I’m late in writing this and getting it published. It happens once in a while. Priorities change, but the passion to get back on and write never does, even if it ‘feels’ dead. These last couple weeks have really been a journey. Facing down mental stress and anxiety has gotten easier, small step by small step. Listening to podcasts has proven to be a therapeutic activity for me because of the things I learn, which in some cases is just learning how to get through my day without falling apart. Listening to the ambitious minds of people like Jon Acuff and Remso W. Martinez has been a tremendous help in keeping me going and working on the things I want to create, regardless of what I hear is going on around us.
Earlier this week at work though, a thought crossed my mind. One that made me feel sad and a little put out. I thought about a lot of the other people I work with, particularly the people who are between their 60s and 80s now. I thought about the fact that their lives have pretty much been the same for so long. They have the same routine just about every day, the things they say about what’s going on in the country is just repeating what some of the mainstream media outlets say, and they seem set to stay where they are until either they retire or pass away. Most of them don’t act happy. A lot of them have this bitterness about them that implies dissatisfaction.
I use the bus to get to work, which means since the bus system has a specific routine, I have to leave earlier than one who has a car might. I typically arrive a little more than half an hour before it’s time to clock in, and when I get there, half of the parking lot is full of people sitting in their cars waiting until they’re allowed in. It’s sad to see. Its made me wonder, ‘are these people just so devoid of any sense of purpose beyond what they already do that they’re willing to sit in a parking lot doing nothing for close to an hour?‘ I understand people’s desire to not be late for work, but even I feel that’s overkill. It’s probably so ingrained in their routine that they don’t even think about it anymore.
I understand that not all people dream of being like Elon Musk. Not everyone is destined to be. Some are just content with living simple lives and have no regrets doing it. That’s fine. I have nothing against those people. At the same time though, it’s hard not to feel sad for dozens of people that merely exist more than they live, and their moods imply they’re not happy. I look at co-workers high up in their years and I think, ‘there is no way I still want to be here at their age‘. What kind of a life is that?
I’m grateful to have a job that makes easy money and keeps a roof over mine and my wife’s head. This kind of work though is not my destiny. Staying in the mundane is not my goal. It’s easy to get stuck in a mundane routine that goes nowhere. There’s certainly less drama, and less struggle. You don’t have to work as hard. The trick to getting out of the mundane and starting your journey into greater opportunities is to remind yourself that you are capable of so much more, no matter where you are now. I should mention that I don’t ‘hate’ the mundane. One of my favorite movies is ‘Paterson’ (if you have Amazon Prime, watch it), where Adam Driver plays a man named Paterson who follows the same routine every day, and even though there’s an obvious repetition going on in his life, there’s something oddly beautiful about the little things. I say enjoy the little things and recognize the value in them, but don’t settle for the barest minimum in your life either. Life isn’t about finding your worth, it’s knowing that you already have it and figuring out how to use it. As Jon Acuff says, ‘all it takes is a goal’.