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Monday, December 3, 2012

So young and yet so wise

Last week I was lucky enough to have a nice talk with a young smart women...  in her early twenties... and she got it all figured out...  well, figured out what I have been working on for the last few years!

If only I would have known that at her age...  she is saving years of her life trying to work things out!!!

The conversation all started because she thought it did not make sense to work 5 days a week and have only 2 days off...  all year round to get a couple weeks of vacation!!! To spend your evening cooking and cleaning, the week end shopping, and the 2 weeks off trying to escape reality on a nice vacation!!! When actually when you come back nothing really changed...  and she thought it was even more insane to work at a job you do not like.... as it made the 5 days seem even longer!!!

I have to admit I totally agree with her....  but this is how we are "conditioned"... I know some of you will not like the word "conditioned" but this is what really does happen in the end...
Since a very young age we are told to go to school, have good grades, work hard...  be excellent in all we do... and if we are not good at something do something else where you'll be good!  All this to get into University, in the best program (read the one leading to the higher paid jobs) you can get... so that you can buy a house (as big as possible), a pool, cars, nice vacations, fancy furniture, the 56 inch plasma TV, too many clothes, to many of everything... so that you can pack your big house full of stuff!!!! And do not forget to build your retirement plan so that hopefully at 55 (if you did not get ill before) you can enjoy retirement...  which includes even more vacations, time spent into you big house full of stuff... until you find the house is too big because your kids left... and since they are busy building their own huge lives, they have no time to visit! Then you sell the house, buy a condo, get rid of a bunch of stuff you had not used in years or even forgot you had it  (because the condo is smaller then the house)...

All this is if all goes well...  very few people can actually retire at 55 because they still have too many bills to pay!  Therefore they have to wait until later on and then by the time they retire, their body is so used up that they get sick.. so enjoying retirement includes several trips to the doctor per year...  on top of  (or in between should I say) the really nice vacations of course!!!

But WHY really???  Why do we DO THAT without even asking ourselves if this is what we want to do?
I am not judging... Most of us do it...  Because this is what people do...  and we learn from example! I was well into that path myself until I was diagnosed with a chronic disease that made me see the other side of the medal... what if the future may not be just as I predicted for everyone?

What if my disease left me unable to use my body as I wish to do the things I wish at retirement?  Shouldn't I do those things before?  Can I give myself more odds to be well by retirement?

What if working in a job you do not like can actually make you sick?
What if you need to make so much money only to spend it all on junk to make you forget how insignificant your life is?
What if you need that vacation down south because you are running away from your life?
What if you only become a _______ to impress someone? (blank can be anything)
What if there is more to life then 9-5 in a closed office?
What if you can actually figure out how to survive with a fraction of your actual income and actually be happier?
What if working a less paid job made you happier?
What if working part time would entitle you to do what you like with less money but more free time?
What if you suck at _____ but have fun doing it?  Can't you just have fun?
What if you had more free time to enjoy life rather then run through it? What would you do then?
What if you are not in the "mold"?  Not everyone has too... 

Now after asking myself all those questions over and over again...  I did opt out in a way...  I did "unmold" myself to remold as I wish...
I made several changes to my life... and there are more to come...

Started practicing yoga... 6 years ago
I sold my house... 5 years ago - not buying another one
I became vegetarian...  5 years ago - aiming for veganism - need to let go of the cheese!
Opted for minimalism...  2 years ago - work in progress
Got rid of my car... 3 months ago - not buying another one
Got rid of most of my clothes...  2 months ago
Wrote a book...  not published yet

as for what is coming I am not telling yet...  you'll be the first to find out...

so for this Holiday period, if you could only give yourself one gift....  Ask yourself one of the question above... or maybe more... who know where it will lead you!

love and peace,
happy Holidays,


  1. I'm one of those and i'm not happy at all.
    I feel my life is going by and i'm just here working, doing nothing nice for society or even for me.

    Unfortunately if i had another job i wouldn't be abble to suport myself financialy, and (just like many other portugueses of my age)i still live in my parent's house cause i cannot even afford to rent one.

    Sometimes i just watch the sun and the sky outside and i just wanted to be there for a while enjoying the day...

  2. Well there is hope... at least you realize you are not happy! hope the blog will help you...
    I would first suggest, if I may, that you come up with your priorities... top 3... then you look at your budget (or make one if you don't)... and maybe even use a spending book for a month so that you know exactly where every penny goes...
    You also have to come up with something you would like to do... and not look at the income in might generate or not...
    Once you figure all that out, I can help you firther if you wish... just let me know and we could continue discussing using my email adress...
    I will wait for a sign from you...