Many of us began our work life as early as fifteen and continue working for someone else as late as seventy or seventy-five years old. I know some people who say that you are working for yourself even if you are someone else's employee, really? We spend a lot of time trying to get enough money to retire or to survive. I realized I needed a different focus. This fact became crystal clear to me when the other "Gals" and I went on a road trip to the lake.
The rented house is nestled seamlessly in a beautiful neighborhood with a pool and incredible views. We woke up to the sunrise with breakfast on the deck overlooking Lake Erie and ended our days watching a perfect sunset. I quickly realized that I could get used to that lifestyle. The neighbors were tolerant of obvious outsiders who were new to living a life of awe-inspiring moments, even if it was temporary. The trip left me with a longing to experience that life whenever I wanted. I noticed a common trait in the neighbors, the average age was 65 and over, but I don't want to wait another minute, let alone years.
I read an interview a couple of weeks ago that renewed my need for self-determination. There was one question the interviewer asked that stuck out for me. What do you like most about being a multimillionaire? I guessed at the answers he would give, things that seemed obvious benefits of having unlimited funds. The answer he gave initially shocked me, then brought me clarity. He said owing his time was the most valuable thing having money gave him. So essentially, his money gave him the freedom to use his time however he wanted.
For me, owning my time connects me with my dreams and desires of being an author. Writing is my creative outlet. In reality, the freedom to explore options and pursue passions might be more accessible for some than others. I surmise it has less to do with being a millionaire and more to do with how you see your life, your mindset, and what owning your time means to you.
As a writer, I'm obsessed with creating new stories and characters, bringing new worlds to life, and putting words to paper. Being able to pursue this unencumbered would be ideal. Here is my problem. I'm at the point in life when the day job interferes with the dream job, and owning my time has become less of a goal but an obsession.
Owning your time can come as financial independence but can also mean valuing yourself enough to schedule your needs throughout your day and not be hijacked by other's whims. Avoiding others that want to use your time unproductively is a must. Don't waste your time on other's indulgences.
I'm similar to other folks out here trying to survive this pandemic and reevaluating what is important. Some things will get discarded and replaced with activities and people that feed my soul.
So, nose to the grindstone, peddle to the metal, and any other metaphors or idioms that may apply. My fingers are moving at warped speed across the keyboard, and like other writers, I type, hoping this novel is unlike any story before.
Just like one of my favorite movies, The Matrix, don't judge me; it's a classic. I hope this is the one, my Neo, blurring the line between the musts of my day job and having experiences that feed my dreams, desires and moving me toward owning my time.