Today’s victim of my minimalist throwout, donation drive, and recycling binge was an old
nemesis: plastic food containers and cups. It took me a while to corral the critters, but when I did I managed to find several lids without containers, many containers without lids, and containers that I never have used. Once the project was done and the plastic bits were destined for recycling, I departed for the locally owned coffee shop to enjoy some beautiful winter sunshine.
The cafe in question sits in a strip mall anchored by a supermarket and many retail and service outlets. A consumer mini-paradise. While sitting outside between the coffee shop and a small family restaurant, I had the opportunity to watch civilization milling about. The central location of my table allowed me to catch bits and pieces of conversation as people strolled by. The talk and activities mirrored that of modern urban society. The stresses of everyday living and the cure-all of shopping and eating fast food were on exhibit in stunning technicolor, free with admission to The Rat Race.
It now seems so strange and curious to me that we trade our time and energy for a paycheck so we can buy things that waste what precious little time and energy we have left. The important things in life such as relationships, helping people, learning, and taking care of our physical bodies are pushed to back burner status or forgotten about completely. In different times it possibly seemed more logical to live the 40 hour work week for 40 years, retire from the company,and be taken care of for the 10 years or so left in your lifespan. With the economic turmoil of the past several years, that example is no longer valid. Not only are we living longer, many of us are facing 50 hour work weeks well past “retirement age”, whatever that is. Social Security is no longer mathematically feasible. The corporate mentoring or moving up the ladder scenarios are disappearing as outsourcing and loss of benefits increase. But we keep working on in jobs we hate so we can pay for our 55 inch television and 500 cable channels, on the off chance that we will get that 10 years of relaxation in our golden years before our rest homes are selected for us. Strange and curious indeed.
Well, I say let’s change. But the funny thing about change is that it causes that nasty feeling
in the pit of your stomach that says “no”. It hurts to change. The bigger the change the bigger the hurt. Staying secure where you are doesn’t hurt. The unusual thing about that hurt in your stomach is that it has absolutely no concern for your happiness. None whatsoever. It wants you to stay right where you are in your cozy little consumer nest. There are people that overcome that hurt and move forward into the unknown; they are the risk-takers that people in cozy nests admire. They cross that rickety rope bridge over the foggy chasm then yell out that its okay for the rest of us to come over. Unfortunately that hurt still stays with a lot of people and they never cross the bridge, because our society is based on caution for the masses. It may be the same on the other side of that bridge, but we will never know until we cross it.
This risk-taker wants to ask a few questions.
Are you happy or just content?
Do you lack the time to do what you really want to do?
Do you think it is ludicrous to have to wait until 55, 60, 65, or even older to have true freedom?
Shouldn’t we enjoy our time now?
Start taking the steps right now to save your own life. Trim all the fat and excess away, find out what is essential to your happiness and dispose of the rest. Don’t be another victim.