So here I am 2 years (actually 23 months if you want to quibble about detail) since I began working a second job, bumping my weekly workload to 56 hrs per week minimum. Mostly it has been 60 hr weeks, with a few 68 hour weeks last year and recently settled into a casual 64 hour work week while getting about 5 hours of sleep a night. What has it gotten me? Well, not much. I worked on some junk but also worked on a one of a kind project (Enzo) with some personal satisfaction attached to that. My debts are largely paid off but not entirely, my net worth is in the positive range finally but I have very regrettably lost the most enduring romantic relationship of my life. The downward spiral of that relationship began about two years ago too, so one has to wonder about the correlation of the two. Really its no wonder at all, I've nearly lost myself to my work schedule, never mind losing relationships and closeness with family and friends.. and now I am floundering through my life adrift and aghast at what I've done to it. As I was reminded last night;
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it
.. so what now? I realize I've been running to catch up to some undefined level of success achievement I will probably never realize through normal avenues because I took a decade off from life 15 years ago. And I have lost touch with myself, my true nature, my inner philosopher, my idealistic heart, my romantic nature. A large part of the why is simple; mental pathways are strengthened through repetition, and I use anger.
A lot is said about anger being a poison, but in the truest nature of philosophy, it is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so (Shakespeare). I liken anger to fire. Humanity as a whole has through the harnessing of fire learned to do things we were previously unable to do, from cooking food to make it not induce sickness, all the way up to traveling to distant planets and even sending spacecraft beyond the edge of our own solar system. But all this aside, no one would deny that fire is a potentially dangerous thing if allowed to run rampant. It is almost a living thing, it can be born of the right conditions, it consumes, it grows, it breathes, it can give birth to its own kind, and it can be extinguished.
So too is anger. It is something that can be harnessed to drive change and improvements, it staves off complacency so that I do not become lazy and just accept what I do not like. Many people have tried to guide me toward happiness, and while I do appreciate and occasionally dally in it, it does not serve me, it does not drive me, it does not help me aspire to achieve better things. Profound dissatisfaction (aka anger) serves me, but also has cost me. It has taught me, and it has made me forget.
It is arguably neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.
My pain is self-chosen, at least so the prophet says
-River of Deceit, Mad SeasonThe bigger question at this juncture is whether or not to continue this schedule of self-abuse toward some ultimate goal that may not come, or stop and look around for a while to make sure I don't miss my life as it is slipping by?