The Price We Pay for Living Well

30 04 2014

As I sit here listening to the melting snow tap tap on the various air conditioners, I wait for my 2nd telephone interview with a prominent law firm.  As far I as know, I’ve done adequate due diligence and am prepared.  I cleaned a temporary office space for myself in my bedroom.  I’m also sitting at the same desk I most likely studied physics and The Tale of Two Cities on when I went to high school.

I ask myself.  Do I really want to go back to work full-time?  Do I really want to go live through a predictable 9 to 5 schedule?  It wasn’t all that bad really.  When I was working, before being laid off, I loved the walk to the subway each morning.  It would start by my seeing kids walk towards their school, the same one I went to as a kid.  Over the years, I watched them grow up; from fashionable kindergarten girls to little women on the cusp of hormone hell.  The little boys became little men.  Even though they still wore blue jeans and a t-shirt, as they got older they developed a bit of that street smart cool dude strut.

Once I finally made it into the subway, I’d do my good morning bonding with the familiar subway conductors and motor men.  I knew most of them by their first name.

During my commute over the years, I even made two long time girl friends on the R train.

And yet as much as the morning commute was a gift, do I really want to have to answer to a Higher Presence as part of the corporate office environment?  Knell when the higher ups walk by; humble myself with correct political decorum.  Or am I imagining all this?  I can’t help but think of all the past places I’ve worked.  Fellow employees back stabbing each other by using gossip as there weapons; being reported to human resources for saying non politically correct comments; feeling like I’ll get my head chopped off if I don’t comply with corporate etiquette.

And all this within the enclave of glass and metal structures providing wall to wall carpeting and eternal florescent lighting; like a modern day cell.

True, the benefits are helpful.  But are they worth the price we pay for them?

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Then and now

25 04 2014

The words, “because the sky is blue, it makes me saaaaaaaad….”  float over a lilting melody song by The Beatles.  These days they permeate the aisles of Duane Reade

While standing in front of the magazine section, thoughts of slow dancing with one of the handsomest boys at a high school dance occupied my mind.

How strange it is to listen to tunes of the past while getting our nails done or waiting on line at Trader Joe’s. Back then our hormones were running amok while we dreamed of our futures.  Today, we’re occupied with making ends meet and what to cook for dinner.

Who’d have thought music that accompanied our youth as we drove out to Rockaway or hung out at the Pizza Prince, would someday be heard during the hum drum of our 9-5 activities.  It almost seems sacrilegious to hear Pink Floyd’s  “Breath” while waiting to pick up a prescription for Zoloft in Rite Aid.  Back in the day, we sat and pondered the words

Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don’t be afraid to care.
Leave but don’t leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

At least our thoughts can drift back to those youthful moments even though I’ve been waiting on line for how long?

Today, we’re on the other side of the looking glass.