Living in Sybaris
Having just returned from vacation, I’m struck by how easy it is to enjoy oneself. I’ve never had a problem finding fun things to do. The problem is doing them in a way that is sustainable. This is quite a challenge. What scares me is not so much having an absence of ways to enjoy myself, but rather getting so caught up in having fun that I pawn my future.
It’s easy to go one way or the other. For instance, for a while I didn’t want to take any vacations because returning to work was such a shock. It was easier just to continue suffering without interruption, since it’s easy to habituate fairly quickly to a Puritan existence. On the other hand, I’ve lived like there was no tomorrow and that’s not to fun either, because tomorrow always comes. And when it does, it’s a nasty shock.
I’m inclined to agree with Tacitus: “It is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.”