Here’s how I spend my day.
12am to 6am: Sexy dreams about girls in baseball jerseys
6am to 7am: Read blogs, check twitter, think about getting up
7am to 8am: Pee, poo, shower, toast
8am to 12pm: Chips
12pm to 1pm: Subway. Make bad jokes, get threatened with expulsion
1pm to 3pm: Chips
3pm to 4pm: Seduce self
4pm to 5pm: Waste time on the internet
5pm to 6pm: Dinner, since I am really 84 years old
6pm to 9pm: No pants
9pm to 10pm: Throw together half-assed blog post for next day
10pm to 12am: Attempt to sleep, weep instead
Admit it, you are jealous of my life. You want it, and you could be a part of it, assuming you have a vagina and aren’t miserable. Oh hell, even if you are miserable, come on down. It’s not like I have standards at this point. Just please don’t hit me.
You’ll notice a few things about my day. Yes, I do eat at Subway just about every day for lunch. It’s at the point where I make eye contact, walk into the bathroom, and my sub is ready for me when I’m done. Yes, I get the same sub every day, a Steak and Cheese. Variety is for suckers who don’t know what they like.
You’ll also notice large periods of free time. Sometimes I do stuff after supper, like playing soccer, or spending time with other people, or I go and hang out at the playground in a trench coat while driving this van.
So yeah, I have a bit of free time every night. As an introvert, I like the time to recharge. As someone who likes to read, I like the opportunity to acquire more knowledge on stuff. As someone who likes money, I like exchanging ideas with smart readers about financial topics. And as a lover, I enjoy having time to practise and perfect my technique. I have time to do whatever I want, and that time is important.
I specifically take steps to be less busy. Sure, I fill my leisure hours with productive things – at least sometimes – but there’s an important caveat. None of my leisure pursuits require me to be at a specific location at a specific time. If I don’t feel like playing soccer, I don’t go. Besides, there used to be hot chicks, and now there aren’t any. Screw soccer.
These days, it’s almost a badge of honor to brag about how busy you are. People are so busy working for a lifestyle that they want that they’re too damn busy to enjoy that lifestyle. It’s like a dog running in circles to catch his tail, except the difference is he’s just a DUMB DOG AND YOU’RE A PERSON. One of those things is allowed to be dumb.
Entrepreneurs are the worst. I swear, a full 89% of the reason people become entrepreneurs is so they can brag about how hard they’re working. And yet, if you were to ask these same entrepreneurs their motivation before taking the leap to self employment, the majority probably would have listed some sort of work/life balance as a perk. Again, nice work.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to become ridiculously busy. I’ve seen posts from personal finance bloggers that list spending time with people as goals. They’ll always label this under something fancy, like “fostering relationships” or “investing in networking.” With respect to all of you that don’t like French, THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? You know what we called that in my day? HANGING OUT WITH OUR FRIENDS. It wasn’t some great activity that we did. It wasn’t productive. It was just spending time with people we enjoy spending time with.
We’ve become a society that places so much emphasis on being productive that we have to schedule time to hang out with our friends like it’s a goddamn dentist appointment. And then, we’ll be late more often to coffee with our friend than we would be to the TERRIBLE TORTURE OF THE DENTIST. Is this the way you’re showing your commitment to investing in relationships?
We’re the ones that make decisions that take up time, and then we whine because we have no time. Gee, if only there was a way to solve this problem. I KNOW. I’ll CLONE MYSELF.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot have it all. If you work your ass off, your relationships will suffer. If you don’t work that hard then you won’t have as much money, but you will have free time. If you’re a lady and you decide to stay at home with your kids, then maybe you should start buying generic brands. (But not chips. Sweet Jesus, still spring for the Lays.)
Every decision has pros and cons. You can’t magically turn a con into a pro no matter how hard you will yourself into it. Believe me, I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to convince the ladies that my deficiencies are really strengths, and they’re still not buying it. And hey, it’s cool to make the decision to work instead of spending time with people. I made that very decision a decade ago, and it paved the way to a solid financial foundation. But I didn’t whine about it, nor did I invent bullshit catch phrases to describe it. I just went to work and then, one day, started making changes so I’d have more free time.
For me, the whole point of having money is I can use that money to buy freedom. Investments spin off cash so I can maintain my lifestyle while working less. Frugality and simplicity enable me to live on less, meaning I need less income to pay my bills. And having a job that only requires 40-45 hours a week means I have time for the leisure activities I enjoy. I make decisions that make me happy. Are you, person always under the pressure of deadlines and endless to-do lists?
If your idea of being happy is working 12 to 16 hours a day and never taking a day off, then go ahead and become an entrepreneur and go nuts. Most of us, though, crave a little more free time. Figure out what’s important and eschew the rest. But please, if you choose the path of all work and no play, stop whining about it.