Time. I don’t want money.
Recently I had the thought that I really don’t care for things anymore. I think I’m content for the most past. Oh, I go on about getting a new mountain bike, and I’d like to replace my road bike with a hipster touring bike, but otherwise I don’t sit around and pine for things I can’t afford. It might be because I finally have a reliable automobile. And maybe that has made me too complacent in regards to cycling. However, I don’t browse Amazon and I don’t try to come up with reasons to swing by the bike shop.
This summer we bought kayaks. I have new and refurbished climbing gear (minus a decent pair of shoes) and there really aren’t any around the house tools I need. I say all this knowing there are things I’m going to want and need, but my point is that I feel as if I’ve reached a financial and mental state in life wherein I don’t really want for stuff. I kind of wish I never had wanted stuff. I think in some ways we’re wired to it, or at least conditioned by our TVs to believe we want stuff.
All that said to make this statement: I don’t care for money. As long as my needs are met I don’t have an interest in seeing numbers in an account. I don’t need a wad of cash buried in a shoebox under my bed or in my backyard.
I make more money now than I ever have. Mandy and I together make a lot more money now than we ever have. Of course, saying “a lot more” doesn’t mean we make a lot. It just means we’ve never had much individual or combined income to speak of.
The tradeoff is that neither of us have much time anymore. We’ve traded our temporal lives for money. I have more responsibility, more work, and more traveling to have gotten to the dollar figure I make now. We both have more stress and far less time to deal with it. We don’t have time to exercise or recreate. And if I continue on my career path that time is going to continue to erode.
I have my coping strategies which I am smart enough not to reveal here. But it’s not enough. We are caught up in the hamster wheel. The rat race. The most frustrating thing is that I can’t find the balance of time and money I want. I realize I need money to participate in society. But I don’t want extra money. I just want my needs met and cash in the rest of my time for personal growth. I mean that seriously. I don’t mean I’m going to go play in the woods all the time. I mean improve my home environment, build my personal health, maybe start a part time home business, maybe grow a garden.
I like my job okay. It’s not something I can’t live without. While I feel like the organization does good work I don’t necessarily feel like my presence is crucial, and I’ve accepted that my natural habitat is not a cubicle. I would also like to work more directly in my community doing the things I do and not be spread so thin across a region working in communities that I have no other ties to. It’s not some innate competitiveness in me, but rather that I see the inefficiency of my station. I’m over-appropriated and under-allocated. So too many things get left undone.
I don’t have enough time at work. I don’t have enough time at home. And I don’t have enough time for myself.
Instead of a raise in cash I would prefer to gain more time as I progress in my career. It really doesn’t seem profitable to work more hours for the same money as you gain skills and experience. My inclination would be to earn more time as I work myself toward death.
This year, for the first time in my life, I’ve started to say no to things I think are worthwhile. I just don’t have the time to keep putting more irons in the fire. I can’t take on any more balls to juggle. In fact, I’ve given up a few things. Unfortunately I keep moaning about not getting to ride/run/hike/climb etc. enough. Priorities man. But I can’t stop being active. Being able to experience and explore is what motivates me to race the rats.