I have come to realize over the course of my life that given the choice between time and money, I always pick time. This applies to both the short term ("hey Matt, do you wanna mow Mr. Tompkins' lawn for $20? Or would you rather just stay home and hang out?") and the long term ("hey Matt, do you wanna go back to school and get your masters in, uh, something? Or would you rather just stay home for the next 2-4 years and just hang out?") although the reality is the way my brain is hardwired pretty much negates my ability to make long term life decisions.
I didn't grow up spoiled so much as I did lazy. Or rather, I learned very early on in life how to manipulate my free time. I pretty much grew up with a very simple set of rules - Get good grades and stay out of trouble, and you can do what you want with your free time. Being that I attended what one might label as an "underprivileged" elementary school, I was able to excel without much effort*. I was able to keep my teachers and my parents happy easily while all the while being able to make time for the first love in my life - local broadcast television. I developed a lengthy but strict television schedule (I would actually compose a crude spreadsheet for my Saturday morning cartoons - I remember the year it came down to the Berenstein Bears vs. the Smurfs at 9:00AM being a particularly tortuous one).
I assume there's a pretty decent number of people out there my age whose lives were not too far from my own around this time. Kids do love their cartoons. And maybe it was just the ones I grew up with, but the idea of limiting tv time to anything other than 'not when you're supposed to be at school' wasn't strictly enforced.
But here's maybe where my particular life path diverges a bit from most others. I soon discovered video games, which as you may or may not have heard, have played a nominal role in my life to date. And though they were absolutely fascinating to me, I wouldn't let them get in the way of 'tv time,' my first born. I just had to find time for it in the schedule. So now I'm juggling twice as much time in front of the television along with school - and still doing fine, mind you.*
It's also around this time that many boys my age discover sports and girls. And I did as well, for a short time. But after several fumbling mistakes on the Little League baseball field, and one powerfully embarrassing game of Truth or Dare*, I decided these trifling things were not worth the effort. And back to the television I went.
As time went on, I found out that there were certain things I was pretty good at - making people laugh (generally at my own expense), video games, and pull-ups (due to my tiny tiny 85lb. frame my junior year of high school). And everything else that I wasn't naturally 'gifted' at - like playing an instrument, dressing in style (I think I literally had a Simpsons t-shirt for every day of the week) and eventually, higher education - I quickly gave up on.
So here I am, forcing myself to invest my time in something more productive. Something that maybe I'm not good at right away, or something I'm completely unfamiliar with. And what do I do with it? I start a self-deprecating humor-blog discussing how much time I've wasted on television and video games in the past! Brilliant!
Well, ok, secret confession time. I've joined a gym. I have plans on running a half marathon in August, and I've actually ready 3 books in 3 months, which is something even I didn't think I would manage to get done so quickly.
With regards to my lack of interest in pursing the Almighty Dollar - well, I think the longer I can get without worrying about money too much, the better off I'll be. I'm sure there'll come a time where I'll regret not saving a dime and not working harder to be able to live a better life. But right now, I just wish I had a little more time.
Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: I got invited to a friend's birthday party that featured a Wii Tennis (Wiimbledon, if you will) doubles tournament that everyone got involved in. The irony is my vow to not play video games wasn't the only reason I couldn't play. I was also the only single person in the room, with everyone else playing with their significant other. Except for two other girls who came alone, but were very vocal about their men's respective addiction to games. Boo!
*I mean, they were practically giving away gold stars and smiley faces at this place!
*Except for the those goddamn behind-the-eye headaches. Stop telling me want to do, brain!
*Not everyone knows what a blow job is in 6th grade, jerks! After 17 years of thinking it over, I have the perfect comeback: "Ohh...so that's what your mom was giving me last night, Shaniqua!"