The key to happiness

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I have spent most of my life working a 9-5 job in an office. I usually made more money than most people I know that have a conventional job. I have been doing this for 30 years.

When I left Louisiana in October, 2009, I moved to a part of the west coast (of the USA) that has always been economically depressed. Working or money is not as important as to people here as it appears in other parts of the country. So for two years I adapted to a whole new way of living that didn't require my going to the office every day. For two years I missed not having the money. One of the things that I missed was the false feeling of independence that money provides.

Yes, money does offer independence. However, the way you earn that money is the opposite of independence.

Being part of the establishment means that I have to live in the city or spend a good portion of my life commuting. Living in the city has the major drawback of the loss of privacy. I keep meeting people that tell me I have to do this or that to be considered a responsible person, like keep my dog on a leash. Driving, parking, banking, shopping, or recreation is a group activity and you have to wait your turn. The vast majority of people all work the same hours and have to do everything at the same time. They all use the highways at the same time, get paid at the same time, go shopping at the same time, and try to enjoy recreation at the same time. If it is Saturday and the sun is out everyone goes to the same attractions.

If you are not part of the establishment you do not have to wait for weekends or holidays to go to the beach, for instance. The busiest time for all the attractions of the year is Memorial day and Independence day. The roads fill up with cars and there is no place to even park once you get to where you are going. The trash cans are over filling as well as the santi-cans. Getting something to eat is a long wait and those providing it are all stressed out and over worked. Getting something to eat on a Tuesday is faster and the quality is better because of the lower demand. Being outside of the establishment every single element of life is better and easier, less the cash.

It seems impossible for me to find a middle ground. I cannot be part of the system without a complete commitment. If I want to work I have do all the things that everyone else is doing, and at the same time.

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  1. Daddy-YO's Avatar
    I hear ya. Been there, done that and I got the T-shirt that says "I love Nicaragua" to prove it.

    No question work/career has got to be a love affair, something you're passionate about. Sooner or later anyone working 'for the man' gets pushed into doing seemingly meaningless tasks, being treated like a cog in some corporate machine. And if you're heavily in debt or haven't built up enough 'emergency' funds, you've sold your soul to demon-money. It's tough to bail. Almost all of us were wage-slaves at one time or another.

    Save up and heed that American who wrote about quiet desperation. "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau
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