Wednesday, August 21, 2002

True character flaw -- the "Weird" Al Yankovic song that continues to delight me the most is "Calling in Sick Today". And I found myself humming "Woke Up This Morning with My Mind Stayed on Freedom" all day the last day of the last time I was an employee.

Emode tells me I'm not really a slacker -- I'm only fronting. Probably so. I've been known to simplify my upkeep and household routines, but I have my standards. I have a few things I want to get done in the world. I'm just not overly blessed with ambition.

It's a theme that keeps coming up in my life. I still remember discussing whether ambition or contentment was better with my French host sister. She was of the ambition position, and now has two boys in a two income home, with a responsible career using her love of languages to arrange international orders for a French manufacturing concern. I figured contentment -- what's the use of all that ambition if you don't have time to enjoy the results? I have no kids, work as a homemaker (and hyphenate writer if I'm feeling like a little more respect), our house suits me better than hers would, and I'm having a good life.

Perhaps this is because I am very lucky. I met and married a man who fell into a career that he enjoys and that pays well. He has an easy temperament, and doesn't push me to earn more money for us. On a higher level, I was born in a rich country, where living is easy, and in a time where more people have more leisure than ever before -- consider that in earlier centuries, only 2-4 % of the population could be spared from raising food if everyone was to eat. Now, it only takes 2-4 % to raise our food, and everyone else can create other kinds of wealth. I love the complexity of available activities in our civilization. These are sweet times.

Still, I like to think I had a little to do with arranging my life so pleasantly. Subtle habits of thrift that gave us the credit rating to buy the lovely house. Sufficient household industry to keep it attractively orderly to the eye. Skills in relationship maintenance so that my marriage is even more fun than it was sixteen years ago.

After all, it is my life. If I don't own it, who does?

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