leaves them maybe a few hours a week of free time. Why do people take a 10 hour job (plus an hour commute one-way) six days a week.Why do these people try to overachieve so much that there is very little left of their life that isn't their career, job, or major? Why does life become passing glances, hurried words, and rushed exchanges.

Because to simply achieve means simply average. We are raised to believe that there is something wrong with being average; you have to have that "A", you have to be the best, you have to do more. We are told, directly or indirectly, that we have to prove ourselves to be worth something. Are we trying to prove ourselves to other people or to ourselves? Is it because we need to beat that person that is always one step ahead of. Except, they're always going to be one step ahead of us, and someone else is always going to be one step ahead of them somehow. Or if we do manage to get ahead of that someone, then we have to get ahead of the person that is ahead of them. In the end we are constantly trying to get ahead of someone else.

But when it's all said and done, what worth is there when you are run ragged and have no enjoyment of the simple pleasures of life. We're left with a successful career and an empty house.

The balance of these two ideals takes very careful thought, while maintaining the flexibility to change. A successful career means accepting that you aren't the best. A successful house means making time for it. Time cannot be found, only allotted. Allot the time for life, or just watch yourself be carried away.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "A Thousand Words" by Savage Garden

3 comments or Leave a comment
sisyphus238 From: sisyphus238 Date: October 18th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if you referencing anyone in particular here. I can think of someone.
You pretty much nailed a thought process I had many years ago which isn't worth going into here but suffice it to say that I guess I pretty much decided at that time that I didn't want to pursue "success". Living is way too important to waste it occupying ones mind with someone else's work.
I don't make a lot of money doing what I do but I have a shitload of free time which, at least for now, makes it all worth it. I may change my mind on that count if I'm still around in 20 years as all I'll have to rest on is Social Security but, then again, so much can change between now and then.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: October 18th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking of several people, both current and past, as I wrote this. The music major was for two people; one past and one present. The 10/6 job (10 hours a day, 6 days a week) is my dad, as well as my brother for a time. I could also mention a couple of my exes in other categories as well. This was also prompted, in part, by some baseless insecurities I have about some things between the guy I've been seeing and myself.

I also feel like a hypocrite to write the above post. I have often wished I could be as good as some people, and feel inferior to a lot of people. It seems like I'm trying to justify not being the best and, even worse, make those people who are "over achievers" somehow less; in a way bring them down to my level.

I don't know.
sisyphus238 From: sisyphus238 Date: October 18th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the communities I belong to is daily_zen. Here's today's entry:
Don’t seek fame or fortune,
Glory or prosperity.
Just pass this life as is,
According to circumstances.
When the breath is gone,
Who is in charge?
After the death of the body,
There is only an empty name.
When your clothes are worn,
Repair them over and over;
When you have no food,
Work to provide.
How long can a phantomlike body last?
Would you increase your ignorance
For the sake of its idle concerns?

- Tung-shan
3 comments or Leave a comment