I overheard the following story at the gym yesterday.
“I was a beast back then,” he said. He perched on a pec fly machine, gesturing at his friend. “Yup, I was a beast. I used to wake up at 3:00 o’clock, drive 3-and-a-half hours to the job site, work a 10-hour shift, drive home, and work out until 9:00 p.m.”
He absent-mindedly rubbed his paunch as he reminisced. “I had a lot more energy back then.”
“Yes. Back then, I was a beast.”
Escaping the Commuter Cycle
As a fact-checker, I take issue with this story. If he awoke at 3, left at 4, drove until 7:30 and worked until 5:30, then he wouldn’t have arrived at home until 9 o’clock anyway!
But I’ll extend some artistic license. Like all big fish stories, this one has the core elements of truth: Commute, work, commute, workout, repeat.
Life on autopilot.
A life you barely own. A life paused until Friday at 5:00 p.m. (or 7:30, in this guy’s case).
For me, that’s why I blog.
What Are You Leaving Behind?
It’s no secret that the American life of consumerism is an oxymoron. We work to pay for cars to drive to work to pay for cars to drive to work to ….
The Department of Health recommends just 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week to combat our sedentary office lifestyles, and most of us can’t even manage that.
We’ve all heard the I-walked-uphill-both-ways stories:
- The people who string together three part-time jobs to make ends meet.
- The 31-year-old’s who study at night for their bachelor’s degree and still show up for a 40-hour job (they don’t see their kids much).
- “I slaved away for $4 a hour for six years and never even asked for a raise! I wore socks with holes in ’em and lived off chewing tobacco. Now these entitled rug rats want $15 an hour to flip burgers!”
It’s a perverse sense of justice. Justice is treating everyone fairly, not treating everyone equally. Underpaying employees (especially women and minorities) because of depressed market conditions was unjust then, and it’s unjust now.
But I digress.
Money + Work = Time
I have a saying about time, money, and work. It’s about the equation between them.
Most of us get the equation wrong. We think work + time = money.
In fact, money + work = time!
Leverage your labor and resources to claim more of your own time.
Time is the only thing worth buying. It’s the one thing you can’t invest or split up or sell on Ebay. You’re always spending it, selling off your stockpile of hours of minutes. You only have one decision: What will you spend your time on?
When the E4 tornado ripped through Kentucky, my mother volunteered with the Salvation Army for two weeks to offer aid to the citizens of a footnote town. Meanwhile, I clocked in and followed the news on TV.
Or another story: When I was 18, I took off for the wild blue yonder of the Rocky Mountains on a Trek 8000 mountain bike, and I pedaled 3,000 miles through the American West. Today, that same trip would cost me $20,000 in lost wages, plus another who-knows-how-much in opportunity costs, since I would lose my job.
Maybe you just want to see your kids more.
Maybe you want your kids to learn about the theatres of war by standing on Gettysburg’s fields, not by turning pressed pulp pages and memorizing calendar dates.
You got dreams, I know. Dreams that can’t be folded, pressed, and vacuum-bagged inside of a 9-5 job.
God made us for a purpose. God gave me meaning. And it’s not to fill up a bangin’ 401(k). It’s “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
American life doesn’t leave a lot of time for my neighbor.
Why Do I Blog?
Blogging offers semi-passive income. It’s not a pyramid scheme or a get-rich-quick-con. It’s work, honest and hard, but it breaks the 9-5 chains.
I’m not trying to paint a Photoshopped picture. The nature of the internet is change. Blogging is risky, lonely, and has its own hardships. It’s not a sure-fire bet on escaping wage work forever. It’s not Wall Street money. But it’s a hope.
I don’t blog so I can live out the rest of my days sipping mimosas on a beach. I’ve never even had a mimosa. And I like apple cider better, anyway.
I blog because I want to be …
… a beast!