“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.”Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Two weeks ago I made it to Wednesday after my usual two and a half-hour round trip commute to a job I’ve been doing for twelve years. It has taken a physical and mental toll. I continue to do it because I have obligations and responsibilities. It’s a job. It’s not me. I’m a financial executive who has always had the best interests of my organization as my main focus. My superiors know they will get accurate timely analysis and straightforward no bullshit guidance. But my self-worth and ego are not tied to my job. It is a means to pay my bills and accumulate wealth.

Some people love what they do. I have had a couple four-year intervals during my career when I loved what I was doing and couldn’t wait to get to work. Those days are long gone. I’ve had to endure fifteen months working for an egomaniacal psychopath in a suit. Thankfully, he’s gone. I’m tired of all the bullshit. Exiting this rat race as soon as financially possible is now my main goal.

I’ve never bought into the keeping up with the Joneses regarding cars and other shallow displays of faux wealth. We have two 2012 Honda Civics, bought used, and an eight-year old Honda Insight, all owned outright. I am a saver, not a spender. I replace things when they break. I don’t have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, or a home theater. I buy clothes infrequently and only when they are on sale, and I have a coupon. I simply don’t care what others think about me, my cars, my house, or my clothes.

I’m a low maintenance, debt averse person living in a high maintenance, heavily indebted, “look at me” world. I glory in doing the opposite of what the majority are doing. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t want to join any organization that would have me as a member. The only things that matter to me are my family, honesty, facts, liberty, freedom and my integrity. I wear fucking khakis, but they don’t define me.

I checked the weather forecast for Wildwood for the weekend and it was perfect – Sunny and 70 degrees. I told my wife to book two nights at our favorite motel and I took off Monday. Fall at the shore is the best time of the year. There are very few people and you can really unwind, relax and soak in the beauty. The air has been so full of bullshit, I truly needed to get away.

The attempted Kavanaugh lynching by left wing lunatics, never ending imminent Rosenstein firing, interminable Mueller witch hunt on behalf of the Deep State, Trump tweet storms about the best economy ever, forecasts of a looming stock market crash or new record highs, impending military conflict with Iran, Russia, China or whoever the latest enemy of the week fits the agenda, the worst hurricane ever forecasts, and my three month depressing work project coming to an end was enough to create calamity overload. Sometimes you just need to get away from the doom and gloom.

We arrived about noon on Saturday and proceeded to the top deck looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, read our books, and downed a couple drinks. The bullshit of our daily existence quickly drifted away on the warm ocean breeze. The plan was to take a long sunset walk on the empty beach to Captain Jack’s restaurant on the boardwalk and then head out around 9:30 to see Billy Jack at the Shamrock. When you get up every of morning at 5:30 to slog into work, 9:30 is my normal bedtime. But I need a night of insanity at the Shamrock a few times per year to keep my sanity.

At 6:30 we headed over to the jetty at 2nd street. Watching the relentless onslaught of waves rolling in and caressing the seawall refreshes the soul. Taking in the vast scope and magnificence of the ocean gives you perspective on how small and inconsequential we are in the grand scheme of things. Our super-sized egos and aggrandized sense of self-worth mean nothing in the end. We’re not unique snowflakes – just decaying matter, like the organic debris washed up on the beach. We’re here for a short time, and rich or poor, we all end up as worm food. That’s just a fact.

“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Strolling on a virtually deserted beach at sunset on a warm Fall day refreshes the soul. All the pressures and worries of your daily existence fall by the wayside when you get in close touch with nature. The lapping of waves, invigorating scent of salt air, water dance of the sandpipers, squawk of the seagulls, and golden sunset over deserted sand dunes is just the prescription for a stressed-out person who overdoses on information on a daily basis. I feel bad for the landlocked folks in deplorable flyover country. Lakes and ponds are nice, but nothing can match the majesty and beauty of gazing upon a seemingly endless horizon across the Atlantic Ocean. But the long tranquil walk to Captain Jack’s was just the quiet before the storm.

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The Burning Platform

Hardcore and hard hitting economic analysis. The Burning Platform presents information and analysis you will not find anywhere else. Various authors from a variety of backgrounds. Jim's work is featured regularly on Zerohedge.