Viet Nam vets will remember the infamous “short timer’s” calendar. The daily ritual of checking off another day of nothing on the way to something. Taped sacredly to the inside of a foot locker, woe to the person who would dispute that holy document. The existential clutch was in during that period where nothing of consequence was happening.
Viet Nam was lettuce, filler if you will, in this sandwich called life. The now is not where we wanted to be. The future, coming home, friends, family and freedom. Then our problems will be over. So we thought.
Lots of people look at their work, their occupation, their profession in the same way, as an obstacle to happiness. I’ve heard it labelled as “doing time.” I have never prescribed to that notion. I don’t have time for that. None of us do, really. I now have less sand at the top of my hourglass than I do at the bottom.
I haven’t always been aware of my motives for working. I have no children, have had only brief encounters with stable relationships and never thought my life would start at retirement. I have always demanded that what I did for a living had to be fun, financially rewarding, and it had to grow me as a human being. Now.
The last part was always critical. Because I always knew I would move on and I wanted to gain something I could bring forward.
Now my current situation requires me to earn a living somehow and I am damned if I’m going to sign up for something that doesn’t mean anything to me. Can’t do it. Not that I am the retiring type anyway, mind you.
Work should never be a means to an end. What if you get to the end of the road and there’s a fork in it?
In my case, I’m looking at a whole drawer full of silverware.