The ceaseless rhythm of life gives little time to consider breaking the slave clock. The master is our ambition, the slave is our flesh. The product is our creations. Struggling each morning is all we know. We strive to carve out a better life for ourselves, our loved ones, and perhaps leave something worthy behind to the generation that inherits our imagination. Short term survival may trump performing work aligned with our passion, but we can't dream if we can't eat. Any work that is a tax on one's spirit must be carefully weighed. The cost of ill suited labor is not merely a handful of years, it may indelibly tarnish our enthusiasm.
Work and Save till Retirement, or Live and Love our Work?
There will come a decision making moment where we are forced to decide between rebooting our jobs, or towing the line until we save enough for retirement. You may be at that moment now, you may have made the decision long ago, or you may not be ready to face this choice. Regardless the decision will be made and its ramifications are long lived.
The idea of retirement is now more of a dream to most young folks. Many who graduated in the past couple of years from competitive universities have nothing to show for it except a large debt to government loans, and if they're lucky a meager wage job. They're desperately looking for work in a dwindling economy. The past couple of years have been rough on new grads and folks out of high school looking for work.
What I find humorous about this decision is that there really wasn't one for me. Based on who I am, and what I hold sacred, working and saving for retirement at 72 or whatever the age is now is simply not an option. If you're fortunate enough to discover a type of work you love, you can't imagine not doing it. It'd be nice to have a totally flexible schedule, and that's something that can be arranged long before the acceptable retirement age. The only restriction is that we design our work flow to compliment asynchronous activities, and ensure our financial needs are met. The balance between wealth generation and financial needs is the only real limit to our flexibility.
- Dave Pinsen's recent post, The Phoney Economy
- Ramifications of Skyrocketing long term unemployment