Money and Perks, Not Root of Happiness


Like most of Americans, I have a job. I guess you could call it a career even. But I have this gut feeling that it’s not MY career.

If you know me from the internet, you might guess that I am somehow intertwined with the computer industry in some way. As much as I would love that, it is in fact false. I am in the low voltage electronics field. I got started in this industry about 7  years ago as a field tech and for the last year or so I have been all of the following…. at the same time. Project Manager, AutoCAD Design and Layout Guy, Nurse Call Sales Person, and still a Field Tech. Some days I enjoy the work. It seems like I can go a solid month without doing the same thing, which keeps me from getting bored, but the constant change occasionally makes me feel a touch psychotic.

What does that have to do with Money and Perks? Well, for starters, lets just say that the house that my wife and I bought last year was only made possible by good things that have happened to us in our respective lines of work. It doesn’t end there though. We both have work provided laptops, Blackberries, and random other things that come in handy on and off the job. Oh, and I have a brand new truck… Not new to me, but brand new. It had 19 miles on it when I picked it up the other day. I really like my new truck and I feel appreciated by my company because of their decision to replace my very decent truck with a new one. The decent one, by the way, goes to someone else in the field.

This is where my head spins around though. Despite perks and very decent pay, I find myself hungry for more… but not more money or more perks. I am hunting that elusive thing called Happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I have a goal to double my income to allow my wife to stop working when the time is right, but the money based goal is not consumerist in nature. I want to make enough money to keep our house in order, pay for kids in whatever capacity they come to us, set some aside for later in life, and have a little left over to enjoy on vacations and non-essentials. I realize that most everyone is chasing this goal, problem is this. I truly believe that this is an attainable goal. The most uncomfortable bit is that I am pretty sure I will feel unsettled until these goals are achieved in some capacity.

Top it off with this… I happen to think the only way to be happy in my work is to work for myself.

No wonder people end up in therapy and on meds after life has beat them about the face for a handful of years. I’m about to turn 30, shall I make an appointment?

It’s a strange place to be in. I can change nothing and continue on in my line of work, slowly working my way up the pay scale. I will continue to wonder what things might be like if I only chased my goals and dreams. I will never be able to provide enough income to completely support the household. I will hit a quickly approaching ceiling in the company I work for. So on and so forth…

So what? Do I flip a coin? Pray? Think? Wait? Hurry Up? What?

Do I choose one or try to somehow smash the two together?

It amazes me how each human that lands on this earth starts at zero… absolute zero. And though they learn from their parents and peers, everything that matters has to be learned one painful step at a time.

5 Comments on “Money and Perks, Not Root of Happiness

  1. Hey we are around the same age, I was wondering if we were… 🙂

    I want to say just pray and trust God, but not sure how to without sounding corny, especially with nothing in particular to back it up. So I won’t. But it makes me think about when a college friend asked me how we financially do it when having a 1st baby, and I couldn’t really explain how we do it because it didn’t make sense (it still doesn’t in my mind either – I’m not much of a financial person). Only thing I can figure is that somehow God has provided up to now and that now includes 3 kids, not to mention a more expensive house (moving to VA from OH = double the costs of the same house) than when that college friend asked me.

    I’ve clamored for more in various ways to find some sort of happiness. One was to be busy (and boy am I busy right now) but that hasn’t per-se fulfilled me with happiness. The only one that I can point to and say that has proven fulfilling has been serving others, and I’m not talking about doing media for Sunday gatherings. I mean serving the homeless, and getting to know them.

    Speaking to the meaning of happiness, there was a great message I caught a few years back regarding controlling your reactions that made me write a post about it. I might ramble a bit there, and would love to be able to link to the audio of the message, but it’s not available (unless we meet and let you borrow the CD, of course) but basically it’s all about the heart and Jesus lays out the path in the Beatitudes.

    boy can I ramble… huh?

    Chriss last blog post..hospitality

  2. Wow – I spent a couple of years sitting where you are.

    Take your time. Don’t make a move until you know what it is you want to do and how you’re going to do it. That’s the luxury of having a steady paycheck. Use that time to dream and plan.

    And then when you’re ready – GO!