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Alex Baer: Working to Live It Up (and Down)

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Alex Baer" working to Live it UpThere are still some things in life worse than working for a living.  That's not immediately clear, when the alarm clock has triggered its doomsday, crash-dive klaxon, just when, in your dream, you were headed toward a bulkhead in your pina-colada-submarine... while doing underwater calisthenics with bulked-up dolphins in swim caps.

Another of the things worse than working?  Staying up too late, watching Olympic athletes, and getting too little sleep, finding in the morning that someone has swapped out your brain with moldy linguini and damp sawdust.  This was probably when you dreamed about synchronized snowball fights, and got up in the night, groggy, and turned the A/C blizzard down from arctic eternity to moderately crunchy eyebrows.

Another worse thing?  Being a pre-percolated, overly-perky morning person -- way, way before the coffee starts -- and having to remember to tamp down all that natural energy.  (Or, remembering to try not to swat the other person, if you are the bleary-eyed sleepyhead in the house.  Then, there's the remembering-to-do-it-later part, after you're fully awake, when your reflexes are sharper, and your odds of making contact really go up.

We all work to live, of course, instead of living to work.

(These may be the only people who, on their deathbeds, might actually have regrets about not putting in more hours at the office.  These may be the same people who buy Cosmic Jolt-Blast cola by the pallet, and have t-shirts which read, "I'll sleep when I'm dead.")

The work-to-live rule also does not apply to artists of any stripe, and to people who are in mad, desperate love with their jobs.  For you whackos, realize that you are not well-liked -- but, you should also know that you are sorely envied, almost as much as are lottery winners -- by the rest of us suckers and shlumps on the hamster wheel of life.

... except for the driven people on salaries, say, who are working 80-hour weeks hoping to help their companies turn tight financial corners, so that they might yet keep their jobs, and not be left unemployed, after they die, so as to still be able to still afford medical insurance and the outlandish medical bills, owing to a host of treatments and therapies triggered by the 80-hour weeks themselves.

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