From a young age, it seems our lives are planned out for us. Do good in school, find a boyfriend/girlfriend, go to college, get married, buy a house, have a few kids, save every penny you have and retire around the age of 70. For the most part, I’ve followed that plan, maybe a little out of order, but overall, I’ve followed it. I did well in school, had a child, got a boyfriend, bought a house, got married, had a couple more kids, got my college degree, bought a better house, got divorced, still have house. But eh, close to the plan.
Part of that plan is implied. Do better, make more money, buy more stuff, buy nicer stuff, buy bigger stuff. Everything about the plan is rooted in consumerism, in buying bigger and better things. Collecting things, getting a bigger house to store things (wait, didn’t George Carlin do a skit on this topic?), getting a nicer and more expensive car, be successful. And by being successful, that means making more money.
How does one make more money? By working more and moving up. Work 5 days a week, 2 days off, 2 weeks vacation a year? Pshhh, not if you want to get ahead and be successful. More like work 50-60 hours a week, maybe come in on your day off, forego vacation (maybe take in pay), be dedicated, live to work! Yes, that’s how it’s done!
How does one have a life when all one does is work? 60 hours a week, 6 days a week, little to no vacation, where is the enjoyment? The ONE day off you have is taken up by chores around the house. The yard doesn’t mow itself, the groceries don’t appear on your doorstep by themselves (ok, I will give ya that grocery delivery is more common now), the house still needs to be cleaned, the fence repaired, the errands run, the parents to go visit… it just never ends, does it? Again, where is the enjoyment in life?
Retirement, that’s it! When you retire somewhere around the age of 70, after having done everything right and you have a nice, large nest egg to live off of. But oh, you are so tired, your body aches, this big house is too much to take care of, why don’t the kids and grandkids visit and maybe help out a bit, and oh, what’s that lump? Cancer? Oops, you are dead in 10 weeks.
What happened to your life? You followed the plan and did things the way you were “supposed” to. But that’s it? But what did you really, truly do in your life, other than work and earn money? What did you do for fun? What memories will you take to the grave?
So, tell me, what happens when you veer from the plan?