One of my three goals for 2024 was to return to more regular pleasure reading. I’m doing pretty well, although putting that into words makes me fear jinxing it. It helps that the books I’ve read thus far, and am currently reading, are really resonating; hitting me at the right place and time with ideas that land. A good example:
Meanwhile, it can be stated with some validity that for all of the clamorings and phobias that it generates, money barely exists. An abstraction, a symbol, an act of faith, an IOU backed only by a banker’s word, money is first and foremost a substitute. The funny part is that it’s a substitute for things that often do not exist.
So, even for those of us who can’t personally witness Salome’s dance, the fifth veil surely will fall. It will fall at the moment of our death. As we lie there, helpless, beyond distraction, electricity stealing out of our brains like a con man stealing out of a sucker’s neighborhood, it will occur to many of us that everything we ever did, we did for money. And at that instant, right before the stars blink off, we will, according to what else we may have learned in life, burn with an unendurable regret—or have us a good silent laugh at our own expense.
I read this around 6am Monday morning and it felt personal. Not because I feel like I’m going to be surprised with a huge pit of regret when the described realization occurs to me, but instead because I’m already working towards not being in that space and it felt like a prescient reminder that it’s worth it. Yes, I think about money a lot, fret and worry occasionally, even.
We’ve done a good job, I feel, prioritizing people-things over money. Especially in the past several years, making decisions which I’m sure look fiscally foolish (and likely could accurately be described as such) because we felt some other factor was more important.
For me, then, maybe that deathbed realization won’t be about squandering my focus on money. Doesn’t mean I don’t have things to work on… plenty of deathbed realizations which could still haunt me. OK enough talk about deathbeds. Peace.