Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Life's About the Play, Not the Pay

There was a question on the South Padre Island forum asking "how old is too old for Spring Break." Naturally, I had to add my two cents, saying never. Then a person responded something like "some people never grow up" and I think it was an observation, nothing personal, but I'd like to expand on the concept. See, I am moving to a place where there's an ordinance against neckties.

Then, I talked with my brother, Morgan, who is helping write a book entitled "Is the American Dream Killing You" and a companion book soon to follow. He lives in Costa Rica now, by the way. I asked about my "life's about the play, not the pay" idea and he agreed wholeheartedly. He's a yatch insurer, professional yatch racer, and a wannabee champion surfer.

The book is very timely, by the way, since about half of the Americans think their jobs suck for air. It also comes at a time when the President want to encourage private investment in Social Security, which is literally like beating a dead horse. It comes at a time when the bastions of corporate management, like Martha Stewart, Enron and Worldcom, are headed to prison (or just got out). Over 60 percent of the people making the minimum wage are over 20, according to the US Census. What happened to this country?

Perhaps the American Dream where you went to school, dressed up for jobs in suits, and made huge bundles of money honestly is over. Even the doctors and lawyers are griping about their formerly kushy jobs. You have plumbers with plumber's cleavage making more money than State workers in management, for crying out loud.

One of the happiest people I met on the Island is a person that builds sand castles.
So I might live like I'm still 25 years old, but don't ask me to "grow up." If you lose the ability to play, just like a kid, you're doomed. I'm headed to where I can go play on the beach and still make almost six figures. Austin got way too serious for me.


Christian said...


Interesting read. Still wondering what my American Dream is. It seems to change almost daily. I too am thinking that I would like to relocate my family (myself and my wife) to SPI. The problem is, is that I have no 'almost six-figure' job to afford that dream for me. Still looking for ways to make the Play and the Pay cross at the same spot!

Good luck in selling the house, I enjoy reading the blog and dreaming vicariously through you.

Keep us posted!

Beerman said...

Sam, I feel we have to been chasing the American Dream. We have been working for industry most of our 26 years together and have built our dream home in the country. Lot's of work but lots of play also. The job is just a means to get there. The wife gets to retire early but how can anyone really make it at our age without health insurance ?

Relax, Have a Homebrew!

Sam said...

Thanks for the comments and I have to agree, South Padre doesn't have any business other than tourism, although there is some medical/education/NAFTA stuff in neighboring Brownsville and Harlingen. There are a few successful artists and nature types, but very few in number. As to health insurance, that's a hot topic because it turns out that very few locals actually have it. You know, you just drive on up to the hospital emergency room ...