The Price of Happiness is ¬£1 million…

An article in the Sunday times purports to discover the Price of Happiness [via Metafilter]- which is, it appears around £1m. Here in an insight into my current frame of mind on this issue. I have never chosen a job on the basis of how much money it earns, which might explain why I have never earned myself any money. Instead I look for factors like my ability to produce creative work, to work in an environment that I have respect for and to enjoy the company of those around me. Money has always been a fair way down the scale.

This has to be the reason that I transferred myself from a doctorate, to penury as a London temp, and then to retraining as a journalist. There is little scope in this developing lifestyle for cash.

But over the last few months, as I have looked at my work life and found that (recently at least) it hasn’t been fulfilling me enough, my mind has started to turn towards money as a way to follow my own interests absolutely and without interference.

At the worst point over the last six months, the thought of escape was almost over-whelming. The thought of having control over every aspect of my life became almost transformatively addictive, and with it, the desire for enough money to cease to worry about what I was going to be doing for the next thirty or forty years. A couple of weeks ago I bought ten pounds worth of lottery tickets. I knew I wasn’t going to win of course. But the thought that I might cheered me up a lot. I found myself teasing myself – not checking the numbers until several days afterwards. The feeling of maybe being free was so much better than the discovery of still being trapped.

Over the last few days, my mind has calmed to an astonishing extent. My life at this point feels like it could go in any one of a number of interesting directions. Money is fading from my mind as an issue once again. But part of me is still thinking about the two bedroom flat in Soho, the year-off work and the travelling I could get done with the money that I’ll probably never have.