Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guilt Tripping

I’m beginning to agree with my brother-in-law: My life is too easy, I’m enjoying it way too much. I should be like him: At the age of 80 he’s still working full time doing his part for the American and world economies. There’s not much made in America anymore so the new cars he buys on a regular basis and other trappings of the good suburban life he works so hard for mostly provide jobs for Japanese and Chinese, but what the hell, they need to work too.

Meanwhile, the only endeavor-like activity I can muster lately is a couple hours of writing a day and it rarely involves significant remuneration so my contribution to the world’s economic well-being is mostly limited to my meager pension, so, realistically it’s not much more than negligible. Otherwise all I do all day is putter around with my 250 plus potted plant collection, either gazing in awe at the beauties or fretting about those that look sickly; or riding my bicycle around a pacific tropical countryside or staying informed by reading and listening to lots of news or taking long afternoon naps or hanging out with friends drinking beers in the local bars. Is that any way to live?

I especially feel guilty now that the weather here in Cambodia is as good as weather gets; you know, low to mid-seventies at night - cool enough in the morning for me to want to put on a long-sleeved shirt - and a balmy mid-eighties in the daytime with humidity low enough to preclude perspiration except with serious exertion - I can walk for an hour without working up a sweat. Around April when the temperature here goes up near 100 and barely goes below 85 at night and the sweat pours off of you even when you’re not lifting a finger; well then I wouldn’t feel so bad about old sis and bro-in-law all bundled up against the deep-freeze Minnesota winter, but now I’m just racked with guilt about having it so easy.

Maybe I should assuage my guilt by going back to states and supplementing my $636 per month pittance of a pension by getting a job as a minimum wage Mall*Wart greeter? I’m good at smiling all right, though my weak back might make standing on my feet all day a bit of a challenge. Alternatively, I could always make do in one of the new tent cities that have sprung up around America. I love the outdoors so spending the winter in a tent shouldn’t be all that difficult. Think about hanging around the campfire roasting marshmallows and singing camp songs like Good Night Irene, that’s got to be lots of fun.

I dunno, maybe I should just resign myself to slackerhood and leave the consumerism and concomitant production of CO2 to more upstanding and responsible members of society. I am, after all, an old hippie so it would be kind of fitting to live out my remaining years being counterculturally unproductive, so to speak.

On the other hand, spending my paltry pension here in low-income Cambodia where it actually makes a difference, not to mention provides me a decent standard of living, can’t be all bad, can it? I thought not.

Meanwhile, in the midst of debilitating guilt and remorse while plagued by congenital lethargy and just plain laziness, I have managed to create a blog of news, views and stories from Cambodia: if you’re interested go to http://stanscambo.blogspot.com.