Thursday, May 08, 2008

Will Work for Serenity

It has been many moons since anything new has graced this site. Actually, due to some complications I’ll not go into now (there will come a time, this is not it), my last piece has been taken offline. Regardless, even if included, new postings have been sporadic - more thin than thick. To say I have been busy would be an understatement, but therein lies today’s epiphany. Although being busy is welcome most of the time, there are those moments when things get so hectic that I find myself longing for the lazy days of idle luxury.

Ok, not really… at least not very often. And I don’t mean to sound put out because I am really quite grateful. I know that many, perhaps most people are driven to get things done. Some are more motivated than others, but I think that for the most part, people generally don’t hold any disdain for work, per se. I did. I went out of my way to avoid putting forth anything more than the absolute minimum effort it took to get by and if I could get someone else to do it for me, so much the better. I was cursed with a sense of entitlement that told me I was exempt… that the rules did not apply to me.

Or perhaps I felt I was going to outsmart everyone else; I would succeed where so many others had failed. Poor souls, foolishly working their lives away while I found the magic formula - the right combination that would deliver me to the finish line - not passing “GO,” but still collecting my $200. I would be the one who somehow managed - without wealth of family or good fortune - to circumvent all that nasty work. I was, after all, destined to be independently wealthy… all I need do is coast along until fortune found me.

It never did. Hold on. That’s not exactly true, for today, although not measured in dollars, I am far wealthier than I have ever been and it keeps accumulating every day. Those “poor souls” had it right all along. They had the magic formula, the right stuff, the keys to happiness and prosperity. It’s not about where I’m going and it’s not about where I’ve been; it’s about now - right now. All the work I’ve done for the past five or so years - every year busier than the last - is what makes the fruit of it taste so sweet. Even when I was able to “beat the system,” the rewards always felt so shallow.

The epiphany is likely lost on those who have earnestly done their best; worked their hardest; and always with good faith put their best efforts forward. But for me, the experience and the returns are still somewhat unfamiliar. I have been working so hard to beat a system that was only and, eventually, always beating me. It manifested in gambling, retail therapy and of course consumer credit… anything that gained my gratification for the moment. The problem with instant gratification is that it only lasts for an instant. Until I finally surrendered, there was no peace. Serenity was fleeting if ever really truly attained.

So yes, I am busy. But not too busy too remember from whence I came. Not too busy to thank all those “poor souls” who have been doing it right, plugging away day in and day out and making a difference. And certainly not too busy to take a moment to feel the peace I have earned.


awareness said...

Welcome back.......I really enjoy your reflective pieces Mike.

When I try to describe a sense of serenity (don't know whether you read my latest piece on it a week or so ago) what comes to mind is a sense of integration where I feel a balance of sorts inside....the stars have aligned perhaps?

I could be very busy juggling many tasks at once, but if it is fulfilling, challenging and interesting, serenity finds me. It is an inner calm even if the outer shell is going at warp speed.

So many people are slugging away in jobs that aren't fulfilling for them, that compromise their dreams or even is a gift to find the exact wonderful fit .....between job and self. I can't imagine feeling serenity if I was doing something that I didn't like. When we are working from our passion, serenity will definately find us.

ps. I do like your sidebar photo. :)

kenju said...

I enjoy it when you take stock, Mike. Serenity is well-earned.

flleenie said...

'bout time. welcome back Mr A

Snaggle Tooth said...

Unearned rewards definately aren't as satisfying as knowing you can do it, because You don't feel as good about yourself.
Now tho- you're a bit frazzled by the crunch time.

I go nuts trying to find post time, because I never have time for everything. There's always something I don't get to do!

Glad things are going well for you. Thanks for the insight.

Bobkat said...

There's an old saying: nothing worth having comes easy. Ain't it the truth?

~Easy said...

Relaxing in my back yard watching my kids play, beer in hand and steaks on the grill is worth more than any car, house, vacation, or toy will ever be.