Before my body turned against me, I was a viable member of the workforce. I mean, I didn’t invent anything great or write the Great American Novel, but I was a working cog in the machine that makes the everyday business world hum along smoothly, and I was okay with that. We can’t all be inventors, or nothing would get done. Cogs (or cogwheels if we’re gonna get technical) are important. Don’t believe me? Find a machine with cogs and pull one out and then see how long it works without one. The only difference between everyday workers and great inventors is that there are more of the former than the latter. So they’re more easily replaced (until they’re not). Put a wrong sized cog in the wrong place and your machine doesn’t run as smoothly and/or breaks down altogether. That’s why we’re important. Anyway, until my body started to seriously rebel on me, I was a small cog in a big machine. A roaming cog to be sure, but viable nonetheless. I did something in the world and felt like I was a contributing member of society.
Now? Well there are days when it’s a triumph to get out of bed and get dressed. Don’t get me wrong, I always get out of bed, but getting dressed is a different matter altogether. And there are days when I make it to the couch and that’s it. Day done. I spend the day surfing the internet because I don’t have the energy to do anything else. I feel like I’m not even a cog in the machine anymore. I’m like a stripped screw, useless for the most part, but still there. I think that if I even tried to get back into the business world I’d be like a cogwheel with worn spokes (also called a cog FYI) and missing one or two . I’d do the job for the most part, but inefficiently. And if there was one thing I was good at when I was a viable member of the workforce, it was being efficient. I was damned efficient — to be honest, it’s because I am, at my very core, a lazy person with a solid work ethic. I’ll get the job done, but in the timeliest manner possible. ^_^ I know that about myself and accepted it a long time ago. Having said that, I honestly and truly despise sitting around with nothing to do all day. I think it’s because we here in the States have been trained from a very young age that we have to “make something” of ourselves. That we have to be productive members of society or we are nothing in society’s eyes. Vampires sucking up resources that are better left to people who deserve it more than we.
To be clear, I don’t get disability or any other form of government assistance. My husband supports me. I don’t qualify for disability because my government, in its infinite wisdom, has deemed (many times) that I am able to work. I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion because none of their doctors ever examined me. But what can you do? My meds make it so I can hardly string together a coherent thought without really concentrating, I can’t breathe, and sometimes I have difficulties making it from my bed to my couch, but I am — somehow — able to hold down a full time job (according to the government). Huzzah! Whatever. But I digress. For years I tried to find work that I could do — maybe from home. Maybe sell things that I make. Maybe… maybe…
This past year — after the Cymbalta wore off — I came to the conclusion that even though I’m not a viable member of the business bureaucracy anymore, I am still a viable member of overall society. I may not keep the money machine chugging along, but I still matter. I’m not taking up space that can be better used by someone else. There is plenty of air here for everyone. A long time ago when I was a teenager, I realized that we don’t have to have a purpose in life. We just are. Only humans (as far as I know) wonder what their purpose is. Almost every other animal just… lives. I wanted to just “be” as a teenager but life happens when you’re human and you’re forced into the rat race whether you want to race or not. I kinda lost that vision I had as a teenager to just “be” — I say kind of because while almost always had a roof over my head (almost), I never got into the mentality that I had to be the best of the best, rise to the highest level or get the most toys or money. Even in the rat race I was in it enough to try and keep a roof over my head and pay the bills. Though to be honest, sometimes I had to run frantically around just to do that. Because the race is rigged, but that’s a different topic altogether. I guess what I’m saying is that even though I’m not a “productive member” of society anymore — I don’t produce anything of any real value… monetarily anyway… I’m still viable. I still matter. Everyone does. We don’t have to have a purpose. We just are, because we are.
Having said that, everything has a purpose, because if we remove even one thing from this great machine we call the Earth, then that removal is felt throughout the ecosystem. Oh, sure it will be replaced, eventually — maybe — but we all have a job to do, even if it seems that our job as humans appears to be to speed along the next cycle of destruction and change. ^_^ Who’s to say it isn’t?