“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Remember that from high school economics class? It was a simple way of describing the essence of a capitalist economic system, but the phrase means so much more. It seems to apply to just about everything in life. “Nothing worth achieving is ever easy.” “No pain no gain.” All the clichés are true, and sadly their message is starting to sink in.

I’ve been out of work for a week, an intentional break after many years in the hive. I’d been planning this for quite awhile, knowing that when I departed WebMedia I would want some time off (suffice it to say, I did not use all of my vacation time while I was there). However, I’m not really enjoying it yet. My only moments of glee come when I’m looking through the help-wanteds or updating my portfolio. Am I simply unable to relax after so many years devoted to work? Do I simply need to “decompress”?

Don’t get me wrong–I sit around plenty and just do nothing. I wake up at 11. Sometimes I can’t even be bothered to take a shower or brush my teeth. I’m not one of these types who claims to only be happy when he’s working. I’m not a workaholic by any stretch. I really hate it when, asked what their biggest flaw is, people respond with something like “My biggest flaw is that I work too hard.” Excuse the language, but fuck that bullshit. I’m not one of those people. I don’t want to work, and yet, it seems that I must in order to achieve that physical state known as happiness.

Is this the curse of growing older? Must I earn every ounce of happiness? It would appear so. I’ve always known that was the truth, nodding in agreement whenever anyone says “No pain no gain,” but I always let myself forget. Heck, I even ran cross-country in high school and college; you’d think that would have convinced me. Am I just a slow learner, like Anakin, or is it a natural human tendency to think you can get something for nothing?

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Every once in a while the naked truth of that phrase really hits home. Perhaps this time it will stick.



One thought on “TANSTAAFL

  1. This reminds me exactly of some shit we were discussing in my Software Engineering class yesterday… that a primary (he said “the primary”) reason for working is to increase one’s self worth. And, based on that, some good practices for working within a software development team or managing such a team.

    I’d first suggest that you might just be in a short-sighted mode. When you work every day, that is something you can be proud of in the evenings; when you’re not, you can’t focus on that. But you have worked hard for the last 9 years, and you have a resume and portfolio along with mad skills to show for it.

    Also, just remind yourself that: You’re good enough… You’re smart enough… and dog gone it, people *like* you!!!

    🙂 — Voidious


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