“Some say that I’ve got no respect, but, everything means less than zero.”–Elvis Costello
My mother used to say, “if you had everything, where would you put it?” as a kind of flippant response to any kind of whining that our family couldn’t afford the newest whatever. Growing up, I saw life as a balance between what you were willing to settle for and how hard you were willing to work. I wanted more, much more than life in my small hometown had to offer, and so I have been working very hard for a very long time. Now, I’m starting to see that sometimes, having it all comes at the price of the time you might otherwise have to enjoy less of it. Having it all–degrees, money, prestige–is probably overrated. Everything means less than zero. How much less than everything am I willing to settle for?