Truck Stop Troubadour Volume 18-The Science Of Misery

Most people go through life--myself included--without sitting down and really mapping out their values in any meaningful way.  People have done it for centuries and far be it for me to rob people of their God given right to be depressed but I do want to offer a simple explanation.  When all of this became clear to me, it freed me up quite a bit, so why not spread the good word. I don't know anyone as well as I know myself, so I am the only real accurate example I can give.  I do, however, feel like these discoveries are universal and I am almost positive that if anyone were to look into the inner strife they are experiencing, they will find this data useful.
      Perhaps intellectually I value passion and creativity in a big way. I am also aware in a cerebral context that it is so true that if you do not have your health, you have nothing. Okay, so in a sub-conscious way, all of these truths are floating around in my whirlpool but then we come to the reality of achievement. Now if I have decided that I am only comfortable if I am in the earnings range of the top 25% of the American population--which is what I have noticed--the problems begin to crop up.  Now I say I noticed this because I never really sat down and articulated it. It appears to be some silent resolution I made with myself. And here's the catch---if you drive a truck and you only feel comfortable if you're making that much money, you better be willing to work twelve hours a day and six days a week.
      You may be wondering where the time is for all that creativity  and passion that I find so terribly important.  Well, it's not easy.  But for arguments sake, let's say I found a way to multi-task and I was able to squeeze a few gigs in here and there.  That is actually a real enough scenario and I can say with honesty that I have been able to accomplish this feat.  The question then becomes the value of health.  Where does that fit in this hierarchy?
      Not only that, but what about the values of freedom, intimacy, comfort or happiness.  Where do these appear in the list?  I found myself at the end of my tenure with my last company extremely unhappy, practically despondent, and very ill.  But earning exactly what I wanted to earn.  Unfortunately that does not make up for the imbalance of values that I was stuck in and without being consciously aware of it, I was beginning to fade out.  In fact I remember being on the phone with someone,at that time, telling them that I "felt like a salmon that was no longer interested in swimming upstream ".  
This is, of course, not the only area where these conflicts exist.  Take relationships and children for instance.  If security and family are values that you have spent a great deal of energy and time pursuing, and in doing so have found yourself in seemingly inexplicable, uncomfortable circumstances, it may be a lot less inexplicable than you think.  It's entirely possible to have those traditional values and at the same time hold freedom, intimacy and sexual adventure in equally high regard.  I say possible not convenient.  And unfortunately, it is this small inconvenience that keeps family courts hoppin' all year long.
    Personally, I tend to struggle in this area from time to time and yes it does make it difficult for me to stay on an even keel emotionally week after week after week--but I happen to have an arsenal of very wise and learned people in my corner and on my contacts list and I make the necessary calls to keep myself from sabotage.
   In my job search over the last two weeks, I have had to give some serious thought to these considerations.  It looked as if I was on my way to sealing the deal on a union job with a concrete trucking firm.  This was the equivalent of the bright and shiny lure that the bluefish sees before it chomps down on the hook.  It came with great health benefits paid entirely by the company, a pension, and a lot of overtime and great pay.  My achievement goals were set.  The rub was that I was told by many of the employees--all at different places and times--not to make any plans from Monday through Saturday. Without warning you could be sent home after seven hours or after fifteen.  It looked as if my winery gigging was going to be whittled down to Sundays only.  And you know, right up until this morning I was actually going to try to make it work for me.
   I had an interview with another company--this one a regular trucking firm like the one I just departed from--and this one would start out for the first month or two being less than what I am used to making but I would be able to gig as much as I am used to and after the winter the money would be closer to what I can live on.  I will be paying weekly for my health insurance and there will be a (401)k instead of a pension plan.
   I'm a little bit uncomfortable not taking the job with all the better fringe benefits and in some way it is making me feel like I am letting my family down.  But in my heart, knowing that I will not be diminishing the inherent values of passion, creativity, health and wellness makes it all worthwhile. And it is my belief that in the long run I am doing more for my family by making my life palatable than sacrificing all of that for a couple hundred more dollars a week and security for a time in my life that I have no guarantee I will live to enjoy. 

5 comments

  • Madeline

    Madeline New York

    Good call Billy - you made the right choice! You won't regret it! Rock on!!!

    Good call Billy - you made the right choice! You won't regret it! Rock on!!!

  • Mike

    Mike Indy

    Staying true to yourself....... for the benefit of - everyone (you are right!).......... nicely done! Good luck.

    Staying true to yourself....... for the benefit of - everyone (you are right!).......... nicely done! Good luck.

  • Mudra

    Mudra Hawaii

    I bet you're not regretting it :-) Good work, staying true to your values!

    I bet you're not regretting it :-) Good work, staying true to your values!

  • CptKD

    CptKD Toronto, CANADA

    Well, a sleepless night - For me that's provided; Time to peruse, HERE & Beyond ... I'm getting to KNOW, more about YOU & I'm really liking 'Who' & MUCH, that makes up the 'Whole' of Your 'SELF' ... In some of the Places, the Words & Characteristics - The Sounds, I can 'Hear' & Do see, so much of MYSELF! A Mirror before me - To Teach & To Learn! To continue with GROWTH Of the 'Self'! After reading THIS, I can understand & Acknowledge - That while having to make, serious decisions pertaining to 'Work'! By this, I mean the Work that you do, to provide for your Children, your Family's Home, while ensuring that everyone's 'Needs' are met! After careful considerations, even extending personal 'Expectations' of the 'Self' - You still, stayed TRUE To You! Your 'Inner' Beliefs - Whether 'Rooted' or New! Your Morals & Values an influence, too! Still, when come time to decide, it ultimately was chosen by the 'CORE' of You! That being the case, I'm certain your reaping the rewards & They'll be plenty MORE! I SENSE, You'll have MANY & MORE Successes! 😉 x

    Well, a sleepless night - For me that's provided; Time to peruse, HERE & Beyond ...
    I'm getting to KNOW, more about YOU & I'm really liking 'Who' & MUCH, that makes up the 'Whole' of Your 'SELF' ...
    In some of the Places, the Words & Characteristics - The Sounds, I can 'Hear' & Do see, so much of MYSELF!
    A Mirror before me - To Teach & To Learn!
    To continue with GROWTH Of the 'Self'!

    After reading THIS, I can understand & Acknowledge - That while having to make, serious decisions pertaining to 'Work'!
    By this, I mean the Work that you do, to provide for your Children, your Family's Home, while ensuring that everyone's 'Needs' are met!
    After careful considerations, even extending personal 'Expectations' of the 'Self' - You still, stayed TRUE To You!
    Your 'Inner' Beliefs - Whether 'Rooted' or New!
    Your Morals & Values an influence, too!
    Still, when come time to decide, it ultimately was chosen by the 'CORE' of You!

    That being the case, I'm certain your reaping the rewards & They'll be plenty MORE!

    I SENSE, You'll have MANY & MORE Successes!
    😉 x

  • Billy Manas

    Billy Manas

    Well thank you CptKD

    Well thank you CptKD

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