‘Cause it’s a Bittersweet Symphony

“…this life. Try to make end’s meat, we’re a slave to the money, then we die.” Well, hopefully it’s not quite that cut and dry, but money sure can put a severe chokehold on your sanity if you’re not careful about it. I’m really not one to talk, at least not in comparison to a lot of other people, so this isn’t a “woe is me” post. But being unemployed, again, is an immediate reminder of who holds the genie in the bottle. And in case you can’t put two and two together, it’s money. The house, the car, and most importantly the internet and TV (yes, I know my priorities are probably a bit out of whack), are all loyal, not to me, but to their friend, the dollar. George, Abe, Ben, Thomas…that whole overly patriotic crew, are the bullies that can tear my life down if I ain’t cool with them. And, let’s face it, they only come around if you are out working it for them. Or, more literally, working.

Life isn’t all about money, true. If I were to become without all the goodies that makeup my pleasant life, I’d have my wife and dog to help me charm on-comers on the street out of their nickels and dimes (for the record, they would be far more effective charmers than I would be, especially Buster, I mean, who could resist his overbite?). We would be one darling, Goodwill dressed family with the pleasant odor of the never-ending summer in a drought ridden Sacramento Valley. Ah, the sweet smell of sweat. A delicious odor indeed.

Now we are far away from that scenario, thankfully, and are relatively responsible people with our spending, although we do have our vices (see paragraph one). But when I decide to let my panic take the wheel, the downward spiral can seem eerily imminent, as though it’s a solicitor approaching the door asking me for everything I have. (If you’re paying attention, I just made two loosely based music references – Depeche Mode, Behind the Wheel and Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral, both of which don’t evoke a whole lot of confidence that this situation will resolve itself quickly, but let’s not focus on that). However, I am a pretty optimistic dude in general. I did figure that by now, the 38th chapter of my life, I’d be far greener than I am, and I’m not speaking environmentally. But luckily, as I’ve matured as have my desires of being famous-ish and ridiculously wealthy to living within means, enjoying the little things and saving have taken precedent. I swear it’s not a concession, but a compromise. Life is usually a fair game if you can set aside your ego and appreciate what truly brings you peace.

I’m hoping that life will continue to play fair in the coming weeks or months (let’s cross our fingers for weeks) and abide with a job and a healthy bi-monthly check with insurance and a not-too-crazy commute. Life knows I’m worth it. I know I’m worth it, now I just need an employer to see it through my resume. Ah, the cruel nature of employment – one page to sell myself on how amazing I am. I really can do a whole bunch of stuff, and do most of it pretty damn well. Can I just say that on there? I guess that’s what cover letters are for, huh. They seem like a high school pep rally. Like I’m out there, doing cartwheels and flips and clapping and cheering through a megaphone to an audience of people judging, ignoring and wanting to leave, just hoping to connect with one person. That’s just not my bag. I’m not a ra-ra kinda guy.

Since I began this post inspired by The Verve, I shall end it with The Verve. While life may be a Bittersweet Symphony, I am a Lucky Man, and “Happiness, more or less, is a change in me, something in my liberty. And all the love I have is my mind. I’m a lucky man, with fire in my hands.”



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