Wind-lashed rain pounded the windows at 05:30 and woke me too early today. I feel a little zombified. Did I really get myself up at that time every week day for years? I must have been mad – but I did. I got up at 5:30, washed my hair and breakfasted, then got in the car at 06:15 to drive the first 12 miles of my commute (using the dashboard heater flow to blow dry my hair en route), and change to the train for the remainder. The return 60 miles got me home by about 19:30 hrs. Was it a real madness or did I just simply love my work. I know the answer to that as I had cause to think about it yesterday as the Higher Education Sector went on strike.
I was a member of Unison but was only called upon to strike once. I left the union over that issue and I crossed the picket lines and I went to work. Why? Because it was A-level results day and strike action should hit management not the customers. Mostly because my personal belief is that mere money is never worth such extreme action. There are important matters from time to time that do merit striking – money is not one of them. I loved my work and I would have done it for much less money than I earned. I always felt more than adequately compensated for what I did. Most importantly, back then I also felt appreciated. That changed over time. Perhaps if I were still in the thankless business of Higher Education I might just consider that a little extra cash might compensate a little for the shitty way that HE management now treats its employees but I doubt it. I don’t like greed and I never did. It’s not about the money…
I took a more constructive action and I got out. Of course, I now have no money at all 🙂
It’s fine though, once one has sorted out the difference between needs and wants, it’s all OK. I don’t need holidays, I don’t need new clothes, visits to theatres or restaurants or cinemas or a shiny car. I do need a stress-free life, and that actually comes pretty cheaply – although at the price of being a kept woman (and who would have thought that I’d allow that ever to happen!)
If only we had no needs whatsoever and Mr L could also drop right out of the rat race… but, you know, it could be done if we set our minds to it. Yes, he has to work to play the mortgage, but we might choose to de-stuff further, sell up and move into a tiny cottage and be mortgage-free. We could rid ourselves of the Land Rover and it’s comparatively small costs – we scarcely ever use it now that I have my bus pass. We could easily be less lavish about our diet. We could… (and so on)
There is still work that we might do to really hone down our list of needs versus wants. Close examination suggests that we are still unhealthily encumbered by Things and remain profligate in our consumption and our use of resources. The belt can be taken in several notches yet, if we choose to do so. Experience suggests that our happiness and satisfaction levels would only increase.
There is a great sense of freedom in knowing that it is pointless to even begin thinking about wanting stuff; a tremendous saving in psychological energy.
As for physical energy, well I could do with another couple of hours in bed to catch up – but I must continue to make space for spinners, though given the current weather prediction perhaps nobody will be brave enough to turn out tomorrow. Also, Gill will be here shortly with a Christmas cake that I am giving oven space to, and Mr L is looking forward to a dish of gnocchi for lunch (blue goat’s cheese, mushrooms, smoked bacon perhaps…) I have to organise spinning cake too, not to mention my own fruit cake to mix and bake. It’s all go, here in the land of no work.
PS I have used the Wikipedia version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as my featured image today. Under my “drop-out” status I would actually take issue with this interpretation, and may revisit the topic one day soon when I have more time to spare. I think I can do a version that I can relate to and which may help to convey my view of my universe.