My whole life, whenever I have heard about someone with a job that seemed remotely interesting, entertaining or meaningful, I have had an impulse thought pop up that says something like, “Maybe that’s what you should do.” The last two years or so, that impulse has slowly begun to lose power. Now, my thought process goes “Maybe that’s what you should do. But people who do those things have to be accountable. They make mistakes and have to answer for them. They have to deal with unhappy people. They have to deal with failure. They have to deal with the minutiae of their job that seems to have nothing to do with the fundamental goal of their work. Why don’t you, instead of considering that someone else has it better, luxuriate in the freedom of casual interest? Enjoy some carefree dabbling? Take up a research project with complete permission to chuck it all the second it gets boring or tedious?”
I would say that’s progress. Or maybe it’s just getting old. I guess those two things are the same thing.