When I say retire, I mean financial independence. Having the option to work, rather than being forced to work to live. I would definitely keep making stuff.
A single book struggles to balance on its spine; it pines for neighbors. Keep as many books as you have room for.
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.
I half wondered if Groupon was a secret welfare program for young people with otherwise worthless liberal arts degrees.
As the occupational literature indicates, individuals fail to identify with their labor precisely because it lacks flow. It is this lack of flow that makes the workplace a site of boredom and indifference. It estranges us, and so our paid labor feels alienating—it fails to engross us. Of course, there are varying degrees of alienation in the workplace, and even seemingly monotonous factory work can be made enjoyable. Regardless, outside the workplace is where we tend to find flow. Leisure time is when individuals can play, and play is the antithesis of alienated labor. Flow is the the very essence of play, and this is why, as many observe, young children will modify games to keep the tasks and skills of players balanced. Play can take many forms, but what distinguishes it from other activities is its creative, spontaneous character.
If the world seems unfair or beyond our understanding, sublime places suggest that it is not surprising that things should be thus. We are the playthings of the forces that laid out the oceans and chiselled [sic] the mountains. Sublime places gently move us to acknowledge limitations that we might otherwise encounter with anxiety or anger in the ordinary flow of events. It is not just nature that defies us. Human life is as overwhelming. But it is the vast spaces of nature that perhaps provide us with the finest, the most respectful reminder of all that exceeds us. If we spend time in them, they may help us to accept more graciously the great, unfathomable events that molest our lives and will inevitably return us to dust.
It’s an old Chicago saying, but it’s true: The only thing that keeps this city from being an overpopulated mess is our winters. Weeds out the weak, you see? And without 20-inch blizzards, 60-below wind chills and entire weeks with high temps in the single digits … we’d become New York. Do you want that? Hell, no. Welcome the snow. Embrace your heritage. Man and woman up.
~ Alex Quigley, a RedEye Special Contributor | image: Chicago 2011 Blizzard
image attribution: (???)
Progress is incremental for us, both as individual creative beings and together as a society and civilization. The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst. It’s just that culturally, we are not interested in the tedium of the blossoming.