Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gotta Wonder

One autumn evening, I was driving down College Street on my way home from the office, becoming one with the flow of the traffic, mind wandering, and this thought occurred to me: “Why bother?”

Seriously, why do I bother busting my ass to do a good job? It feels like I get the same pay, time off, and recognition when slack off as when I push myself to the limit of mental and physical exhaustion. I gotta wonder, if I stopped giving a crap, what would happen?

Why bother saving today so I’ll have money at some mythical moving target of a retirement date? Our company’s 401(k) advisor preaches the value of “saving now to continue your lifestyle into retirement.” Excuse me, but my current lifestyle is pretty bare bones. I thought an MBA would help me trade up, but since I moved to Tennessee, it’s been the lowest quality of life in, well, my life. If daily sacrifices now (no big vacations, shopping clearance racks and/or secondhand clothes, no frivolous weekend trips, living on ramen and cheap pasta) are to ensure more of this ridiculously low-key lifestyle in the future, what exactly is the point? Why bother? Why not just live large now and let the future chips fall where they may?

My job includes health insurance, which costs me a solid $2,210 per year in premiums, PLUS an annual deductible of $2,500. That comes out to $4,710 a year I paid before things are actually covered Ok, my annual mammogram is covered, making it one heck of an expensive test. If I could have bankrolled that money, I would at least have something to show for it. Why bother? If I had no insurance, the system of taxpayers somewhere would cover it, right? Or I could use the thousands of dollars I was no longer dumping into premiums and deductibles.

Some days I cannot even figure out why I am on this earth. I have failed in the Biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply,” so it’s not like I am here to be some shining example for offspring. I am not curing cancer or solving world problems. What the hell am I doing here? Why bother caring what the heck I do?

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