I was going to sit and paint something
or at least try
but I have too many words
flying around my head
and so, I am writing instead.
One day this week,
before going into work,
I stood in line for my morning coffee,
and as I looked around me,
everyone but one older man in the line
had their necks bent like giraffes
and were hopelessly scrolling
on their phones
for any small bit of information
that might make their lives
a little more interesting.
As I scanned everyone in line
(and there were at least 7 or 8 of us),
the old man’s eyes connected to mine
and for that brief moment,
I knew that he and I
were thinking the same thing.
I knew his mind in that moment
and he knew mine.
WHAT ARE WE ALL SEARCHING FOR?
And more importantly –
He smiled and I smiled
and we both went on our way.
I am past the mid-point in my work contract
and although it is smoother than last year,
I must admit that I am now counting the days.
I struggle with having so much less time
and energy for making art.
I struggle with the choice I made
to go back to such an environment.
I tell myself this is the last time
because it no longer serves me,
and when something no longer serves you,
you either let go
or be dragged.
I struggle with feeling so different
than most people I work with.
They are motivated by money.
I am not.
I am motivated by freedom.
They are not.
I work (temporarily) in an environment
where most people there have made
very good salaries for many years
and built up healthy pension plans.
Conversations there usually revolve around
food, trips to exotic places,
I sit there and hear the words
being thrown above my cubicle wall
and I wonder about their dreams.
Did any of them want to be landscapers
or race car drivers?
Did they sacrifice their dreams
for the sake of making money?
How many chose this path
because of the financial rewards
and the promise of a comfortable future?
(I would dare say most)
For 8 hours a day,
I am surrounded with people
who make a lot of money,
but seem worn out
or disconnected somehow.
They have designer clothes
but their bodies seem exhausted.
Not in a physical way,
but in a mental way.
Many are on sick leave,
or extended time off,
because they’ve “burned out”
one too many times.
Many choose to work overtime
because they don’t want to seem
any less ambitious than others
or they’ve come to depend
on that extra chunky paycheque.
Some are in counselling
because they have problems sleeping
or because they feel depressed.
It is an atmosphere of competition
and climbing the ladder
and jealousy and greed.
Not everyone there is greedy,
but many are.
Not everyone is competitive or jealous,
but many are.
Years ago, when I was young & naïve,
I used to envy those
who had more money than I did.
I know so much better now.
Some money is necessary and good
but the amount in your bank account
has nothing to do with your level of happiness
or peace of heart & mind.
If you have enough
for food and shelter,
and you are GRATEFUL for anything extra,
you are richer than most
and your heart should be at peace.
Regardless of where you are in life,
or what you have (or don’t have)
you should never feel any less
than someone who has more,
because the person who seems to have more
isn’t necessarily any happier
than the one who seems to have nothing.
Having more doesn’t mean
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I said it.
A long way to get to
a simple point, isn't it
Happy weekend everyone.