More days like this Sunday.
The North American way of life and child rearing is not unique. Plenty of European, South American, and Asian families operate the same way.
I’ve been reading a book by MJ Marco that describes the typical middle class household and mentality and then contrasts that with what is possible if you shift your thinking. He urges his reader to become a producer instead of remaining a consumer. Remember Brad Pitt in The Fight Club lectures about having a job so you can “buy shit you can’t afford and don’t need”? That’s what this book is about- don’t be a worker drone or even a queen bee. Be a flower.
Even famous fabulously wealthy actors are drones if you think about it. Mr. Pitt is now shilling for various companies including Chanel (French chateaus and 6 children are expensive to maintain). Acting isn’t an easy profession either; projects monopolise your time for weeks months or years while you neglect your spouse and family. Damien Lewis, one of the main actors in Homeland, recently interviewed and said while he loves acting and is glad he can provide for his spouse and sons, he is also away from them for months at a time. His sons don’t understand his absences and miss him terribly, for they are in England while he is in the U.S. filming a tv series. I suppose he has an exit strategy that will allow him to return to his family full time and he is right now making hay while the sun shines so that eventually he won’t have to be away from them. Surely there are days he is unhappy being a drone no matter how well paid and recognised?
This is why I don’t care much about being a manager (and so earning more money). All that would accomplish is me being more consumed with work and at ease much less. I would still be faced with beige cube walls and 20 more years of office life 5 days a week. The increased income would be nice, sure. But not nice enough for work to buy more of my time.
I strive to be a drone with dreams who minimises the role of work in its life. But I am still a drone, a slave to expectations (my own and those who depend on me to be a good drone). I’m not sad about this, just slowly realising there are alternatives.
That feeling you get when an idea slowly dawns on you is rather intense, troubling, baffling, exciting and hopeful.