My dream life is to wake up in the morning and decide what I want to do with the day. To read a book on English 19th century peasantry, practice watercolour painting or plant roses? To bake the fanciest cake ever or to write a novel? To build a gazebo or to go out with my favourite person? With not an obligation in the world, except those I’ve willingly taken upon me.
It is not a particularly novel life to long for. Many have wished it before me, wish it currently and will probably wish it in the future as well, unless something in society’s foundations should radically change.
Few will ever attain it before retirement. There is work. There is money that has to be made. I’m not even speaking of career and renown, but simply money, without which you cannot afford to live ‘normally’. You cannot even afford roses to plant. And living on the street and from the bin is not a tempting option (for most). I don’t want that and yet I don’t want a normal job either.
At the end of the week, I realise all I’ve done is work, sleep, eat, lurk about on the web and watch films, and perhaps a few hours of sport or walking. I’ve not advanced one inch closer to the things on my “Things to Do/Learn Before I Die” list. And this repeats every week. And it makes me feel frustrated and frightened. Time is running out. I must escape before it is too late. Before I’m middle-aged and half of life has passed me by without me doing any of the things I REALLY want to do. On the days I would have the time, I feel too emotionally knackered and stressed to take up painting or write novels. I just want to switch off and do something undemanding, like go roller-skating, walking or watch a film. When I’m especially knackered, I look at dumb/simple content on the web. Stronger people can manage more and I envy them. Sadly, not everyone is made the same way. I cannot become like the strong and capable people who can juggle multiple jobs with ease. It’d lead to a burnout for me, while it may energize others. I need a slow pace and I need autonomy. So while I cannot change myself, I can try to change the circumstances around me.