How Poor Can You Afford To Be?

I always use money as an excuse to why I can’t do certain things.  Or the main reason why I can’t attain a certain level of happiness.

I’m an idiot.

I’ve designed a certain career for myself that has a lot to do with trying to be poor and content.  It’s a sort of philosophy I keep wanting to prove is possible.  It’s ridiculous to be an American and pursue this.  So much of our worth is based on how much we can buy.  I think this bothers me the most when people talk to me about how I don’t work.  Because I do work.  I work every day.  Night actually.  I’m working right now as I’m typing this.  But my work doesn’t pay much so it isn’t looked at as real work by some people.  And I have to be honest that this offends me.  I am a hard worker and I take pride in my work.  Some people think work should make you sweat.  Some people think work is only work when it brings in the big bucks.  I think it’s possible to be the hardest working person in the world and make less than a dollar for all of it.  But I don’t know if I’m crazy or not.

I’m bothered by how money or lack of money shapes perceptions.  I think about people who work their whole lives at thankless jobs.  I want to respect these people but I don’t really.  I don’t think suffering for money is admirable.  I think people should find things to do that they enjoy and try to figure out how to live within their means.   If they can’t afford to eat out then they shouldn’t eat out.  If they can’t afford to go to the movies then they should just not go.  If all you can afford to do is stay at home and blog then stay at home and blog.

The less money you make the less you have to pay in taxes.  That’s nice.  There’s no retirement money though.

I’m not against work.  I don’t know what I’m against actually.  Maybe just the definition of what work is.  I guess I think of it as putting undesirable effort towards an end you don’t really care about for money.  But that’s not it.  Or is it?  How stressful does an action have to be to be considered work?  When you hear the word “work” does it make you think about Heaven or Hell?  Or just something you have to do on your way to one or the other?

Writers get paid to think.  They trade backaches for headaches.  But if a writer is thinking and getting headaches but not getting paid, did the writer really work?  And at what point does the writing turn into a worthwhile thing?  What is successful writing?  Something that connects?  Something that challenges?  Something that inspires or causes more thought?  What if only one person reads it and isn’t changed but mostly just bored by it?  Should the writer have slept in or surfed the internet instead?

I’m probably thinking too much but that’s how I don’t get paid.

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