I am waiting for someone to tell me that it was worth it. But I am aware that life is completely without logic, without reason. It is absurd. What is there to reward life's work?
Is it stuff? I waver here. I collect books, comics and various hockey cards. I kind of find my reward here. However, if you ask my son, my best friend, or any of the people who received a shit load of my gifts, I am generous and not selfish. So, yes I collect, and pursue, but never over the personal needs, or to the extreme of financial burden. I know some wealthy people who look upon others who don't buy as much, or as well with disdain. Well that is on them. Not me. I know some people who literally work harder to buy more stuff. I never have done this. I live within the limit of my extra finances.
So if not money, if not recognition or stuff, what is there? I am a poet; the kisses of cats, the wind in my face that cools our bodies in summer, poetry, children giggling, beauty, hope, and joy are all the rewards of my life. Everything else that exists is meant to teach me, or help me learn. Writing this I think I've figured out the reward. Love. It is all that matters.