Celebrate the accomplishments. Celebrate your life, no matter what.
If you watch YouTube, you might get the idea that getting a job and working for a living isn’t valuable as a lifestyle. Yes, I went to college and spent many years going to work at an engineering job. It wasn’t glamorous or high flying, but it paid well and that was worth it for me. Was I a prisoner of society since I basically went along with the program?
I have arrived at the age of sixty-three, more than three years into post-career life, with enough money for a roof over my head and food in my belly. Yes, the forty hour a week life of work was apparently less exciting than hiking the Appalachian Trail. I squeezed my joy into the weekends. It worked out ok. One year, even though I worked full time, I completed 22 marathons. No, I didn’t hike the Appalachian Trail. So what?
I worked with a lot of men who did their jobs for over 30 years. They didn’t buy into the line that working for a living is less than being an artist or a through hiker. No one, except perhaps Jordan Peterson, is making YouTube videos about the greatness of working for a living. I have a friend who is debilitated by COVID. She was thrilled to get a position where she could work from home; so she could feel like a contributing member of society. Her story is not on YouTube. Being a contributing member of society is not on YouTube.
Living in a van, hiking a long trail. These are dreams. Living in a van or through hiking is someone else’s dream, well packaged on YouTube to seem attractive. But these were not my dream. The inside of the dream is what is important. What is anyone looking for in their dreams? How do you want to feel? My dream was a simple lifestyle with plenty of space and time for running, and God showing up in the jogging. I got it.
My life is not only good enough but great. My dreams are simple and so I am living them. I also don’t need to run away from society by living in a van. Wearing society loosely is fine with me. I spent 38 years as an engineer. Don’t throw that away because some YouTuber appears to have a better life. They don’t. It is far easier to have a salary than to make money on YouTube. And remember, the YouTuber isn’t showing you the hard times, the boring times, or the small checking account.
Be proud of your job. Do it well. Reap the rewards. Enjoy your weekends. Save your money and get out as soon as possible.