It is strange how you get caught up in things, without realising it. At some point I missed listening, and could only hear the gears of The Machine grinding. It is strange, but I don’t know how I missed it.

But it stopped. Somewhat forced, somewhat my normal just cascading around without a plan. And I have never had a plan. And worse, that worried me. But better, I no longer feel the need to even have a plan.

Let me start all that again, I am way ahead in my head, and that didn’t make sense. It won’t make sense after I have finished here, but roll with it. If you have read anything I have written before, and are still reading at this point, you know what you are going to get. This will be written in one session, no stopping, no thinking. Maybe some spelling fixes, but I usually retrofit those when I see these words on the old weblog, in published form. Or imagine we are in a pub and you have, once again, successfully trolled me into giving an animated lecture. That sort of deal-io. Deal-io? Gotta stay ahead of those cats, man. Smoooooth.

Western society, since forever, and if I wanted to use the example of those damned Franks, it would still work, has been a growth and progress driven place. The mentality of more! bigger! better! is in the blood, always has been, always will be. It never sat totally well with me, even though I am still a degenerate anarcho-capitalist libertarian at heart. Or a piece of my heart is that, anyhow. Everyone needs to get their education, to get their better job, to get their better wife, to get their better house, to trade that house up to a bigger house, to make more money, to work more, to work harder, to…to what end?

I wasn’t completely caught up in it, mostly as I never had a plan. Sure, I got my education, and fell in to work. And ended up here. My CV is a progress, but not in a single industry. Each job tended to be somewhat…orthogonal to the last. (If you are unaware, I do a good interview.) I have blagged and charmed my way, but that was somewhat of a separate part of me. Given I have never been totally unhappy in employment, I could tick along, and when I started to feel uncreative, I moved on. And move on I did.

But moving up the pay scale does something different. I still didn’t get entangled in the rat race, but it started to wear on me. I wasn’t unhappy…just blocked. Feeling uncreative, obstructed, and unable to listen to the universe. A chance came up, and I jumped free. Reasonably bold step, as I still have the wife, the children, the two cars, the house. But I still have all them.

What I have gained in return for the jump is myself. I, of course, was employed within a few days, but it is different. I make less money. And this doesn’t bother me. I can still live, do all the things I used to do, and more. There are plenty of cliches for this, and I am only now finding out what everyone else knows. And I knew. I just got distracted for a while.

My main reason in life is the same, to provide first and foremost for my family. But the family unit needs to be a unit, and I feel I have missed some of it. Work isn’t everything, it isn’t even anything. A means to get money to keep a roof over our heads. Alas it needs to be of a certain renumeration to keep me here, but even so. Even so. I have never had money, never will. It doesn’t matter. You can’t take it with you, nor can you take your certificates, nor your progress. So why do we constantly strive upwards? We don’t need to. We need to be happy.

And I am, once again, almost happy.

That didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. I was tempted by a diatribe against materialism, but that isn’t what I wanted. If you want to gather, you gather. I was also tempted by an almost anti-progress (in the Enlightenment sense of the term) theory, but that isn’t what I wanted either, for I am interested in the pursuit of science. But I don’t think either of those matter. Attaining wealth or attaining knowledge, personally or culturally. What matters is your soul, being happy with yourself.

Now it is all going a bit too New Age and hippy like, which is definitely not what I wanted. Wend you path, but remember yourself. I had forgotten myself. And it took the removal from the invidious rat race (that I didn’t even know I was in) to make me remember.

I still don’t have a plan, I don’t care where my career goes. I just need to be happy, and with my family. I should probably remind them of that, too. Κασσάνδρα and I have been together for a long time, and while I know I drive her mad, and sometimes it does coast along in habit, when it is out of habit I am happiest. We remember, but look forward. And that is my only plan, the one where my family is happy, I have room to think and I can listen to the whispers in my ear. When was the last time I even considered ספר רזיאל המלאך?

The laughter of friends over a few dollars more? For sure. The conversation and wit of my children over reading work email in the evening? Always. Trying to soar above the domestic, the unavoidable intricacies of everyday life with my wife? Maybe, for we still need to make sure the daily grind is ground. But there is always more around it, and I want to make sure there is. I have a few committments I need to finish off, that keep me somewhat occupied some evenings, but I can see an end to those. My youngest wants me to show her the stars, so I save for a new telescope. Save, not credit. I still have outstanding debts, and if I could get rid of some of those, I could survive on less money, and be more creative. Or not, who knows? Not me, I am running an experiment here. I might update this with the progress, or better yet, come talk to me. I haven’t seen you in ages.

You know I could sum all that up with one word, balance. But even that isn’t what I mean. I want to tip the scales, and I have started to. To tip them towards me. What? You all already knew this? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? What? I am a thran bugger would never listens? Ack, sure I get there in the end. Just make sure you do, too.

  1. I understood (nearly) all of that/ The bits I didn’t understand were Greek.

    Well done for making the right decision. You are a good man.

    Tue 20 Sep, 4:14PM

  2. Listening to the Universe is not on the cards any more.

    It never ceases to amaze me how you and A-dawg are the same:
    “I have never had money, never will. It doesn’t matter. You can’t take it with you, nor can you take your certificates, nor your progress”

    Wed 21 Sep, 12:01PM

  3. I hope this means you are a hippy and not a Man - and if so, i am very pleased for you! (if not, you sound happy anyway so i am still pleased :)

    Thu 22 Sep, 8:54PM

  4. Thanks Mary, I think I got there in the end. Maybe.

    Becky: Yup, still with the hippies, I will tell tales of my final encounters with The Man next time we are in the pub.

    McThor: Grrrr

    Fri 23 Sep, 10:02AM

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