The Daily Stoic for July 6th: “Rise And Shine”.
“On those mornings you struggle with getting up, keep this thought in mind—I am awakening to the work of a human being. Why then am I annoyed that I am going to do what I’m made for, the very things for which I was put into this world? Or was I made for this, to snuggle under the covers and keep warm? It’s so pleasurable. Were you then made for pleasure? In short, to be coddled or to exert yourself?”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 5.1
First of all, I find it interesting that Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, had to give himself this pep talk in order to get out of bed.
Secondly, I am not quite sure what to think about today’s stoic meditation.
Recently, my father retired. He is “lucky” because he is “only” 62. He’s been working for almost 45 years of his life. 45 years. That’s more than I’ve been in this world.
Rise And Shine
Even though we joke about the fact that now that he is retired he is actually working more -my mother had a loooong looooong list of tasks waiting for him- he IS retired. He doesn’t need to stop the alarm clock at 6:00 every morning anymore. He can “snuggle under the covers”, as Marcus Aurelius described, as much as he can.
Yes, I definitely envy him.
And don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a privileged person. I wake up at 7:00, but only because I like going to the gym early. While I work a lot, I control my schedule and my time, and can treat myself to some indulgences from time to time.
However, what I aim for is precisely being able to snuggle under the covers… Not having to get up until I want to, at all. That’s what I am working so hard, that’s why I quit the safety of my steady job and became an entrepreneur… In order to be able to enjoy my time with my partner before I’m an old corpse.
So is it that bad according to stoicism?
“We cannot be of service to ourselves, to other people, or to the world unless we get up and get working—the earlier the better.”
Happy to know your thoughts about it.
I’m not 100% sure what to think about today’s Daily Stoic, “Rise And Shine”. My goal for becoming an entrepreneur and building a business is becoming financially independent in the future. And I don’t know how that fits with today’s stoic teaching.