The other day I finished all of my work and found myself with an hour of free time in between meetings, so immediately I started researching local clinical trials, began to check my email for rebates, and pulled up my banking information to yet again check my accounts and ensure there was no surprises.
I’ve always had multiple jobs.
I’ve always been a “Hustler” or a “Workaholic”, subscribing to the cult of busy-ness, trying to get ahead. All of my free time over the past few years have been dedicated to making a few extra dollars and then researching places to invest.
People always admired how much I was able to handle at once, including two full-time jobs, two part-time jobs, and college all at the same time. But I was just going through my days, so stressed and anxious about if I was going to get ahead and be able to save, or have an emergency and fall into debt again. There is only so much planning and executive function you’re able to muster when you are constantly stressed about income.
But then suddenly I found myself an opportunity for a job that pays much higher; one day in this new job is the same paycheck as a week of my old one. I realized I have this new job, this one that pays me an actual living wage as opposed to what I was making in the public sector; Instead of “hustling” or finding another “gig” or obsessively trying to find a few extra dollars from a yet unknown source so I could feel secure, I had a moment to breathe.
I realized that I did not need to feel guilty taking a moment to myself. I cleaned part of the house, I exercised, and made a small surprise for my wife. For that brief hour, instead of being full of stress, and anxiety, and fear, I was happy. The people who tell you “Money Cannot Buy Happiness” are the people who already have their needs met, they are the people who don’t have to fight to scrape together extra spending money, or create their own safety net for when things go wrong. They’re the people who have no idea what it is like working for a living on what little wage the average Americans are paid.
They are the people who are already “Happy”, comparatively, and say more money cannot buy happiness. And it’s bullshit.