Buhari had it wrong. We aren’t lazy. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. We work very hard to make ends meet. We just play a whole lot harder. Take David who blows bae off for weeks on end because he’s trying to beat that deadline at work. He finally gets the job done and now has to make it up to bae. So he takes bae to the mall and spends 70% of what he’s just made trying to make her happy. Bae says it’s enough, she knows he doesn’t have that much, but he insists, after all #YOLO.
Or Cynthia. Cynthia works her 9 to 5 like a machine, with sublime discipline and precision. Her WhatsApp status reads “Busy”, you can’t chat her up, you can’t call her, and you can’t get to break her diet/workout routine to grab a quick midweek bite. But every #TGIF, Cynthia goes from workaholic to party monster. And she’s a feminist too, so best believe she doesn’t let some guy pay her bills. It’s a girls night out, and the booze, food and sweat runs till she runs out of cash and energy.
It’s perfectly human to want to overcompensate for a shortcoming. It also makes sense that after working 5 days a week like a corporate zombie, you’d find some vice to make you feel alive. But as much as you’re “living the life” you’re also “building” it. And like building sandcastles right at the edge of an ocean, the waves you’re making are washing away all your efforts.
It might surprise you to know that pensions aren’t for old geysers. Pensions are for you and me. We’re the ones who have the time to save up enough for a truly magical retirement. Every weekend you spend popping champagne in the VIP section of the club is a year of drinking ‘pure water’ in your old age. Every time you take bae out for an extravagant outing is potentially one more year you have to spend in a rented apartment, with leaking roofs and an annoying landlord.
Don’t get lost in the sauce, cos you’re just slow cooking. You might not always have the privilege (strength, mental acuity) of making as much money as you’re making now. So don’t just spend it wisely, use it wisely. If your fav celebrity can spend 25k on a belt, it’s fine that it inspires you. However always consider that 25k is to them what 2,500 is to you. No one is saying don’t keep up with the trends, but keep up with the trends on your own lane. A monkey will never outrun a hyena in a field, but it just might if it’s swinging from trees.
There is a balance to this and few they are that find it. Moderation is key like all things, yin and yang the perfect balance. There will be times when you need to go all out, look at Jesus with the expensive oils that washed His feet, and there will be times that you need to be austere. Look at Jesus being born in a manger. But at all times, remember that the future is just as important as today, and today is just as important as tomorrow. Know your situation, understand your capacity and live accordingly.
Don’t be as those who store away food in their barns while they starve to death. Don’t spend your whole life building a castle only to die before you can sit on its throne. Also, don’t lounge around on your bench when you should be building the throne.
Work, rest, flex, repeat… for about 40 years then retire into bliss.