One night, as I lay abed unable to sleep, I decided to do a year-by-year recollection of significant life events. I started with my earliest ones and worked my way up to the present, cataloguing my life, as it were.
I came across an interesting revelation as I sorted through my own mind. For every year from age four forwards, I could find several events I considered significant and defining in my life – the number increasing as I got older. Right up until I was nineteen and got my first job.
After starting my job, the number of important occurrences in my life dropped to one, maybe two a year. For the five years that I held that job, almost nothing significant happened in my life beyond meeting my wife and moving out of my parents’ house.
As I continued on from those five years, starting with when I quit my job, got married and started my own business (yes, all at the same time), I again started getting several important life events each year.
It was as if having that regular day job sucked every ounce of meaning out of my existence. Now, it could have simply been me, as I’m a low-energy person. It could be the nature of the job – food service work is rarely rewarding. But, I couldn’t help wondering.... Is this how it s for the rest of the world?
It could be, and it might just go unnoticed because it looking back on a life like this is so rare. With the way we’re forced to live in this world, do our lives simply get sucked away into the void of work?
My first instinct is to ask, how did we let this happen? And why did we let this happen? Then I realize, those aren’t the important questions. What I really need to ask is, are we happy like this? And what can we do to break free from this cycle we’re trapped in?
Is it even possible to break free, or are our lives doomed to be drained away into a void of endless work for all eternity?
Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.