It was a beautiful summer day and my ex co-worker was serving me a beer when the conversation shifted to my job. He asked what was I doing nowadays. I had to think about the answer for a moment.
I was technically a student, but I had completed all my studies and was just waiting for the final presentation. I hadn’t been working much, just few barista shifts every once in a while. To be honest, I hadn’t been doing much of anything during all summer.
He laughed as if he thought for a moment that I was joking. When I didn’t laugh with, he paused and looked at me puzzled and somewhat offended. Well WHAT do you do then? I felt embarrassed. What was I doing? Nothing important at least, nothing that would take me further in life, nothing to advance my career path. I murmured something about going to the gym and getting ready to move abroad. But I knew it wasn’t enough for him. He chuckled and left. There I was, having a pint in a beautiful beer garden in the middle of a gorgeous summer day thinking that I was doing NOTHING.
It crossed my mind the other day while reading a book that mentioned work-life balance. Work and life, separated to their own entities? What does that even mean? A balance between being a slave and being alive?
If that makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll be told to “follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Right. Might as well just make a difference between whether you enjoy being a slave or not. You’re still part of the system where you trade most of your time to money, especially if you wish to be your own boss.
For me it’s about these questions: What do I need in life? How much do I need money to cover that? And how much work do I have to do to make that amount?
My answer? Not much.
I hate using money. I’m not cheap, I love luxury, but I don’t particularly enjoy using money. So, I don’t buy stuff or much of “experiences” either. I enjoy beautiful things, tangible and intangible, that are free in life: nature, books, friends and family, gardening, animals, the weather, random encounters, exercising and just being alive, daydreaming and thinking.
Those things aren’t something that you put into your calendar. And maybe after a day of just enjoying yourself you’ll still feel as if you have done nothing. The fact is that according to the system, even if you have done a lot, you haven’t accomplished anything.
It seems like I’m doing nothing, while in reality, I’m having the time of my life. And when I die, that’s the only thing that’s going to matter to me.
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