Blog readers reward whining. It’s true. Tell your troubles at your blog and you can expect a lot of validation and emotional support. People don’t really want to hear about how great everything is. And we all know that nobody has a perfect life.

It’s easy for me to be smug — not just at blog, but in general. I’m happy, lucky, and privileged. I’m also grateful, and I wasn’t brought up to complain.

But a couple of things are happening right now. One is that I am exhausted. I’m leaving my house every day right after work and getting home late enough that I just have a sketchy dinner and go to bed. I’ve got an extra 15 hours or more to fit into my life every week and I’m doing without all the things that used to fill those 15+ hours. Mindful dinners, exercise, knitting, serene thought, reading, sewing, housekeeping, caring…

The other is that I’m reading Milton Friedman. #2 son, the Econ prof, recommended this book with a lot of apologetic dancing around. The book claims that the free market is more likely to lead to positive outcomes than well-meaning regulation. I don’t believe this, broadly speaking. If people make decisions for their own good, which is natural, then they are not going to do what’s best for their workers or the environment.


But now I’m remembering when I worked at oDesk. People complained a lot about the low wages. I said, “Don’t accept the low wages.” I didn’t. I got plenty of work. Obviously, people could only underpay us if we accepted the underpayment.

I absolutely believe that. It was my experience, and it also just seems logical to me. Why say the “overlords” set the rules when  — at least at oDesk — it’s an open and equal marketplace where everyone chooses their deal?

My decisions to accept invitations to be in a play and in a concert were my decisions. My decisions to add field trips to my schedule right after the holidays were also my own. My decision to continue working at the same rate is also my own. I miss my good health habits and time with my grandkids and time for lolling around, but that’s the result of my decisions.

Next time I might make different decisions. But does it make sense to whine about being tired and dissatisfied with my decisions? It really doesn’t. I might need to feel a bit smug about the problems I have — too many fun, creative activities at the same time.