Mar 282016
 

We humans spend vast amounts of emotional energy analysing the past in order to plan, predict and attempt perfectly happy futures.

Our current society spends much of this energy focused on money, with the belief that; “money solves all.” A logical extension of this is the fear that a lack of money necessarily translates to misery.

While this may be somewhat true I have the sneaking suspicion that it’s not as perfectly true as we are all lead to believe.

On a personal level, history would indicate that I shouldn’t fear losing my job at all because I have never been without. On a collective, social level, history indicates just the opposite. Intellectually I know I’m possibly (in all likelihood) over-fearful and yet I find it difficult to just throw caution to the wind. The logical planner in me says I have the future covered. The fearful sheep in me is swayed by the Woolly Masses and fears that the dream isn’t possible for me, only for other braver souls.

Somewhere in the middle there is my reality.

In my current life-phase I find myself unhappy with my past life – that of preparing more for the future at the expense of living in the now. I’m determined to change that and yet, unconsciously, I still fear that I’m going overboard and jeopardising the future.

Our current burn rate is unsustainable. Even though we knew it was coming and we sort of planned and saved for it, it all happened under a very different frame of mind. That of the standard work until 65 and then hopefully have enough for FI.

With the new drive for FI and to live more for the present, the spend sometimes feels totally contrary to the desire for freedom. It’s that whole balance thing once again. Live for now but have something stashed away for tomorrow in case you are forced by circumstance to start over.

Part of this is my inner need for certainty. After all, my engineering mind demands precision, my project manager side, the perfectly planned and executed tomorrow. In a very real sense it’s who I am, part of my genetic makeup. On the flip side though it’s also a given that it’s partly the cause of my inability to find total peace and happiness in the imperfect now.

The theory postulated in “Wisdom of Insecurity” is that many of our problems originate because of our propensity to try and separate the logical “I” from the visceral “me”. Watts proposes that the two do not exist; it’s only your current experience that is you. Not sure I fully agree that’s all I am but I do agree that ”’I” seems to spend most of his time living everywhere but the now. The key to more contented happiness is to stop overriding the “me” in the present.

The “I” has ruled for too long. Time for “me” to move ‘Blue !

Feb 182015
 

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice. — Cyril Connolly

Not sure if this applies to blogs and websites but here are some that I return to often….

– The Flying Tortoise

– Speedwell of Hong Kong

– PocketFullofWanderlust

– Raptitude

 

Mar 022014
 

Abnormal Heros

 

I suppose the world doesn’t want to read about someone brushing their teeth and having a peaceful, relaxed day when nothing went wrong. That’s not nearly sensational enough. If it’s not somehow filled with horror, storms, tears or drama it doesn’t sell.

Well sometimes I think it’s good to find someone with many traits and charcateristics that you can identify with and read of their success, their good life. It gives you hope that you too can achieve that happiness despite all the challenges. So here’s to finding other non-Wooley Masses folk and hearing their stories.

Oct 272013
 

By what I guess you could call “word-of-mouth” [or the internet equivalent of a mention and a link to a site] I stumbled upon a blog called artofhookie.org and have, with great interest been aimlessly browsing through the content and getting to know the author a little.

To quit, sell up everything and set sail on a new life with a couple of pennies in your pocket? On the one hand it is truly appealing. On the other a scary impossibility.

But I do often wonder how truthful people are. By that I don’t mean telling outright lies, I mean “Do they disclose everything?”. Sure he doesn’t have a job, a car, a house etc. But he has a girlfriend perhaps with those things? Maybe he’s a bank robber on the side, conveniently forgetting to tell us all how he funds his lifestyle.

Everyone has skeletons and not all of us are at the stage where we’re willing to bare all. In a tale such as his not disclosing all is very close to an outright lie if it gives the world a false impression?

Oct 152013
 

There may well be corporates or institutions that nurture people and relationships. I mean, you do hear tell and read stories of cases. But…I am afraid I have never encountered one and am unlikely to ever do so.

I have to admit though, it’s probably me as well. I am, unfortunately for all those who advocate otherwise, most definitely not a team player. That’s just who I am, no apologies!

At 45 I have to admit being totally disillusioned with the whole system. Not enough so to quit tomorrow and live the rest of my years under a bridge, but certainly to the level of knowing when enough is enough. Life has been good to me, that’s for sure. Even being who I am I have, at least up until now, never been without a decently paying job. My earnings have also generally, barring the 2007/2008 fiasco, kept increasing steadily over the years. That, together with a lot of hard work by me and Sands.

Why? Because, despite all my ‘faults’, I’m good at what I do. Too good for them to ‘fire’ me on trivialities such as ‘not a team player’ and other inconsequential things.

I went for a job interview the other day, a job I don’t think I’ll get because knowing this specific corporate, they won’t have the budget. But I went anyway because, at this stage of life, it’s all about maximising my current earnings. Nothing else matters since I have not, and don’t believe I ever will, find happiness in a career working for the ‘man’. So while I still can and do earn, it’s my duty to make sure I’m getting the best deal for me and mine.

But, our eyes are firmly fixed on the goal of moving life and the yacht down to Glencairn. When the interviewer asks “Where do you see yourself in five years time?” I bite my tongue and reply “I don’t know.” Not true! I know very well, but for him, that would be the wrong answer, a negative on the interview score-sheet.

I’m enjoying a read by Lin Pardey called “Bull Canyon” at the moment. The people who choose to build and live aboard small yachts are just one of many that appeal to me – maybe some because of the sailing, but certainly because of their attitudes and approach to life. Small budgets can indeed make big dreams come true. You just need to be willing to sacrifice, to put in sweat equity and to never give up, no matter what roadblocks are put in your path.

Here’s to “One day closer to being far, far away” !!

Sep 182013
 

I’m still [many weeks later] wading my way through “Ascent of Humanity”. At times it’s been a pleasant challenging read. At others it’s been pure challenge. I’ve found myself in agreement with much of his criticism of the current world order but sadly am not finding his suggestions for a new world at all practical. Granted, I haven’t yet finished the read, so there may be more, but the changes he envisages so far all require a collective, societal change from “me, me, me” to “us, us, us”. Frankly I don’t ever see that happening.

The underlying premise – man is not inherently bad, it’s the the way the (money) system is that brings out the bad in him. Drawing on references to primitive, tribal cultures, he argues that after “the collapse” we will all somehow realise the error of our previous ways and return to something akin to the barter system, tribal societal values and a gift economy.

I can’t see that happening!

As a personal philosophy, as a way of life on the fringes, yes it could work. But on a world-wide scale? Man is inherently too greedy, too power-mad, too selfish.

All interesting food for thought. For me, the goal is to live well on the fringes, out of the mainstream [whatever that happens to be at the time]. It’s not about being different for the sake of it. It’s about being conscious of they way you live and the choices you make.

Freedom is not found in the mainstream. The chance of freedom is better on the fringe, wherever that happens to be….

Jul 192013
 

“Straight-A student. Straight to college. Straight to work. Straight up the corporate ladder. Straight to the suburbs. Damn, you’ve been scared straight. Is this you? Corridors lead you from bed, to breakfast, to your car, to work, and then home. You have a cubicle you come to every day. You go to the same lunch place. You watch the same shows. You like the same food. They could replace you with a small, predictable robot. And one day soon, they probably will.”

– Smith, Julien (2011-12-07). The Flinch (Kindle Locations 225-229). The Domino Project. Kindle Edition.

What will you do today that scares you, that challenges you, that makes you grow .. ?