Sunday, July 10, 2005

Why Do You Work So Hard?

Mark Morford asks a question we've all faced at some point: Why Do You Work So Hard?:
"We are at once infuriated by and enamored with the idea that some people can just up and quit their jobs or take a leave of absence or take out a loan to go back to school, how they can give up certain 'mandatory' lifestyle accoutrements in order to dive back into some seemingly random creative/emotional/spiritual endeavor that has nothing to do with paying taxes or the buying of products or the boosting of the GNP. It just seems so ... un-American. But it is so, so needed."
For me, the answer is easy. I'm struggling to pay a mortgage and my credit card bills. Stephen King once said that debts are the barnacles on the hull of life. That describes it perfectly. Debt makes it harder to change course, makes you less maneuverable.

What would you do if money were no object? It's good to ask that once in a while. I enjoy my job -- it's different every single day, and I'm always learning something new. But I'd love to take a year off. I'd get up early, take long walks with the dog, and write. I'd spend more time with my wife and kids. I'd take long camping breaks at every school break. I'd show my wife all the cities in Europe that I've seen. I'd spend a month or two a year in Tramore, Co. Waterford, Ireland -- just walking the beach every day, collecting shells.

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