Why There Will Always Be More Bills Than Rum: So Take A Sip And Relax

Jimmy Early
5 min readSep 25, 2021

I remember going to the movies to see the first Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC), one sun filled summer with a couple of my childhood friends. As a Disney kid, being that Disney was the only cable channel my parents had outside of the five general stations I watched growing up, I was a faithful patron of many of their films. From watching the fun and exhilarating Pixar film Cars in theatres with my dad, cracking up at the antics of the late, great Robin Williams in Flubber during chill movie days in elementary school, and of course pretending to be tough and not shedding any tears while half-way through the Lion King after watching it for the umpteenth time on VHS, I am still amazed by how much one franchise has had such a grip on my childhood since before the days I could even walk. However, POTC felt as if Disney was attempting to follow my growth into my mid teenage years, for it definitely was a more mature movie. I mean it was the first PG-13 film Disney had at that time, prior to the years of them buying Star Wars and seemingly everything else major in the blockbuster universe. I recall us (my friends and I) being thrown into the world of Jack Sparrow as he and his crew of talented misfits challenged the authority of the seas for the love of adventure, revenge, and booty. My kind of movie! Yet, it was Jack’s famous line that has forever been engraved in the minds of many 90’s babies that dared to laugh at the expense of these great sailors of the unknown: “Why is the rum gone.” I believe a line as notorious as this should get its roses, as it reminds us all that no matter what crazy hassles and vile circumstances await us in this life, they should never be above prioritizing time for yourself.

Some people are not too keen on the difference between a budget and a survival list. This is understandable due to the hustle and bustle nature of our society, mixed with low wage opportunities. In general, a budget contains emergency funds, an allotted savings, a main priority list (i.e., bills), and funds put aside for entertainment. A survival list is where priorities are weighed by necessity versus affordability, and rarely contains savings let alone an emergency fund. Stating that ‘times are hard’ is rather bland in the grand scheme of things, and such an utterance may feel like a slap in the face to many who are going through financial troubles and depressing predicaments. I have had my share of piecing together a detestable survival list; hell, I could count on one hand how many times within the last five years that I actually had the means to make a real budget. However, this does not take away the wisdom of our great captain and stowaway Jack Sparrow, who reminds us that hard times wait for no man; so why ponder on hard times? Now, unlike Johnny Depp’s mystical character that was trapped on an island, I’m not stating that you should not take care of your important responsibilities or see every possibility through to the end. What I am suggesting is that sometimes life blinds us from the very thing we should always find time for — our personal lives.

They say that the only thing promised in life is death and taxes. I would argue that one of those canons can depend on your tax bracket, but the other universal law is definitely rated E for everyone. Because of this, it is as much of your responsibility to take care of yourself, as it is to take care of your debts and daily obligations. Many people deceive themselves into creating distasteful loopholes, as they continue to travel on the green mile of the world’s expectations. “Oh, I always take two vacations a year,” some may say, or more commonly, “I just need to grind hard for these next few months, and then I’ll have the time and money to do what I want.” These are really scapegoat arguments, and they have completely distorted the reality of those who believe such lies. Taking a total of four weeks off, no matter when and where during a given year, is not suffice when every year contains 52 weeks with an occasional extra day. And grinding like a “Hebrew slave” (I know the statement is archaic, but you get the meaning) for a few months or even three consecutive weeks without time for yourself, should never be on the menu. As functioning adults, the biggest hurdle that we often face is learning to apply the little pleasures for sanity on a regular basis. This may be as simple as watching a Netflix movie with your significant other, or going to the park for a few hours every Tuesday to literally smell the flowers. There is nothing wrong with putting in that midnight oil or budgeting for your annual vacation, but not understanding the importance of enjoying the colorful nuances of life in between those plans can issue opposite results.

My grandfather passed down an old saying to his family that I have tried to follow. He used to say, “Don’t wait til’ you get old, to be in debt.” It is easy to be tricked into believing that hard times can be overcome with blood sweat and tears, and with that logic it is a wonder why many people reach a certain age and lack self-fulfillment. There is a whole life that must be lived and not neglected; thus, learn to multitask the artificial priorities and family responsibilities with your most important item on your checklist — you. There are no brownie points given for killing yourself and omitting time with loved ones. Bills and worldly responsibilities are endless; there exist no race or marathon to win. As a society, we have bought into the notion that time is money. Time is not money. Time is the allotted measurement of your existence; use it wisely. With that being said, I think I could use an evening of childhood nostalgia with a mature twist. Maybe I will rewatch the Lion King and pour me a neat Bourbon. Rum used to be an option, but I stopped trying to find my favorite brand. It is like they seem to always run out.