Keszthely

15 09 2005
Well im in a small town in hugary called kesythely – off the backpacker trail coz i just wanted some time out. Ive been overstimulated with gorgeous sights and activities for over two months now and i was starting to get desensitized to some of what i was seeing in Hungary. Have spent the last few days in an apartment i rented just thinking and writing alot in my journal. Wont bore you with most of it, as theres alot of it but ive changed my attitudes to a lot of things. Been a personally eventful time not doing much in Keszthely . Heres one example from my journal.
 
I went to Heviz today because its supposed to have really relaxing thermal lake to swim in. When i got there it was like an old person tourist resort! Becasue apparently the water had "curative powers" – so hundreds of old folk pay to go and spend time at Heviz.
That is to say they enjoy their old age doing nothing but wearing floaties in this lake hoping that the water will cure their old bones.. What a great life. (NOT!)
These people lie around all day in floatation devices that look like they are made for infants doing nothing but focus on their pain and hoping they will feel better. They kid themselves that they are living the good life, doing nothing but sit around lying in the sun and the water and geting fancy "medical/curative" treatments such as massages and mud baths.
Underneath this illusion the place is no more than a glorified retierement home. Day after day slowly witnessing themselves and their friends gradual slide towards infirmity and death. No way in hell do i ever want to be that inactive that all i have left to do in life is focus on my aches and pains, trying in vain to relieve the pain in my old bones whilst waiting for death. That is the trap of idleness. Once many people retire they have nothing left to do and so they indulge in this "luxury" – "living the good life". I never want to be this idle!
The crazy thing is that in their own eyes and the eyes of many these people have "made it". They have been able to retire and laze around all day. This seems to be the goal of lots of people ive talked to. In fact alot of people are willing to subjugate themselves to a lifetime of boring work just so as to ensure they can retire as quickly as possible.
 
I used to be confused by my dads apparent wish to never retire – but now i see that if you choose well with your work it brings meaning and a productive life, it also keeps ones mind sharp – "use it or lose it" as the cliche goes. Often when people retire they have nothing left to do as their meaning often came directly or indirectly through their work (eg. sucessful business man, bread winner, home maker). Into this meaning vacum they have nothing better to do than sit around waiting for death.
Stats show that the average man dies within 5 years of retirement! I think now i see why. I dont think now that i will ever stop working – or rather i will die working… This is a massive paradigm shift for someone who has until recently made an art for of doing as little as possible.
 
An example of this has been my own approach to work.
I have often been proud of how little work i actually do "working smart, not hard" i used to say. I used to boast that i got paid to go bowling, swimming, go-karting etc. That i wasn’t really working. Then i perfected this further geting a job where i was paid to sleep. I then minimized my work further by doing alot of my study for uni whilst i was at paid work. Again i was proud of being able to minimize the amount of work i do into as small a time as possible.
No more.This pride in avoiding and minimising work seems immature now and i have found a new appreciation for work on this trip. Work is not a "necesary evil" which must be endured.  That is to say the old way of "trying to find a balance" between work and life is over. Instead a good life is now achieved through living fully through ones work. 
This is just  a transcript from my journal – Alot of the premises and lead up  for the above are in other parts of my journal, I might try and get them up at some stage. 
 
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One response

15 09 2005
Scott

how many people will say that throught their life, that they cannot wait to REALLY work! i tell you man, i am often like that when i havent worked in a while, then as soon as i begin working, i understand why it is that i havent done it in a while! It sucks! I mean, career wise, yeah, you can certainly pick something that gives you pleasure, but, honestly, the people who retire and sit in a bath have obviously put too much time into working in their prime, that they no longer have any friends, family, hobbies or idea of what fun is. They simply want to stop working! That is all that life was to them! Interesting, some ppl who spend their whole life being busy like the idea of slow motion in their old age! i dont know, i like ur smart work idea, i hate work, call me lazy, but well, work suks, and that is why you get paid to do it, cause no one would do it otherwise!

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