I don’t handle frustration well. I’m the first to admit it. It’s an annoying emotion. It’s not even worth being called an emotion. It’s irritating. And it makes me a most unpleasant individual. I’m the first to admit that too. Unfortunately for me (and so many people around me) frustration seems to be the sum total of my existence lately. Fear not, I’ll spare you the lamentations and I’ll put a cap on the self-pity. But unemployment is not the holiday that one would hope it to be. Yes, I have the job at the wine farm. Yes, beautiful setting and I work with wine everyday (tough life, you’d imagine?). But even the joy of such a relatively pleasant job is short-lived when your daily routine adds up to carrying wine glasses about and pandering product. Mostly to tourists. Sometimes Americans.
Inevitably, all this spare time to ponder my future has made me wonder; What’s the point? Many philosophers and greater minds than mine have asked (and answered) this question much more eloquently than I could ever hope to. But no matter. I still wonder. What’s the point? We spend our days juggling a million different things (job, family, friends, school, spouses, work, hobbies, sleep, more work, repeat), simultaneously wishing the days away while also wishing for more hours in the day to get everything done.
Dylan Moran describes it: “Go and get a job. Go and find a flat. Find somebody else. Put them in the flat. Make them stay. Get a toaster. Go to work. Look at your boss. Say $(&*. Sit down. Pick up the thing. Go blank. Scream internally. Go home. Listen to the radio. Look at the other person. Say “Why? Why did this happen?”. Go to bed. Lie awake. At night. Get up. Feel groggy. Put the things on, your clothes, whatever they’re called. Go out the door. In to work. Same thing, same people. Again. It’s real. It’s happening to you. Go home again. Sit. Radio. Dinner. Mmmm.. Gardening! Gardening! Gardening!!! DEATH!“
Cynical? Yes. It’s funny because it’s true though, at least in part. So why? Well…. we mostly pursue some sort of education to improve our employment opportunities. We work hard at our jobs to further our careers and improve our salaries. More money allows us to pursue dreams, hobbies, pursuits or to be stable and settle. Cue relationships and engagements and weddings and (heaven, help me…) babies. And then we’re officially grown up and responsible and ushering the next generation into the next cycle.
Ok. Yes. Fine. That’s slightly too succinct and overly cynical. I realize I am distilling the complexities and wonders of life into a seemingly boring and pointless few lines. But that brings me back to the “why?”. What makes the daily grind, the effort, the sheer hard work and often the touch of suffering worth it?
Resisting the urge to simply type “Love” (it’s especially difficult as I have Love Actually playing in the background). Of course that’s part of it. Love your job. Love your family. Love your person. Love yourself. Love your life. But even greater than that, I suppose, is faith. Or Faith. I use the term loosely.
Why do we bother then? Because deep down, irrespective of your religious beliefs or lack there of, we all have to believe there’s more to it than just the daily struggle; more to life than just existing. Yes, we find our joy in family and friends, in companionship and friendship, in passion and infatuation and the love of another. But we all have to believe in something. Some believe in a higher power, others in humanity, others yet in a cause or simply the value of family. But there has to be, there needs to be, something bigger than yourself. Something more. Something to hope for.
And what do I believe in? God? Yes. Not so much the church. Love? Of course. In the love of all the people in my life. And hope. For many things. But mostly that one day I might make sense of these things. Or, foregoing that, become old and wise enough to give up trying to.