greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

When I was little, emerging technologies were presented to me as way to SAVE time and to ease our burdens. It was even mentioned that one day "robots would do all of the work for us" and we could relax a little. This has always meant to me time for the "important things" in life like family and friends and on a larger social scale, the pursuit of larger themes like stamping out oppression, helping our fellow man and answering questions like "why are we here?" . None of this has happened. We work more. Instead of working less we are just more efficient. Marketing is a science, technology a religion and morality is dictated not by parents but instead by the likes of Barney, Dawson's Creek and whatever drivel comes on tv. Why are we in such a hurry and what is it that we are hurrying towards? I am no saint, when I was a kid we had dinner as a family every night. Today, I am lucky if I make it home for dinner once a week. Hell, I don't know much about the past. I do know that Y2K and it's possible ramifications scare the hell out of me. I have children too. But I have to admit that a secret part of me kind of hopes that everything will shut down for a while. I am planning on being on vacation with my family at my parents house in a very remote part of the country. I could get to know my wife again. My kids for the first time probably. I would really like to get to know my brother and my father. What a pefect excuse to go fishing! We have been away so long. Maybe its time to let go of the corporate ladder for awhile...maybe even live a li

-- Steverino (steve.kuhn@turner.com), June 14, 1999


Steverino, I've been working at home for years now... always find a chance to go rock climbing or kayacking when I want to. In fact I have a plethera of hobbies besides work. Heck, I post here almost on a regular basis. Now, what some might call the "sad facts", is that my apartment is filled with more hardware than furniture. I have nothing on the walls and the kitchen looks like the spare parts room for a Hollywood studio shooting an episode of Star Trek.

The point is, you have to prioritize your life. Fancy furniture and knick knacks just don't interest me. Neither do trendy clothes, satin sheets or a 58" Sony television. My life here is pretty dull but when I leave my little mainframe dungeon I have a great time living it up. I might have sacrificed a self cleaning oven for a faster modem but hey that is what I chose.

There are things in life you can't buy;

Freedom, a sunny day, a rose garden, a quiet forest, a sandy beach, a great fishing spot, a 1000 vertical wall to climb, a full moon on a summer night, and whatever makes you happy that you never have to crack open your wallet for.

I hear what your saying about letting go of the corporate ladder to make more room for leisure time. The teachings of Buddhism say that posession is anguish and that is true. The less you own the less you feel like you have to break your back to keep working so hard. Mortages, insurance payments, car payments, phone bills, cable bills, bank loans... all stuff we work for so we can just keep working more. Reminds me of that old anti-drug commercial that goes... "I do coke so I can work longer, so I can make more money, so I can buy more coke, so I can work longer, so I can make more money..."

It's a vicious circle that has everyone fighting for dollars like they are going out of style. I mean, have you ever stood on the side of a highway and wondered what everyone is in such a big rush for?

So, how do you break the circle? By sacrificing. Give up that big tv, or that 2064 piece silver set. Throw those designer sheets out the window and learn how to knit and make a quilt. Trade that Mercedes in for a beat up Subaru 4x4. Do whatever it takes to get rid of all the earthly possesions that make you feel like you have to work 75 hours a week. Give up that forty bedroom Beverly Hills mansion and trade it in on a three room colonial in Vermont. It might just bring your family closer together.

One day, when I can safely retire, I'll sell my mainframe dungeon and move to the Rockies. Everyone has to work, there is no question about that. And technology is good, no question about that either. Lives are consideraly longer and we are much healthier throughout them. But the number one killer in the world is stress. Instead of learning how to manage it like some quack head-shrink says, learn how to banish it from your life entirely.

Sorry for the long post, I guess I was kind of rambling there.

-- (work@home.atl), June 14, 1999.

Call the Thought Police! This "work" person is a danger to Our Way of Life. A heretic who preaches against Mammon, the Lords of Wall Street, and their priests on Madison Avenue. Silence the infidel!

Let no one question the Rightness of Acquisition and the Joy of Possession! Such anti-consumerist thought threatens our very Way of Life! It cannot go unpunished!!!


-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 14, 1999.

I have always said that alarm clocks cause cancer. Get rid of the 'stuff' and start living. Yes, we all have responsibilities to our families, but if my family thought that it was my place or my Dh's place to work so they could have new cars, over-priced clothes, camp, allowances,etc, then I would have a new additude adjusted family very quick. Read the Tighwad Gazette books, there are three of them, they are great to get you on course of debt free living. Best books I have read for a reality check.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), June 14, 1999.

Work I love it I could watch it all day.


-- justhinkin com (y2k@justthinkin.com), June 14, 1999.

Ah yes, to be free of the daily grind of "job" responsibility, that is the goal. Or it was for me about 7 years ago!! :) So what did I do? Quit my corporate job and went out on my own. Lived in my Father's RV for a while I was so broke. Find out my bills kept coming, my creditors weren't understanding about my new found goals,etc. So I started my own company. Started with 4 of us, now we're up to 50. Guess what, I'm responsible for 50 people and their families. I gave my word to these folks that they would have good jobs, good pay, and opportunity. Do I get tired, discourged? A big YES. But I promised so I'm going to do my best.

I'd like to sell out to a larger company in my line of business(computers/UNIX). The trick is to find someone with the money, someone who will keep these people employed, in short a company that values people and not just the revenue they generate. It is not easy to find such a company. I too am tired of missing the little things in life, but I promised. So I would agree with the poster that a part of me wants to take a break but how do I explain to 50 people that I'm tired and all of a sudden they don't matter anymore.

I'd like to get to know my nephews before they grow up, I'd love to spend a month on a houseboat doing nothing but fishing and watching the sunsets. But I'm going to keep my word to my employees and keep plugging away and hope I've got the foresight to weather the storm and get us all safely through it.

just my thoughts....

-- Freelancer (mercenary2000@yahoo.com), June 14, 1999.

I can certainly relate to the feeling that I almost would like to see a couple of weeks of disruption so I could get the time off! Unfortunately, I will, no doubt be at work (the job site has generators and (by then, hopefully compliant) UNIX systems...) shortly after the rollover. I, too, would like to go fishing, or even lay by the beach for a day...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 15, 1999.

Get a copy of Your Money or Your Life- Dominguez and Robins. Read it. then read it again. Then, just do it.

You DON'T IMHO have to wait til you reach financial independence as they put it in the book. Rather, it's a state of mind. It's making choices about what's important to you and truly understanding the costs built into how you live life each day.

I used to live in a condo, worked for the gov't, was working my way up the pay scale. Now, I farm and write for a living- am quite broke in a financial sense, but rich in so many other ways. Now, i do work harder than I ever did before- am still trying to get much of the farming under control so I can take time off to swim or fish. But- I dictate most of what i do here. And I DON'T have to put on pantyhose and a dress and hop the commuter train at 6:30 a.m. Instead, I down a cup of coffee and go out to the barn to milk. Much better....

As i write this, I'm waiting for a batch of mozerella cheese to be ready to "melt"- have taken a break from outside work to make cheese and go on-line. I could never go back to the office- bleh!

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.net), June 15, 1999.

Alot of people don't understand that when they work for someone, they're renting their life away 1 hour at a time.

I found it useful to consider how many hours I'd have to work at the job I HATE to buy a given item; helps keep the un-necessary expenditures down a bit.

If you scale back your lifestyle, get out of major debt, and don't give a damn about the Joneses as it were, you can get by with less work, and more life instead. The Tightwad Gazette series of books was a great help also.

Far too many people suddenly wake up in their 60's, and wonder where their life went. Work is where it went.

-- Bill (billclo@msgbox.com), June 15, 1999.

Two thoughts here:

1) You might benefit from a book called Mortgage Free by Rob Roy. It discusses life outside the rat race, particularly life without a mortage payment.

2) It is one thing to give all you have to the job in exchange for money; and then learn that what the money buys is not as important as what you gave in exchange.

Unfortunately, a great many people today, particularly college graduates, give all they have to the job, and don't get the money. There are many people in the US worth over $50 million, while their employees still have trouble making the mortgage payment.

Many did not trade their lives for wealth, but rather for the chance at wealth; and now find that the wealth has eluded them - and they have neither a life of their own nor the money they desired.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), June 15, 1999.

Ahh, my kind of thread. Without going Christer, I will quote one of my favorite secular saints, Henry David Thoreau: "A man is rich in proportion to those things he can do without." True then, true today. Now, if I can only convince my wife...

-- Spidey (in@jam.com), June 16, 1999.

It was said way back in the idealistic 60's . . and did we listen ??

"Trade in your hours for a handful of dimes" - Jim Morrison (Five to One)

-- Money (cant@buy.me.love.oh), June 16, 1999.

Hey Spidey! I've got another one for you! I can never remember who wrote it (Emerson or Thoreau or some other guy) anyway, it goes: "I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant."

I had a copy of that on my bulletin board for years and years until we moved.

Thanks everybody for responding to my question. I am inspired. There have been lots of really great responses! I must tell you that I too am working hard on breaking out of the rat race. I am a writer and producer for a national television network (kids programming). I used to be a freelance producer for the same network until they made me an offer that I could not refuse. But although I love my job, I love my family more. My wife is a very talented artist and we have just gotten started working on several stories for children. Our dream is to be published. We are both torn between artistic satisfaction, homelife and paying the bills. ...And now y2k preparations, of course. We are hoping to one day have a ranch with horses and chickens and such near my parents... I don't know what is coming, but I can sense the humanity in all of you and I thank you for your answers, each one is indicative of more character than just the advice that it gives. Good luck and I will see you all healthy and wise in the new milleni

-- Steverino (steve.kuhn@turner.com), June 16, 1999.

Good luck to you too!

"Good luck and I will see you all healthy and wise in the new milleni"...

I hope this isn't an omen :(

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), June 16, 1999.

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