There's an old joke that I hope won't be too offensive. A wealthy man is chatting up a beautiful woman at a social function. Eventually he pops the question, "For $100,000 are you willing to go up to my hotel room with me for an night of wild and crazy sex?"
She responds "Sure, once we get the payment sorted out, you can't have that much cash on you."
"All right," he says, "How about for $100?"
She slaps his face hard, and yells, "What do you think I am?"
He rubs his face, having not ducked quite quickly enough. "Oh ma'am, we both know what you are, now we're negotiating the price."
I was thinking of that last week. It's what almost all of us are, trading our time doing things that we're told to do and probably wouldn't do on our own, in exchange for money. The difference is that some people have different standards, and different needs. If you need a job to pay the rent and put groceries on the table, it's very difficult to say no to an employer.
The rich rely on that, and take advantage. It's the main reason they want to keep people poor, so they can continue to take advantage of them.
But what if you don't need any particular job? What if you're working because you want to? Maybe the work is interesting, or maybe it contributes to something you think is important, or you're doing a favour for a buddy, or any number of other reasons. But you aren't working because you need the money. What then?
You can walk away from a job. You can fire the company that has employed you. I did. I decided I wasn't going to deal with a certain situation any longer. I had pushed back on the situation a while ago, and it got marginally better. Then it got worse again and there was no indication things would change. Enough was enough. I don't think they thought I was serious. Now I'm retired again, and I'm thinking I'm not going to take another office job again.
So what did I do this week instead of working? Being busy, wondering how I ever had the time to work. In no particular order, a nice walk with Linda, lunch with a buddy, a (smokey) bike ride up to the reservoir on the newly overhauled hybrid, lunch with Linda, shopping for bike accessories, a (smokey) photowalk downtown, lunch with another buddy, shopping for a winter vacation, thinking about several photo trips, investigated buying a specialty lens for astro photography, received a pitch for another office job, chatted to a buddy met by chance on the street, worked on my novel (that one germ of an idea, two characters meeting over a dead lawnmower has sprung wings and flapped off in several directions), had several afternoon naps, attended a fireworks event, and here it is Friday afternoon. Wow.
So if you're looking for a buddy to go on a photo ramble with, get in touch with me. Or if we haven't seen each other for a while and would like to catch up over lunch or coffee.
A few days after that big event, I got news that an uncle of mine had died abruptly and unexpectedly at age 71. That is an uncomfortable small number of years older than I am now. It makes me ask myself how I want to spend the remaining years I have.
These are a couple more hand held shots with the 600 mm lens, before the smoke rolled in and made the very concept of such a lens useless.
I've looked at this scene almost every working day for more than 5 years. I park and walk past it to take the stairs. This ramp leads to a pair of slow elevators. I can reliably beat them going up 4 floors. A buddy once asked why I parked on the bottom level and walked up 4 flights rather than park on the +15 level. The difference is that I can walk up or down those flights much faster than I could drive them. It's a process thing, thinking it through on a holistic level.
One night of fireworks at Globalfest done 4 more to go. No, I didn't take the camera. I'm not sure if I will. For these sorts of things I'd rather watch them with my eyes and enjoy the experience. Then I don't have to mind an expensive camera, and get all worked up about the shots I might or might not get.