Although I left my job less than a month ago, I still feel pressure to be producing. I now have all the time in the world to do what I wish, yet even without a boss looking over my shoulder, I have an imaginary boss telling me to start making money ASAP or get my butt back to the cubicle.
I find the whole routine of having to be productive 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, to be sickening. I’m not sick of doing great things or working hard on projects and initiatives that matter to me. I’ve been having a lot of fun with those kinds of things actually. But I do have this imaginary pressure saying move quick, move quick. I believe I inherited this feeling and sense of pressure from our culture, which says that being productive and making money has to be our first priority during every week of our lives until we’re 60 or so. Who came up with that and why are we subscribing to that way of thinking?
Great New Podcast – The Radical Personal Finance Podcast
A new podcast has arisen in the personal finance world, called The Radical Personal Finance Podcast. Being initially referred to it by my pal Jim of jlcollinsnh.com, I’ve devoured several of the initial two hour long podcast recordings during the past few days. In one of them, Joshua Sheats, the creator of the podcast, interviewed Jim on one my favorite articles of his called “Why Your House is a Terrible Investment“. That was a good show. After that, I listened to a couple more, eventually stumbling on his review and commentary of Jacob Lund Fisker’s book called Early Retirement Extreme. For some reason, I haven’t ever read this book, although it always looked appealing to me.
What I can say after listening to this podcast is that it’s a good one and a great review and commentary of what sounds like a great book. He reads his favorite parts of this book on the show. It’s a way you can all get a glimpse of this entire mindset without having to buy the book, although you will certainly be persuaded to, like I am right now. There is some real good content in this show. I had no idea this book was as much about philosophy as it is. I thought it was just tactics of how to retire extremely early and how long it will take. It’s a book that will open your mind up to start looking at the way things are in a new light.
Am I Becoming an Outcast?
As my values and beliefs continue to change, I feel that I’m becoming more and more of an outcast. I once was a kid that loved to consume. The reason I worked and wanted to make more money was to spend it on increasingly better stuff. Today, it pains me to consume. It physically hurts me to spend money on buying things other than groceries, carefully chosen entertainment, a roof over my head and gasoline to get me where I want to go.
I bought two pairs of sunglasses the other day while at the mall with a friend while he needed to take something back. I spent $20 on two pairs of sunglasses. I didn’t need two, but my only pair broke just days earlier and I figured I would bite the bullet and take advantage of their marketing tactics of two for $20. I felt bad about spending $20 on something as necessary as protection for my eyes. Yes, it is getting bad.
Perhaps this is all happening because I now find myself with little income at the moment. I walked away from my job and, for the time being, am not earning enough money to pay my living expenses. You could say I’m living above my means right now, since I’m spending way more than I’m making. This is likely why I have the imaginary pressure of needing to earn money. Although I’m years away from not being able to pay rent, I find myself not able to escape that imaginary boss on my shoulder telling me to get a real job and quit screwing around.
Interesting Bloggers Who Live Unordinary Lives
Let me introduce a couple interesting people who aren’t following the typical consume/work/consume script:
Glenn from To Simplify – Glenn’s got an interesting blog, and life really. On his site, he outlines his journey of building an RV out of a VW Van, in which he plans to live in. In fact, he’s on his maiden voyage as we speak, spending some time in Arizona testing the waters of his new rig. He’s not forking over a mortgage payment every month, spending two hours a day in rush hour traffic or buying all kinds of nice things. All he owns fits in a van for crying out loud. That’s honestly about as much stuff as any of us need. My 750 square foot one bedroom apartment looks like a mansion compared to his rig. You know what, this place is far larger than I even need.
Bob from Cheap RV Living Blog – I just found this blog from Glenn’s latest post on To Simplify. What an interesting read it is. He talks about a lot of the things that are on my mind right now, such as the ridiculousness of our society. From what I’ve read so far, he said he wasn’t really ever happy in his early life but when he decided to go live on the open road, spending much of his time in nature, he started feeling way better. Here are a couple of great posts of his to check out:
- Let Go of Your Old Ideas, and Think Your Own Thoughts
- Why I Hate Civilization – and Dropped Out of It
Chuck It All and Go Live in an RV?
I suppose you’re now asking, “Kraig, are you going to chuck it all and live in an RV?” No, I’m not, but I can see the advantages of that way of life and why they did it. And I agree with several of their viewpoints:
- We don’t need all the crap we buy (the services either).
- Spending more time in nature makes us happier.
- Living more simple lives can actually be easier rather than harder for us.
The five years of city living expenses I have saved from my job over the past several years would last something like forever in a lifestyle like that. Hmm.. So, I could live the city life and go back to work, working for the man 40 hours a week, hanging out under a bunch of florescent lights and listening to the boss man. Or I could give up my conveniences that I think I need and never have to work another day again for the man. It is actually compelling. The point is, the less you consume, the less pressure you have on you to earn and the more you can really just live.