More December. About the damn strangest month of my life. Ah, there probably were others I don’t recall. Being under pressure like this gets me thinking back to when I last was in a fret about anything. The Aalborg-incident (18-hour working days and then a 24-hour one to cap it off, only to lose the work in the train – got it back later, praise the Lord) stands out. But as a young man, was I ever under serious pressure? I don’t recall, if so. Financially secure, no family obligations. Going even further back, the exams of my school-time, a bit of pressure there. I did feel lonely as hell, I recall. That’s a kind of pressure, too.
There’s pressure and then there’s pressure; the long-time, over-the-years-accumulated pressure one endures, called ‘working life’. Secure your cheque, make the rent, pay the prices they ask in the stores. Support your family and hope there won’t be an earthquake in your time, or theirs. All for the good of the community, I’d much rather have that kind of pressure than the abovementioned. I’m not geared for the sudden movements of the earth, as I suspect neither was my old man. We’re wage-slaves, meant to serve in technically challenging roles as best we can, but not at our own expense i.e. not in our own line of business. We become indespensable where we find work, but we don’t lead the company in new directions. In short, we’re good workers. Nothing wrong with that, I, like Bruce Springsteen, find an everyday heroism in that. Certainly being able to feed my kids and wife, and secure them clothes to wear, makes me happy. And that, I have arrived at the conclusion, will be the extend of my ambitions for a long, long time to come. Perhaps even to the last of my days. Granted, this decision comes from years of toil and very little ‘fun’. Yet it feels like the result of a whole lot of soul-searching. Maybe it’s just survival-mode until the kids get older, specifically the little one, I dunno. But it feels damn right. I have a lot of scars on my face now, as the song-line goes, and I need time to heal. Enough is enough, there’s money in the bank to secure our imminent future a few years down the road, and it would be sheer greed if I were to continue. So I’m changing my focus and securing time instead of money, now that my cup of money is filled. I’ll never be a true millionaire, careless about all and everything – I was too much of a late bloomer for that. But that doesn’t matter now, not given the circumstances of my life – gorgeous kids, lovely wife, good friends. Who knows, maybe a new interesting job around the corner? (Edit: as I write this, the news just came through – I got the job! Good stuff.)
Saw a guy running for the train whilst the door was closing. Got himself on it, right the very second they snapped shut. I feel just like he must’ve felt: thankful to have made it through, now anxious about what the remainder of the day will offer.
I often-times think back to that incident some years back, when a stressed-out father forgot his one-year old in the parking lot of his work-place. Poor girl died from de-hydration. Registrered so hard with me, that, I was never able to let out of my mind, keep popping up from time to time. Taking steps to never go down that road feels like the best step I could take. Also helps to put things in perspective, doesn’t it: pressure and bothersome people now will amount to nothing in just a few years’ time. There are more important things in the world.
To work, now, to give my notice and surrender my position in favor of another one. Uncharted territory, but I won’t be doing it blindfolded, nor alone.
Am hoping for a quiet day.