Friday, 7 December 2007

Future Times

The future's brighter than it was a few weeks ago. Work offers from summer 2008 are trickling in and this should make life easier whilst talking to the new boss next week. He's the one who'll decide whether or not I'll be offered a new contract come 2009 so evidence of employment elsewhere will ensure I'm not in that awful position of hoping to God that they won't dump me in the landfill. I've just decided you should never lose confidence or ambition, no matter how many mouths you have to feed; it'll only gnaw away at your credibility and no-one wants to hang on to someone who doesn't want to hang on to himself.

Our entire lives are determined by either activity or reactivity; the former is good, the latter bad. Yet it seems that many wait for the phone to ring rather than picking up the receiver. Are strikes active or reactive? Faced with a monotonous routine the temptation to just do nothing and wait for the monthly pay cheque must be very powerful. Our current political climate requires us to work more if we want to surround ourselves with all the nonsense that contemporary society deems necessary: mobile phones ("Hi, it's me. I'm ringing the bell now. Yes, that's me. Could you let me in?" How did we ever survive without them?), another, 'better', car; a more powerful computer (even though we never used more than 1% of the capacity of the previous one), ever more clothes (for God's sake) etc etc etc. The list is endless. Still, generating more money to provide a buffer zone in case of emergency is not a bad thing, though that's rarely a problem for many in a country where lifelong employment is demanded of right. I can understand it up to a point: the State is omnipresent in France, especially around pay day, so it's understandable that the populace should expect reciprocal favours. Still, I think there's a balance to be struck, one which would benefit everybody and not just there where it hurts.

Any striving out to improve one's lot entails an increase in self-confidence and activation of previously under-used areas of the brain. Even if nothing comes of the venture(s) we will have learned something. This increased awareness manifests itself in your everyday life: in your relationships, at work, in casual encounters. It's impossible to quantify but could make the difference between being one of those people one likes to be around as opposed to one who inspires indifference or even hostility. We've all had instinctive reactions to new acquaintances and, in turn, people have had them towards us. It's about survival; those people who are not required to fight for their survival will, more often as not, neglect to nurture themselves in this way. Anyone who has had dealings with any kind of bureaucrat will understand what I'm trying to say. There are delightful exceptions, but that's what they remain. Exceptions.

On a more prosaic note, we're having a new window fitted this morning. I don't honestly see how that could be of interest to anyone, it's not even interesting to me. Still, it could knock a couple of euros off the annual heating bill. And next year's tax bill.

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