The bossman gave us a half day today! It’s 1:50 PM, and I’m sitting on my sofa in Boston. It’s Good Friday, which means that Jesus died today, I think. Yesterday, bossman was working from home, and he emailed us all to say “Good Friday tomorrow, we’ll shut down at noon.”
We all saw it immediately, and rejoiced.
Then he sent right back, “April Fools.”
We were all annoyed – that’s not funny! I was honestly a little pissed. In that 30 second span, I had started planning all of the things I was going to do with my half day of freedom on Friday. And just as quickly, I had to readjust my reality to a full workday and a normal weekend.
Then he sent right back, “Just Kidding, off at noon tomorrow.”
So, anyway, it’s Friday at like 1 PM, and it’s great to have the day free.
So much I want to do. I just ate a bowl of rice and chicken sausage and hard boiled egg, and I’m feeling a bit sleepy. I have been exhausted all week. Just not enough sleep I reckon. Maybe haven’t been eating very well either. I have only drank two kale smoothies this week.
My girlfriend is gone this weekend, so I will take advantage of this opportunity to SLEEP.
I also want to take advantage of this opportunity to create a new cashflow business, and write, and meditate, and read, and do yoga, and party with my friends, and save my families business, and play music.
On my way back to Boston, I listened to an excerpt from We Learn Nothing by cartoonist Tim Kreider. The essay was called Lazy: A Manifesto.
It was nothing too mind blowing, but I enjoyed it for the most part.
Basically, this fella said, we keep ourselves busy to avoid having to face harsh truths. Truths like, nothing we do REALLY matters and we’re all going to die someday.
Fair enough. Basically the same things the Buddhists say as far as I can tell. This Kreider said that he himself is not very busy. In fact, he’s quite lazy. On a typical day, he wakes up, writes for 4 or 5 hours, then goes for a long bike ride and spends time with his friends or maybe watches a movie in the evening.
Sounds nice, right?
I look up to all these people, the Ferriss’s, the Amanda Palmers, the Altuchers, this guy. But what they don’t say is, they have this freedom because they have enough money to not have to think about money.
Not to say they’re billionaires, or even millionaires. But they have done something, even if just once, that worked out to the point where they don’t really have to think about money anymore. They can focus on other things. On creating. On their passion. On thinking about things like how Americans make themselves busy to avoid facing the harsh truths of death and suffering.
So, first the real question is, how do you get to that point, where you don’t have to think about money anymore? Where you don’t have to work forty hours a week just to make enough money to pay the bills and put a little something away, bit by bit?
Because for most people, it doesn’t really feel like a choice, being busy. We have to pay the rent, and the health insurance, and the phone bill, and the car payment. Sure, we might take on a few activities on top of working forty hours a week. I play music. There are days when I leave the house at 7 AM, and I don’t get home until midnight, because I go right from work to a rehearsal.
I don’t love those days. By the time I get home, I am exhausted. And usually the next day, I wake up exhausted too.
But, I do it because I love playing drums, and I don’t want to give that up. At least I tell myself that.
Should we just drop all of these recreational activities, in order to be less busy?
I don’t think that was his point though. I think his point was, so much of what we feel we HAVE to do is really self constructed.
And that’s true. Does anything I do at work really HAVE to get done?
Likely not. The world would keep right on turning if Plumbers and Electricians were slightly less efficient at Inbound Marketing.
The thing is, I hate that material like this Laziness essay resonates with me now. It wasn’t always this way.
But I am one of the masses now. I have a job, that I don’t love, that I have to spend 45 hours a week at. This week, it was only forty-one hours, and that was pretty exciting to me.
I am so tired right now that I can barely keep my eyes open while writing this. But I tell myself, I have to create an automated income stream, so that I can someday not spend forty plus hours a week at a job I don’t love.
And how am I going to do that?
I’m going to write.
I’m not sure how exactly the details will work out yet. How will I profit off of this…journal entry, or whatever you want to call it? But I will just write, and the rest will work itself out later.
And I’m one of the lucky ones. I might not love my job, but I don’t hate it either. I get some satisfaction out of it on a nearly daily basis. I work with friendly, industrious people, and I get paid reasonably.
I have everything I need.
And yet, I am filled with this longing to return to the unstructured days that I left behind just a month ago.
I went from a completely structure less touring musician, to working 20 hours a week in an office, to working forty-five hours a week in an office, all in the span of about six months.
It was not that long ago, that I was about as free as a person could be. And yet, I was not satisfied then either. I never quite felt as though I was living up to my potential. I would sleep late, and waste far too much time diddling around on facebook, and really do just about anything I could to avoid putting in a full day’s work.
And that’s not good either. That’s the opposite of what the author speaks about. Doing nothing is probably worse than being busy.
Maybe he feels okay being lazy because he has already done something.
I don’t not feel as though I have done enough to justify not being busy.
Maybe I would have, if the family business was my own company, and hadn’t been founded by my father. But as it was, when I was a touring musician and running the family business, I felt like I was mooching off of my parents a little bit still. Not the best feeling.
Not to mention, the business was floundering, and likely not going to survive too much longer, and lord if I knew how to fix it. And when I was working on fixing it, it honestly just made me kind of bummed out. Looking at family business emails literally makes me feel sad these days.
Like the world has passed me by, and here I am still sending family business emails off into the ether.
So, I reasoned, maybe if I get a full time job, and am forced to wake up early every day and be “productive”, my mind will be quieter. I’ll feel more accomplished, and I can just come home from work and hang out with my beautiful girlfriend and relax and be a regular fella.
That sounds nice too.
And in some ways, I think it’s been a very positive change. On a good day, my mind feels fairly quiet. I go to work and I drink my coffee and I do my SEO, and before I know it it’s 2 PM an it’s time to go to the gym, and then it’s 6 PM and it’s time to go home.
That’s was a lie. My mind is not quiet, but rather when I do slip into not-so-useful thoughts, I seem to be catching myself fairly quickly. That’s what they call mindfulness I think, right? Awareness. Acceptance. Noticing when you’re thoughts run away from you and take on a mind of their own?
And today, I have an extra five hours of freedom, and feels incredibly luxurious.
Like a snow day.
When you’re on permanent vacation, you don’t really get that feeling. It’s all one big blur of trying to do the right thing while your brain tells you to do this other thing that is not so good for you, but probably a lot more fun. You should take a nap and watch The Office on Netflix instead of writing, and so on and so forth.
Point is, sometimes these people we look up to don’t seem to realize how special what they’ve accomplished is, and how at the end of the day, it really is fairly hard to reproduce.
I’ve worked backwards. I started out as free as can be. I kept it up for about as long as I could, and now, I am significantly less free. I have a full time job and a girlfriend, and I may very well live with said girlfriend soon.
And that’s okay. But I also know that I don’t want to work forty five hours a week in an office for somebody else for the rest of my life. And I need to figure out how to make that happen. And I can make it happen, because I’m a reasonably smart fella.
Just figure out how to make it happen.
And keep writing.