Posted in Work

The Burdens of a Pay Cheque

9 to 5 jobs come with plenty of stress. But the pay cheque at the end of the month reminds us that all that sweat and blood was for a good reason, and the reason was the pay cheque. But what you may not realize is that holding that heavily-sacrificed-for pay cheque comes with a burden of its own. The bleak burden of having money in your pocket which surely needs to be spent. Somewhere. Somehow.

Sometimes the most free person who walks the earth is he who does not have to bear this weight of spending money. Money or not, seamless luxuries or not, they are happy to just be. ‘Us’ on the other hand, work our buts off the entire month, and all the time making budgets, managing cost cutting and working on the list of things to buy. When we do finally get paid, the slight euphoric feeling fleets after a couple of sound minutes, and then once more we are burdened with planning of how to spend the money we just earned.

Paying the bills is just part of the story. Most of us work so as to keep bringing bread to the table, but with the meager amount that is left behind, we want to buy more stuff to make ourselves ‘happy’. A new flat screen television, that pair of shoes you saw last week, the jacket on the mannequin from your favorite store; the list is endless. So you see what I am trying to point out here.

The free man of today is worst than the slaves of Egypt. We are running in an endless wheel, like the white mouse in a cage, the wheel is for keeping the mouse busy. And that is exactly what we are doing today. We work for money, we fret and complain about it, and then we complain some more. Then we get the pay cheque, we manage to smile for a couple of minutes and then we are in a tizzy to put it to use. The only time we are actually at peace is when we have spent our pay down to the last dime, and then we finally feel free. Then as a free man we roam the streets, with very less qualm and very much swivet, saying to ourselves, “Finally!”

There is a song by Gary Jules, titled ‘Falling Awake’. The painfully true lyrics of this soft ditty pretty much nail the concept of the free man in this world. My favorite lines from the song are: “one foot in the grave, one foot in the shower.”