53 to 32 : Work is for Suckers

Getting things done, follow-through, motivation, hard work.

These things tend to go directly against everything that makes me the person that I’ve become, and I’m starting to realize that, if i’m going to be successful at something other than my marriage and a job that pays just enough to get by, then I’m going to have to overcome some pretty deeply ingrained and conflicting aspects of myself.

I was the youngest child in my family by a few years. An accident. Whoops, here I am! By the time I came along, my mom was much more laid back about child-raising, not the stressed out and hard woman my brother and sister had. My dad made enough of a living to provide a childhood for me that was basically middle-classy, but it was a luxury compared to what my siblings had when they were little. I was spoiled, I was ‘the baby’. My sister spent a lot of time looking after me, in the early years when mom was working, so I essentially had two moms. My dad had transitioned from being a ‘company man’ to being self-employed, so he was generally around more when I was a kid.

I never really wanted for anything, never really had to do chores. Life was good, and I didn’t have to work at it.
I don’t know if there’s a man I know with a stronger work ethic than my father. The guy is in his sixties, and is currently building their new house, with little help. If monetary compensation was equal to work ethic, we should’ve been fucking loaded, but I learned early on that life isn’t like that. I saw how asshole celebrities and people who played sports, greedy politicians and corporate douchebags, people who really didn’t seem to have to put in a gruelling 14 hours of work every day, or contribute anything worthwhile, made an obscene amount of money. I saw first hand why hard work is its own reward, because it’s the only damn reward. My dad still has to go work a job in order to pay their bills. I’m not sure if he can afford to retire, and I’m not sure if he’ll know what to do with himself if and when he retires.
Somewhere in my youth I made a decision, that I would not let myself get tricked into a life of working my ass off for nothing. For example, the job I do now, is the most money I’ve ever made, and the most, I don’t know, noteworthy, I guess, kind of position -in that I’m the number-one guy in the country for what I do- and I don’t have to work that hard at it. It’s time consuming, sure, at 40+ hours a week, and I deal with people who make me crazy, and I have to travel a lot to not very glamorous places, but as for actual, real, honest hard work, most days, it’s one of the easier jobs I’ve had. This only reinforces everything I learned from my childhood, and watching what my parents went through.
Now this doesn’t mean I blame my parents for everything that’s wrong with me, (I’m actually very pleased with the person I am, and I largely have my family to thank for that) but how I saw work and reward as a little kid, in my little monkey-sphere part of the world, definitely laid the slacker foundation for the things I now realize I would like to change about myself.
-But nothing fucked me up as bad as school. We’ll get to that tomorrow.


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