Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Outlook on Life

Time is the only non-renewable resource. There will one day be more oil. In a million years there will be more coal. But we will never has as much time as we do right now and it's vanishing at a constant rate, regardless of how much of it we use.

We live overly complicated lives and somehow we have accepted this as being the only way to live. Wake up. Work. Eat. Wash. Sleep. Repeat. We buy expensive fast food because we don't have time to cook, and yet it takes an hour of work to pay for that meal that we could cook in 15 minutes.

Our jobs do not support our lifestyle. Our lifestyle is designed to support our jobs. We have a home and transportation and clothes that are all fitting for our careers. We're tied to our place of employment like a dog on a chain. We can only get so far before we have to come right back. Everything we do is for the sake of job security and the job rewards this with 2 weeks of vacation time a year. 50 weeks of servitude for 2 weeks of freedom. And then, after that little vacation, we've spent the money we saved and it's back to the job for another 50 weeks.

We have walls of DVD's but nothing to watch. We have 200 channels but end up staring at commercials or turning off the television. We buy 5 acres of land and then complain about how long it takes to mow the grass. Our pantries hold enough food to feed us for a month, and yet we go out for pizza because we're too exhausted to put something together. We need new furniture even though there's nothing particularly wrong with the old furniture. And if a car hit's 75,000 miles we are long overdue for another.

We spend and spend and spend, but at the end of the year we don't own anything more than we did a year ago, or five years ago. We make $14,000 a year, then $18,000, then $25,000 and then $50,000. But we're still broke. We have everything we say we wanted, but we're still not happy.

So we say we need a vacation. Then we see a bunch of sights, always rushing to get to the next attraction, always rushing to be somewhere else, and never actually seeing what we're looking at. Then we get home, exhausted, and never look at the 400 photos we took with a $700 digital camera. Then we go back to work for a year. Repeat as desired.

We'll spend $20 on wrapping paper, $50 on sunglasses, $75 on a pair of jeans and $300 on a jacket. We're trading time for money for items we don't need.

A few months ago I spent $23 on food at Wal-Mart. I bought the cheapest things that could create balanced meals and decided to eat only what I had purchased with that $23 until I ran out of food. I ate breakfast, lunch, a snack and supper from the contents of those bags and I ate well. None of my meals took more than 5 minutes to prepare and none of them required anything more complicated than heating water in the microwave. I never used a pot and I never ate out.

The food lasted a month.

I can't spend my entire life working with the hopes that one day I can retire and then start traveling when I'm 65. I can't pay hundreds of dollars a month on rent or mortgage, and I can't spend $250 a month on gas just to support a work habit. I can't pay more for 3 meals than I do for a month's supply of food.

1 comment:

AnOminous Mistake said...

'Tis the curse of the modern man. We all feel it, the anger and anguish, the selling-out of the soul; few act upon it.
Good luck with the journey, but be prepared; you don't want to be starving when you reach that spot on your way "into the wild".