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Old 10-17-2015, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Out West
22,788 posts, read 16,864,332 times
Reputation: 26320

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing20 View Post
Why do we act like life is wonderful when all we really do is work all the time? I'm getting ready to graduate college and Ive been struggling to think of a reason I shouldn't just kill myself. There's nothing to look forward to in life. We spend all of our time at work so we can afford to feed and shelter ourselves so that we're healthy enough to go back to work the next day. Then we get excited because we get a week off once a year.
Meanwhile, our children are being raised by someone else who is getting to see all their milestones. We spend most of our time with coworkers instead of our friends and spouses. Things that are supposed to make life worthwhile like traveling can barely be done because to most people who are making enough money to afford it don't have enough time off. Life is pretty much work, stress, and disappointment but we keep trying to find ways to prolong it. I don't get it
OP, there IS a point. Yes, it is difficult for a lot of people to partake in life's pleasures, so you have to get creative.

I wanted to travel, but I don't have that kind of money to toss aside. So I worked for a cruise line. We got ridiculously deep discounts with our own cruise line as well as others. I got to see Alaska, I got to go to the Caribbean, I got to see Victoria. I would never have been able to do that on my own, without that discount.

I wanted to live in a different country. That was part of the reason that I joined the military. I could have joined any branch, but I chose the one that allowed ME to pick my permanent duty station. I chose Army. I got to live in Germany for 3 years. Yes, we worked a lot, a LOT more than most people work, but I also had the chance to visit all over Germany, I got to ski the Alps, I got to go to Spain, I got to go to France, I got to go to Luxembourg...even though the work was hard, it was worth it.

I wanted to be a tour guide, or a forest park ranger. I wanted to work around wildlife. Zoos were almost impossible to get a job at unless you wanted to work the gift shop, but that would not have fulfilled my desire to work around wildlife. So I became an airboat captain. Summer was brutal, but it was one of the most fun jobs I've ever had in my entire life. Why? Because I was doing something I actually loved. I actually WANTED to work.

People tell me all the time how "jealous" they are of me that I got to do all of those things so far in life, and I say: No. Anybody can do what I've done. I'm not some special person with fantastic skills that are highly sought out...despite how special I thought I was when I was younger...yes, I have talents, of course, but most of those talents are for specialty jobs that are dang near impossible to get in to, even with talent. So if I can be in the military, work for a cruise line, be an airboat captain, so can anyone else.

The point is, you have to work with what you have instead of complaining about what you don't have.

It's really easy to sit there and think about how much it sucks that you don't have all the time and money in the world to do what you want, but that doesn't get you anywhere. You know why it doesn't get you anywhere? Because no one cares. They have their own troubles. So use some creativity and come up with ways that you can do things that you want very inexpensively. You have the internet, there's all kinds of information out there. You could go on an African safari simply by volunteering. (They have a cap level on the age.) You could go work on farms in various countries around the world...you get room and board, and you gain a lot of experience. You can work a job that allows you to do the kinds of things that you want to do. The job doesn't have to be forever, but if it provides you with something that you want, why not do it for a couple of years to get what you want?

You don't have to listen to society who tells you that you have to do things in a certain way. I did things in that certain way, and all it got me was nothing. Were it up to my parents, I'd be working at the Post Office for the past so many years. That's not the life for me, so I got creative. Am I swimming in money?

No.

Is my life filled with riches? Yes. You can't take your money with you, but when you're old, feeble, about to die, do you think about how much money you have, or do you think about your life experiences?

My dad wanted to be a Forest Park Ranger when he grew up. I asked him this question one day on the phone when he was shoving that "work at the Post Office" garbage at me again. He totally fits that job - Forest Park Ranger. He was never happier than when he was out in the wilderness. He loved it. But he did not take that job because he did what society told him he should do. Yes, he was successful, yes, he made a very nice amount in his life, yes, he retired early...but I asked him if he was happy.

He said: "Well, I'm not unhappy."

I decided to heck with what society tells me I should be doing, I don't want to live my life "not unhappy".

While you are coming up with creative ways to do the things that you want to do, find something that you can do any day of the week, or once a week, or twice a month, for free, or very cheaply, that will help you see that life offers many rewards. Maybe you like to tell jokes. Fine, go find a place that allows amateur comedians to get up on stage and tell their jokes. Maybe you like to act. Fine, go audition for parts in a play at your local theater. Maybe you like to paint. Fine, get the materials, set up a place in your home, and fricken paint. Maybe you like to read. Fine, go join a book club that meets x times a month. Maybe you like wine. Fine, find ways to get on wine tasting tours. Maybe you like to help animals but can't have any. Go volunteer at an animal shelter. Maybe you like to help people. Fine, go to a soup kitchen and help feed homeless people. Whatever interests you, photography, videography, writing, singing, sports, what. ever. it is, go find a way to do that. Find a group of people in your city who you can meet up with.

Whatever you do, don't think that your entire life has to be about working just to buy a house and a car, there is MUCH more to life than material things.

Last edited by Three Wolves In Snow; 10-17-2015 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,051,305 times
Reputation: 18249
Learn to live on less:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg37Cbx-kak There are a lot of ways to live differently. When you are younger it is easier but as your energy decreases, work and basic daily chores do take every single minute unless you can break free of the "grind".
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:10 AM
 
18,378 posts, read 23,565,807 times
Reputation: 34443
money seems to be the currency of security
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:00 AM
 
2,084 posts, read 1,596,496 times
Reputation: 3354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ro2113 View Post
And we could do without comments like yours.
Lol...I agree...I was thinking the same thing...like, what the hell was all that nonsense?

"Duuh, Go into the woods under a tree and do what you gotta do...and leave a note with somebody in town duhh"... ?.....gtfoh with that stupid garbage.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:10 AM
 
6,469 posts, read 3,468,826 times
Reputation: 10267
It's the general business model of the US.

Some people are lucky and are born into money and can delegate work to others.
Some people are purely entrepreneurial and build their own fortunes and can stop working earlier in life and enjoy the living outside of working.
Some people are lazy and don't want to work.
Some people work hard for small money, whether it be lack of education or by choice or just buy the factors surrounding their upbringing.
For most of us the daily grind is part of the game of being an American.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,290,191 times
Reputation: 37479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing20 View Post
Why do we act like life is wonderful when all we really do is work all the time? I'm getting ready to graduate college and Ive been struggling to think of a reason I shouldn't just kill myself. There's nothing to look forward to in life. We spend all of our time at work so we can afford to feed and shelter ourselves so that we're healthy enough to go back to work the next day. Then we get excited because we get a week off once a year.
Meanwhile, our children are being raised by someone else who is getting to see all their milestones. We spend most of our time with coworkers instead of our friends and spouses. Things that are supposed to make life worthwhile like traveling can barely be done because to most people who are making enough money to afford it don't have enough time off. Life is pretty much work, stress, and disappointment but we keep trying to find ways to prolong it. I don't get it
You tell us. After all, you're alive when you could simply decline to stop living or take affirmative action to end your life. So you have a point, some point, whatever it is, in your life.

However:
* We don't work all the time. Nobody does.
* Most people find some pleasure either in their work or while they are at work.
* Most people raise or help raise their children.

So a number of your claims are simply incorrect.

Now, back to your question: what is the point? The obvious answer is that there is no point for you to discover, no point that's going to be handed to you. You find your own reasons for living, your joys, your goals.

Finally, an observation - you have it pretty easy, all things considered. No, really, you do.We all do. We live (you too, I'm guessing) in a modern first-world country with a social safety net that is stronger than most in the world enjoy, and stronger than the vast majority of those who lived before you could even have imagined. You have access to education, health care that eliminates so much misery that was standard for most of human history (and still is in much of the world). There is comparative opportunity - you admit you're about to be a college graduate, something a great many otherwise-qualified people living and dead would have loved but could never have realized - and economic mobility. It's not all a bed of roses, but it's hardly the fruitless toil you present to to be. So, the whole 'woe is me, life sucks because it's not as easy as I wish it was' thing you're putting forth is pretty weak.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:15 AM
 
354 posts, read 627,884 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJJG2012 View Post
Most people work 40 hours a week and are awake 110+ hours a week, leaving 70+ hours a week for other stuff.
Sort of. But if you have a commute of even just 30 minutes, you can cross off another 5 hours of your week. Another few hours a week are spent just getting ready to go work. Then, when you have "time off", you have to go grocery shopping, do your laundry, clean the house, do the dishes, get your oil changed, help kids with their homework, cook dinner, etc. Time spent doing things you actually enjoy or with people you enjoy can feel very limited.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: CT
3,461 posts, read 1,860,264 times
Reputation: 4614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing20 View Post
Why do we act like life is wonderful when all we really do is work all the time? I'm getting ready to graduate college and Ive been struggling to think of a reason I shouldn't just kill myself. There's nothing to look forward to in life. We spend all of our time at work so we can afford to feed and shelter ourselves so that we're healthy enough to go back to work the next day. Then we get excited because we get a week off once a year.
Meanwhile, our children are being raised by someone else who is getting to see all their milestones. We spend most of our time with coworkers instead of our friends and spouses. Things that are supposed to make life worthwhile like traveling can barely be done because to most people who are making enough money to afford it don't have enough time off. Life is pretty much work, stress, and disappointment but we keep trying to find ways to prolong it. I don't get it
Wow, I think the first order of business for you is to get some therapy! Life, my child, is what you make of it. There you go, take that advice and run with it. The essence of life is to survive, find food, seek shelter, protect yourself from danger. You don't need cell phones, giant mansions, fancy cars, caviar and champagne, exotic vacations, all you need is essentials, after that everything else is a luxury. The more luxurious that you want to live, the more means you'll need to get it, thus for most of us, it's a job. For many people it's not just a job, it provides fulfillment and a sense of satisfaction and continuity in our lives, it doesn't have to be a miserable existence. If your free time is more important to you than "things", you can live frugally with fewer frills, and be as happy as a millionaire and maybe happier. Only you can define your idea of happiness. Live and you have options, you may make a difference in the world, end your life and the world still goes on and you are gone and forgotten, time and existence is very indifferent.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Southwest
1,560 posts, read 1,061,199 times
Reputation: 1095
OP: Your thread is an example of why I came to the conclusion that working a job we reasonably like is more important than compensation for many, if not most of us.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Crowderado
48 posts, read 28,755 times
Reputation: 122
As someone who has struggled with this question for most of his working life, I empathize. My suggestions (also echoing what some of the previous posters have said):

First - don't kill yourself! It's not that bad! Having a sense of curiosity about life, about what is around the next corner, has kept me alive many times. View life as a puzzle, to be solved in the best way(s) you can think of. Sure, sometimes the things you try won't work out as planned, but that's life.

Next - read some climbing books. Even if you're not a climber, books like "Camp 4 - Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber" by Steve Roper, and "Climbing Free - My Life in the Vertical World" by Lynn Hill, will give you some insights and perspectives about the life-vs-work dilemma. There are other good books in this same vein. Find them, learn what their authors perceived about living a real life (as opposed to one dictated by the opinions of others).

Also - and perhaps an extension of the above thought: Read the writings (or listen to the audio books) of people like Dr. Bernie Siegel, the noted cancer Doc from Connecticut. I have his audio cassette collection (probably available now on CD or online download) comprised of "Peace, Love, & Healing," "Love, Medicine, & Miracles," and " Prescriptions for Living." What does a cancer doctor have to teach you, if you're not afflicted by a life-ending disease? Plenty. Read or listen to Dr. Siegel's words, and they will help you find your true path.

Last - Find something you love to do. It may take a while, so I'd suggest starting with the one thing you really love to do now. For example, if I could start over, and were in your shoes, I'd spend at least one season (maybe two) teaching skiing or being on the ski patrol somewhere. The one thing you have in abundance right now is time. Don't waste precious heartbeats leaping into some God-forsaken cubicle-hell career that kills your soul. I understand, if you're married and starting a family, you may indeed have to leap into that career. But if you can swing even one year of living your passion (climbing, skiing, searching the cosmos for signs of alien life... whatever), DO IT. You will not regret it if you do, but you will regret the rest of your life if you don't.

As usual, just my 2 cents, but from the perspective of someone who waited until retirement to start really living.
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