Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life


My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm Willing to Cheat

Most everyone, I think, would like to be wealthy, at least somewhat. I'm not talking Bill Gates/Larry Ellison wealthy, but, at the least, house-paid-off-nice-car wealthy. Personally, I'd like to pay off my mortgage and be able to buy a vacation home, and maybe a little tent trailer. Wealthy enough that I can afford to spend time with the kids, but I don't need to be so wealthy that I don't need income. (Though I wouldn't mind it.) And, at this point in my life, I don't mind "cheating".

When I was younger, I wanted to get rich by working hard, being creative, and earning my money myself. A noble ideal indeed. I did pretty well, actually. I do own a home and even though the reason I could afford to purchase it was my father's skills, intelligence, and hard work, I still had to work hard to be able to pay the mortgage. It's not like it was completely handed to me. For the first few years, I was not only paying the mortgage on the house (in which my parents were living) but my rent as well.

So I worked hard and worked to build my fortunes. I did okay. I didn't make the right financial choices, of course (except the house), but I enjoyed myself. I had a heck of a rehearsal studio where I noodled about and composed bad music. I did a lot of backpacking. I enjoyed the company of friends. I have no regrets about any of it.

Back then, as far as I was concerned, working hard was the "right" way to get rich. Winning the lottery, marrying rich, and other such means of gaining wealth were "cheating" -- you didn't earn it yourself. I didn't want to win the lottery; I wanted to be able to look at my world and say, "See, I did all this. I worked hard and earned this. This is the fruit of my labor." I didn't want to have to tell people "Yeah, well, I won the lottery."

Now, however, I'm old. Now, I don't mind cheating. I'm perfectly willing to take my lottery winnings and tell people "Yeah, well, I won the lottery, but I don't care. I'm taking the kids to the playground instead of going to work."

Of course, I suppose I ought to buy a lottery ticket now and then.

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