The Hamster Wheel of Life

In many of my previous posts, I often refer so fondly to this giant hamster wheel that I used to own. I am the hamster, and the wheel is life. This analogy is very commonly used in the FI community (Financial Independence, for short), but I have come to the realization that I have thrown it around willy nilly with the poor assumption that everyone is in the know. The hamster wheel of life exists for many other hamsters, and it is so common that one will easily recognize it in their own way.

You see, the hamster wheel of life goes like this:

A person realizes that they hate work

But that they cannot quit because they need money

Which is used to pay for the stuff that they own

Including their grand home with thousands of square feet,

Their clothes spilling out of the closets,

The toys that the kids are littering everywhere,

The new iPhone and gadget,

The new car, for both him and her,

The soccer leagues and baseball clubs,

The tutoring lessons and the music classes,

The wine nights with the girls, 

The bar nights with the dudes,

The meals you bought because they’re too tired to cook,

The places they dined at, because they felt like celebrating something,

The travelling that they did just last month,

The vacation home, 

The stuff in the vacation home,

The storage unit that holds even more stuff,

Plus the bins that are in the storage unit, for organization (duh!),

And one goes mad thinking about all the things they need to support

Which they buy in order to feel sane

When they come home from a long day of work,

Exhausted and drained and trying to find happiness in the stuff

That keeps them going back to work the next day. 

This isn’t a poem, this is reality. They say craziness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results. I think we are all searching for happiness. I write as an experimentalist, trying to find a different way. They say I live a life of deprivation, but that isn’t true. Life is more full without the stuff. Ask the minimalists, the essentialists, the frugalists, financial independents and the valuists. Whatever name you carry, we have one goal, which is to run as far as we can, but never again on a wheel. I appreciate you for following the journey, but I also want to invite you to join along.


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