August 09, 2008

I resigned the post I then held

From the time of my youth, I had set the age of forty as the terminal point for my efforts to succeed and as the one for all my vain ambitions. I was fully resolved once this age was reached that whatever situation I might be in, I would struggle no longer to get out of it and would spend the remainder of my days living from day to day without ever again concerning myself about the future. The moment having come, I executed this plan without difficulty; and even though my fortune then seemed to want to take a turn for the better, I renounced it not only without regret but with actual pleasure. In releasing myself from all those lures and vain hopes, I fully gave myself up to carelessness and to the peace of mind which always constituted my most dominant pleasure and most lasting propensity. I forsook the world and its pomp; I renounced all finery: no more sword, no more watch, no more white stockings, gilding, or headdress; a very simple wig, a good coarse cloth garment; and, better than all that, I eradicated from my heart the cupidity and covetousness which give [sic] value to everything I was forsaking. I resigned the post I then held, for which I was in no way suited, and began to copy music at so much a page, an occupation which had always greatly appealed to me.
From the Third Walk in Rousseau's The Reveries of a Solitary Walker, p 30
The text goes on in a way that'll appeal a lot if you like the above, and I find it hard to believe that it's unavailable for free online.

My summer of far too much work is now over, and today's the first day in eight weeks I haven't had a backlog of proofreading / class prep breathing down my neck in every stolen moment to myself. So, a day to do nothing, to let being busyness wash off me with frequent showers and a shaved head and no aims beyond watching There Will Be Blood, drinking tequila, riding my bicycle, and gardening.

Related post: Reveries of a solitary wa*ker

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