On some lunch breaks some lifetimes ago, I would walk along the piers and beaches, my mind emptying itself of that morning’s stressors, and I might catch a speedboat, yachts leisurely enjoying the day or massive cruise ships that were like portable skyscrapers, and I’d wonder: How can I switch places? This wasn’t out of envy for the rich or out of want for sailing, rather: How can I afford a lifestyle of daily leisure?
I’m inching closer daily still.
I woke up at 3am. Tired, I set two alarms about 15 minutes away and recalibrated my body and mind. I give myself until 4:55am to do what I want, so regardless of how terrible the rest of the day goes, I still have that almost two-hour block of time for myself. I may watch videos or relax on days like today where my motivation is fleeting, otherwise, I’ll edit the next project.
Each project gets me closer to my dreams.
I arrive early in the parking lot daily. Today, 30 minutes before my shift begins. That’s 15 minutes to spend writing this essay [8 minutes in] before I head in, use the restroom, get my coffee, login, and begin work. This padding time gives me the freedom not to worry about arriving late, as I had done throughout all but the past two years of my career, so I have more mental clarity.
I continue writing on breaks and lunch.
My thoughts might brainstorm throughout the day about tasks I can do in the evening. If I’m caught up on my writing, editing, and publishing, I can focus on other goals. When I get home, I like to do some work around the apartment-mansion so I can target certain downsizing areas. Clothes will probably be my next target, since if I can rearrange those, I can free up space for other things.
I’ll take a bath and relax.
Maybe wind down with some light editing and a few other things before going to bed early. That’s a nice, humble career life. I could sustain on that for a few years. My mind has this curious insidiousness where that skyscraper cruise ship will overlay my vision during a meeting with just enough of a vestige to leave me feeling anxious.
How can I attain that personal freedom?
Not through the acquisition of low-end property! Not through complaining! Not through anything except arduous work toward the lifestyle you want to live, whether that means doing difficult work or reducing your spending on superfluous junk you don’t care about. Once you’ve discarded, downsized, or disowned anything that doesn’t help you or yours achieve your goals or theirs, you can attain more personal freedoms.
Maybe you want to go yachting.
If you’ve freed up sufficient time and money, not funneled into irrelevancy, then you might actually get there. It won’t be easy. You’ll make sacrifices, sometimes even ones that seem like vicissitudes to anyone else.
If you know yourself and what you want, sacrificing trivialities is easy.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I’m wanting to write about involuntary memories as it relates to downsizing and hoarding, but I don’t feel I can write that yet, so instead, I just followed the thought pattern that led into the opening sentence. If I can’t have a day full of leisure, then I guess you should start with minutes or hours of leisure. My definition of leisure includes doing work that you want, so this time I’m spending writing this very sentence is part of my definition of leisure. Leisure, for me, means the autonomy to work at my pace. If that means I woke up at 3am this morning and only just published this essay at 4:14am, spending the rest of the time waking up, then that time wasn’t wasted, because you’ll be reading the outcome of that 3am work. By traditional work standards, if I didn’t publish this essay by 3:30am, or whatever, what’s wrong there, buddy boy?|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Picture: I have some photos of those portable skyscraper cruise ships, but no photos conveniently nearby, and because I’d rather not concern myself with copyrights, I just did a quick sketch. Looks like it took 13 minutes to conceptualize and draw.|
|Written On: June 3rd [20 minutes]|
|Last Edited: Minor editing on June 4th for publishing, otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.|