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In my younger years I was pretty obsessed by this

Cool! This is one of those things that I want to do "some day." It's not at the top of my list, but I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy it (I went paragliding once and had a lot of fun).

And this is because you have to work? A lot of people say, if only this were true, then, I will be happy. they are almost universally wrong.

Well, I tend to disagree with that idea. Of course, there are people who tend towards happiness or unhappiness, no matter what their circumstances. But I think it's natural to be happy or unhappy in response to your life situation. For example, when some people are unemployed, they get very unhappy because they are anxious about being unable to support their family. This seems like a valid reason to be unhappy, to me. The circumstances lead to their unhappiness.

When I started doing the kind of work that I do now, I enjoyed it, and I was happy with my life. I enjoyed learning some new things, and the future looked bright. I no longer see the future in it, and in addition I'm no longer learning things; I just don't see the point in going to work every day aside from the paycheck, and that starts to seem like not enough anymore. I know this about myself: I only feel happy when I'm learning new stuff. And if I don't get that, I'm not happy.

In the past I've managed to distract myself from work unhappiness by taking courses and studying other things on my own. However, I find there's less time for that now because of the amount of time I spend at work.

The options are: 1) start over again in another field (but I'm not sure what that would be), probably at a lower pay scale. I'm not hugely motivated to do this because I can't think of any paid work that I really want to do. (OTOH if I could get paid to go hang-gliding, I'd jump at the chance.) 2) Or I could scale back a bit. But I haven't been able to find "scaled-back" work in my area - there aren't very many part-time positions doing what I do. Still I could certainly look into this some more. I think I'd feel a lot brighter if I just had to go to work 2-3 days a week. 3) Just quit and see what happens.

I don't want to poo poo those fighting clinical depression, or depression in general. Maybe you should go see a doc. Might help - won't hurt.

I don't think that I am clinically depressed. I have nothing against therapy, but I doubt that a therapist could help with my problems. A job counselor, perhaps.

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