Striving for Sanity in an Incompatible World
The challenge of daily work when it doesn’t align with your values is daunting. I’ve struggled for as long as I can remember with the prospects of working an 8-5. I thrive with time for reflection and creativity, which the modern workplace typically stifles.
People get credit for spending 8+ hours in a tiny box, affectionately known as a cubicle. Most of the expectation comes from just being present int he building. I’ve spent days doing nothing productive for my job, instead dreaming of time in my garden, building things with my hands, and developing meaningful relationships. I wonder how many people in adjacent cubes are also counting down the hours until they can also pursue their passions. I’m reading the book “Quitter” right now, and although I am growing from reading the book, I find myself disagreeing with the author frequently. I’m mostly annoyed by his: “Men need to work, I’m not a woman, so I can’t say that women also need that” argument. However, he also writes that it is important to “fall in like with your dayjob.” I find this so difficult. I like many aspects of my job, but I hate the tedium, structure, and the culture of “agree with (aka fear) the boss.”
Development and engineering has reduced the time required for household and workplace tasks. The average worker supposedly only accomplishes three hours of work in an eight hour day! Why are we still chained to a 40+ hour work week? Why is the laborer willing to sacrifice so much when so little is gained?
Why do I continue to spend my days wasting away in the drudgery for cubicle-land? Can I learn to be content with the unknown and break those chains? There will always be another job to go to if I stop working for now, maybe not engineering, but a job that can pay the bills. (Yeah, I have great privilege, but I’ve also built up an robust professional network. And I live quite frugally.) Here’s to hoping 2017 (or maybe 2018) is the year I grab life by the horns and pursue my dreams.
With Mr. Kiwi not seeking early retirement and us being ~1/3 of the way to FI, he is pushing the I quit and see where that takes us. I can take the time to care for our pack, our home, and our purpose. He makes more than enough for us to live and still save a little (ah but significantly less than half our income!).
Scared an unsure, I can’t quite take the leap and see where I land. I hope that soon I’m ready to find happiness and counter the norms.
What would you do if you quit pre-FI? How do you spend your days at work, am I the only one dreaming all this up inside my little box?