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What do people do? Seriously, what do they do?

Old 03-05-08, 07:42 PM
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What do people do? Seriously, what do they do?

I've still got this dream that I'm going to be somebody. That I'm going to take my hobby of writing and editing and turn it into a career. That I'm going to have a long, fulfilling life filled with travel and adventures, and that even the week nights will be filled with fun, exciting, and interesting events.

But that's not reality. The truth is that after 9-10 hours of a crappy job, I come home and work even more, but now I'm just working on my "hobbies" that aren't really getting me any closer to fulfilling my dream. And because that takes up all my free time, I never do anything: no travel, no fun exciting events, nothing. Just one boring night and weekend after the next.

I always imagine that other people go home after work and enjoy their time off, and that I'm missing out on something that everyone else is getting. That they have fun at night and on the weekends, and that they're really fulfilled with their lives.

But is that true? Do others go home and really like what they do at night? Are they spending their free time being happy and fulfilled? Or are others in the same boat as me, just as unhappy and just as unfulfilled, wasting their life and letting time slip by?
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Old 03-05-08, 07:44 PM
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Welcome to mid-life crisis.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:44 PM
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I love my job, my free time, and my wife. I look forward to going to work every day, and I also look forward to getting out of work to spend time at home with my wife and my cats.

I'm sure there's more people like you (just passing the time) than there are of me, but that doesn't mean you can't find happiness out there.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:44 PM
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I am exactly like you. Frankly what should I expect? If I'm not going to work to make those things happen, I can't expect them to just fall in my lap no matter how much I may fantasize about it.

It's a good thing I really like tv.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:50 PM
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How old are you?
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Old 03-05-08, 07:54 PM
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My job is something I enjoy immensely. There are aspects that will wear on a person, but overall, I still enjoy going in every single working day.

I love my wife and two kids. I work nights but I'm off on the weekends. I get to pick my son up from school and my daughter up from the sitter and spend time with them before I go to work. I get three days off every weekend to spend time with my family and my friends.

I take at least two vacations a year (1 with the kids and 1 without 'em) because we love to travel. I get to experience new things but I love coming home to Texas.

But, when all else fails....just get a tramp stamp. It'll make you feel better.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:58 PM
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I've spent the last seven years doing a job that I enjoyed and was good at, but wasn't particularly challenging and I never looked forward to it.

I have recently gotten a new job that's back in my original career track, is highly enjoyable and I actually look forward to going every day and am surprised when 5 o'clock rolls around.

This change has made me a happier person in general, and makes the time I spend home with my family at night that much better as well.

So I'd say that if you truly have these dreams that you do whatever you can to make them a reality, even if it is a drastic change. I took a paycut and there is some uncertainty with this position (it's for a new television show that...if it fails, could simply be cancelled) but I'm not even thinking about that, the upside is just too great.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by antennaball
But, when all else fails....just get a tramp stamp. It'll make you feel better.


I just spit water all over my monitor.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:36 PM
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I'm 35, so I hope it's not a mid-life crisis. But I do feel trapped by, well, pretty much everything. My house won't sell, so we can't get a better place. I don't like my job, but with my wife only working part-time, I need to suck it up. And in order to fulfill my dreams of being a freelance editor or writing coach, I need to be financially secure until that actually become lucrative.

I don't know. Right now it just feels like I'm always working to make things better, but never stepping back and enjoying where I am right now. It's always that next goal I need to meet.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:49 PM
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Old 03-05-08, 09:20 PM
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b2k - you need to step back and look at where you are and where you want to be. I left my job 4 months ago and I'm enjoying my time fixing things around the house, spending time with my kids, wife and dog while getting my shit together. I've spent the last 10 years of my life doing something that made better than descent money and sounded like the right thing to do that met the status norm - all the while losing my identity and absolutely hating what I was doing. Fuck that - I'll never do it again. I don't need to be rich, I need to be happy.....
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Old 03-05-08, 09:39 PM
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I always wanted to be an artist. I am an artist.

You too, can realize your dreams.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bishop2knight
And in order to fulfill my dreams of being a freelance editor or writing coach, I need to be financially secure until that actually become lucrative.
If I hadn't found a new job soon, I was going to quit and become a freelance writer. Having no job would have been all the motivation I needed to kickstart that.

Something to think about.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:44 PM
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I'm fortunate in that I'm young, single, and childless. I'm unfortunate in that I'm not all that far-sighted. The result being that I have a low-paying job that interests me and directly feeds my hobbies. (I sell wine and beer, putting my history and writing degrees to...uh, great use.) I live in a small place with low rent, drive a crappy car, and don't date much (and when I do, I have a big old DVD collection and can cook, so I don't spend much). This lets me spend my cash on the things that make me happy. Money can't buy total happiness, but it can buy certain sorts--see The Bus's post above. (I would replace the coke with a mature Barolo, but the rest seems to work.)

Usually when I'm not happy with things, I'm actually bored with them. It's then when I have to actively search for reasons to be happy. Simple things, usually: a new author, new filmmaker, new brewery, entire new hobby. Something to keep me fascinated with the world. If you find your hobbies boring, maybe its time to rethink them. Or, with more creative hobbies, like writing, just let it be for a while; something will come to you, and a few lines of good writing are worth months of no writing at all. The thing about hobbies is that they cease to be hobbies the moment you force them.

Happiness is a temporary thing; fortunately, so is unhappiness. (To me, happiness and fulfillment are interchangeable.) Time'll keep on slipping by until you find something to stop it.

CAVEAT: I'm 23 and have little knowledge of the real world. But I have watched Dr. Phil once. My DVD player was broken, I swear.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:44 PM
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I feel similar, but I am doing things to get out of it... I don't like most of my job and feel trapped where I live. But after work, I go do what I love. Right now I do it part time and basically for next to nothing, but learning the skills and stuff I need to do to hopefully make a full-time career out of it. If not, I am still getting to do what I love the most. Training people and helping them fulfill their health and fitness goals.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:45 PM
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I hear what you're saying. But let's get down to more details. Someone who's totally happy, tell me what you do with your evenings. Is it all about relaxing and watching TV, or is it more about talking and spending time with family and friends?
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Old 03-05-08, 09:45 PM
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Old 03-05-08, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bishop2knight
I hear what you're saying. But let's get down to more details. Someone who's totally happy, tell me what you do with your evenings. Is it all about relaxing and watching TV, or is it more about talking and spending time with family and friends?
Well for me, I head out of work and head to our gym... On Wednesdays, I teach the beginner's class. On Tues and Thurs nights, I assist with the elements class, and work one on one with various clients who need some extra attention with Olympic lifts, power lifts, basic gymnastic movements, or anything else they may need help with. I also consult with the clients who need some help with their nutritional issues and how to get through plateaus and what not. I also will review their training/ nutrition logs to see how they are progressing. Mondays and Fridays it can vary, but mainly just researching and working with people as they want help. Then I workout myself. Then its home for a quick meal, time with my wife and bed. I love my life after work, its the time from 6:00am to 4:30pm that I need to change. Saturday and Sunday are little more of the same, but a little less structured.

But basically no, its not home to relax and watch TV, its much more active and time consuming, but in its own way, its my therapy.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:01 PM
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Old 03-05-08, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bishop2knight
I hear what you're saying. But let's get down to more details. Someone who's totally happy, tell me what you do with your evenings. Is it all about relaxing and watching TV, or is it more about talking and spending time with family and friends?
It's a mixture of all that and then some for me. My situation is a little different in that during the week my "evening" is actually at 7AM and nobody else is home. That's when I get my personal time to read, mess with my little hobbies, etc. The weekends, though, are all about time with the family, lounging around the house, day trips, sporting events, occasionally the bars with my friends...I just wouldn't have my life any other way right now.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:15 PM
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If I get home early, I take a walk around the block. If, as usual, I get home around 7 pm, I open the night's beer or pour the night's wine, and throw something on the stove or into the oven. After that, it's a toss-up. If something strikes me, I'll work on my writing (mostly poetry) or some music. Usually, nothing strikes me. So I check the usual interweb sites, then put in a movie or play some COD4 or read. I do this until I get tired, then pull out an old book of NYT crossword puzzles and work at it until I pass out. I wake up late and drive to work.

Sundays (I work Saturdays), I try to straighten up the apartment. I'm rarely successful. I'll meet a friend (or my mom...go ahead, laugh) for lunch or dinner, if I can. I usually can't. In the evening I pour a nice bottle of wine. If it's good, I think about it...if it's not, I try not to.

Wow. I am a boring, boring person. But I'm usually happy. Maybe it's all the drinking, but I think it's something else.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:40 PM
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It could be worse.

You have a decent job. You're married. You own a house.
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Old 03-05-08, 11:22 PM
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Eh. No use in telling people it could be worse. We're smart enough to know that it could also be better. And, as that quotation from Epicurus suggests (and as a T-Bone Burnett song explicitly states--and "eventually, like Napoleon, he attacked Russia"), the more we have, the more we want. The follies of reason, perhaps, but true all the same.
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Old 03-06-08, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bishop2knight
I'm 35, so I hope it's not a mid-life crisis. But I do feel trapped by, well, pretty much everything. My house won't sell, so we can't get a better place. I don't like my job, but with my wife only working part-time, I need to suck it up. And in order to fulfill my dreams of being a freelance editor or writing coach, I need to be financially secure until that actually become lucrative.

I don't know. Right now it just feels like I'm always working to make things better, but never stepping back and enjoying where I am right now. It's always that next goal I need to meet.
I know how you feel man. I'm 33, have a good paying job I pretty much loathe these days but need to keep due to my mortgage, and I am trying to further a creative endeavor (writing and recording an album). By the time I get home from my life-sucking job and deal with a 40 minute drive of people who ALWAYS have to be first on the road, the last thing I feel is creativity.

I know I could be a lot worse off, but sometimes I wish I had a simple job and a tiny apartment with 50 hours a week to work on music.

Of course if that were the case I probably wouldn't be able to afford the movie collection I have.

Most days I feel like I'm wasting my life - in fact that feeling at least gave me the idea for my project name, concept and theme, so I guess that's something.
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Old 03-06-08, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus
Wow...that is a great quote
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