hide

Read Next

The Pleasure of Walking

In 2006, I quit the vast majority of intoxicants. I don't drink, I don't use recreational drugs, I don't smoke tobacco, I don't drink soda, and I am working on quitting all sweets entirely, and largely succeeding. I am not one for fine dining, and not frequently one for other forms of hedonism.

I usually do not advertise this - I might write about it for people who wish to know what I do, but I do not bring it up in conversation unless it comes up. But occasionally it does come up, and a common reaction is someone saying, half-joking, "Then why bother living?"

I think I understand. Many people do jobs they dislike for causes they feel nothing about. This must wreak havoc on a man's spirit. Most people spend more of their waking time on their work than any other thing - I can only imagine what spending the bulk of my time on something I disliked would feel like. Or worse, not even something I disliked - but something I felt very neutral about.

If a man's occupation becomes a slow crushing of his spirit, then of course he would need high energy, and high impact to free him from it. He needs to fit all of his leisure into his remaining waking time - from 6PM at night to 10PM when he is home from work, on the two days of his weekend, and his vacation time each year. Of course, not even that time is all his own - he still has to commute, run errands, do admin, do necessary little things. The reality of the situation is far worse - most people don't live bad lives, they just move slowly and quietly through things they don't particularly care for.

Of course, if a man only had 5% of his waking time to himself, he would want to maximize this time in the easiest, most surefire way of producing pleasure and relaxation. Who could blame this man? I don't. If I was suffering through a soul-killing occupation and had very little time, I would want to make sure that the time I did have was very enjoyable.

The Problems Are Only In Your Head

True story.

We were in a ski lodge in the mountains in Kitzbuhel, Austria. I was one of the younger people in the group, brought along by a mentor of mine.

One of the guys there was a big, fat, incredibly decadent guy. He liked skiing, helicopters, fast cars, women, and lots of food and drink. LOTS of food and drink.

Over breakfast one day, it's just him and me. I'd been a little ill the day before, so I'd turned in early and slept around 16 hours, and I was looking forward to trying to get on the slopes around noon. He'd been out at a strip club drinking heavily, and so the two of us were the last up and the last at breakfast.

The Austrian host and cook had been nice enough to keep the dining room open a little longer so we didn't have to hurry through breakfast, and we were attacking black coffee, eggs, meat, cheese, and bread. He might have been having Irish whisky too, I don't recall exactly.

Rendering New Theme...