Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Dread Malaise

Despite being damn glad to be back home from the land o' Vegas, I've been in the throes of a pretty serious case of malaise ever since. Boo, malaise.

It's an odd case of malaise, as it doesn't stem from the sources one might guess, as far as the timing of it goes, returning home after being in Vegas for the Main Event. I've got absolutely zero desire to play lots of poker. I've got less than zero desire to ever depend on the poker industry for a full-time job as a writer. I've got only a tiny miniscule desire to ever live in Las Vegas. So why the malaise, if I'm happy to leave all of the above in Vegas, and finally get back to my normal life and home?

It's the same tired subject that I've worn to a stub endlessly babbling about here, but the brainless nature of my day job is finally taking its toll, methinks. My writing gig for the 2007 WSOP was the first full-time "job" I've had other than the day job in the last eight years or so. And while it wasn't a perfect job by any stretch of the imagination (and basically lasted all of two weeks), it was a wake-up call in many ways.

I actually had to use my brain and interact with people. There was no script whatsoever as far as what shape the day would take, with much work developing on the fly. I had a real incentive to bust my ass, as this was the first gig of this sort for PokerRoom.com, and future similar gigs might be hinging on what I produced. And, last but not least, it was a writing gig that people were actually reading, and not just meanderings on my blog or the most boring copy about software companies imaginable.

All of which is pretty much the complete antithesis of my current day job. Just reverse all of the above and hey, that's my job.

In the end it boils down to the age-old question of being relatively safe and secure, maxing out your 401(k) contribution each money, knowing exactly what to expect each day (but being completely bored out of your skull), or taking a chance. Which I suppose also ties into the Main Event, as far as taking a shot. Yeah, there are some terrible players who enter each year and pay $10,000, and yeah, it's our right and duty to mock them and talk endlessly about "dead money", but at least they took their shot. It might be completely idiotic and the worst investment they'll ever make, but at least they stepped up to the plate and took their cuts.

I guess I just worry lately that I'm sacrificing too much in my unholy crusade for money. Granted, it's part of a plan to amass as much filthy lucre as possible so that I can eventually do all of the things that I really want to do, but Jebus, boredom and malaise can be deadly, silent killers too.


Klopzi said...

Trust me - we all face this same decision on a day to day basis. Honestly, much of life is boring and a grind.

Live in the now, risk your future. Or save for a tomorrow that may not come or turn out the way you'd hoped.

My advice: find a second hobby that does not involve money. At first, it'll feel -EV to indulge yourself...but that'll pass.

If you're still feeling that same apathy towards poker and life in general, take a sabbatical from work.

I'm sure you've got enough money piled away for a rainy day. So take a few months off and see if you can discover what it is you want out of a job or out of life.

I'd do the same myself, except for the fact that I have no savings, no pension, no retirement plan, a crippling mortgage, 1.5 kids, a wife, and I need a new car before the 1.5 kids turns into a full 2.0 kids.

Good luck! And if you happen to find any new bonus offers for the little gambler within (and you know he's there), feel free to share with the rest of us. As I said, I have no savings, no retirement plan, ...

BadBlood said...

I was 3 seconds from making my own post titled "Creeping Malaise." Seriously. I know exactly where you are now, since I'm there too.

Big Red Blogger said...

If you feel like you are just working to stuff your 401K for retirement and not accomplishing anything. I would suggest reading or downloading on Itunes the book "The 4 hour workweek by Timothy Ferris. I helped me with my dreaded malaise.