Do you spend most of your week days counting down till Friday evening? Nobody needs to tell you that’s a bad indication…

I know people like that, and they are not happy. They get along fine, and they have all kinds of reasons for why they have to stay with a job that they don’t really like and that they even hate, if they could allow themselves to be completely honest.

On Friday evening my wife and I are usually working. Not because we have to. In fact, we could pretty much get by with very little work if we wanted to, since we don’t need luxury,. We work because we love it.

Zuzi is making invoices, and I’m working on improving PEP.

Theoretically we have a day off today. Well, we could have a day off, if we decided that, but we don’t. Because in a way, almost every day is a day off for us.

You know what I’m NOT looking forward to?

New Year’s Eve, because due to social obligations I won’t get any work done, or at least not a lot.

Is it always fun? No, it’s painful what we do. I don’t enjoy having to be concerned about the visual aspect of this blog, it’s not my thing, I prefer to just write. But it’s important, so I have to put in time. If I would have a lot of money I would hire someone to pimp, pep up, the design.

Why do we do what we love?

Because we didn’t compromise.

We don’t own a car and other luxury items, I have a crappy old phone that can’t run most apps, the computer I’m typing on is in such a shabby state that I have to keep it on a pile of books, or it overheats and shuts down, some keys don’t work anymore and are falling off, BUT we never sell our time to do something we do not want to do. That’s how much we value our time. We have a vision, we want to get somewhere. We could be walking around on the Christmas center here in town and getting tipsy with friends. But what the hell for? Do you know how excited we get when we sell a copy of one of our books? There’s no feeling that can replace that. We’ve just got back from the post office where we picked up the payment for two books. We created that book and people are willing to pay money to have it in their lives. For that feeling we are willing to work Monday to Sunday. We don’t know the weekend from the week. If ‘last Friday of 2017’ hadn’t been trending on Twitter, I wouldn’t have know which day it was today.

When I first decided that my life would, for a very large part, be dedicated to writing and the very financially insecure path of creativity, I saved 400 euro by sitting in an ice cold apartment, never turning on the heat, and eating nothing but boiled potatoes. You can handle that easily when you’re young, very easily. It didn’t affect my health one bit. And knowing that I save 400 euro meant a lot, that was an other month I could devote to writing. I had a lot of fun in those days, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again, if it were to support our vision. Ok, I’m pretty used to being in a warm apartment by now, but I could sure eat only boiled potatoes for a significant number of days. I personally don’t know anyone else, or perhaps only one person, who would put up with that kind of regime in order to be able to do exactly what you want.

  1. Is the money you’re making really making you all that happy? Is it worth trading your time for it?
  2.  When you get up on a Friday morning, do you long for the evening, so you can go home and drown the drabness of the past week in entertainment?
  3. What is the torture you are comfortable with? For me it’s writing, learning languages, creating a play, researching the Civil War, working with traumatized, desperate clients in therapy. Part of that is torture. But I’m comfortable with it. I’m comfortable spending hours and hours flipping through civil war books in the hopes of finding a quote I vaguely remember and think should be in an article, if I can only spot it. I’m comfortable stumbling through the wordpress options in the hopes of making this website a tiny bit better. I’m not comfortable with torture that involves lots of administration, that’s not my whip of torture. What kind of torture are you comfortable with?
  4. Who are your heroes? When you read, when you watch movies, when you think about history, who are your heroes? If you admire someone the qualities of that person are also in you, perhaps dormant, but they are there. Think about it, who are your heroes? When it comes to movies I’ve always liked the main characters of Dances with Wolves, Braveheart, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets’ Society, Good Morning Vietnam, etc. People who are inspired by certain values and step away from the crowd to LIVE those values. Who are your heroes? Is your path aligned with what you aspire to?
  5. Do you have the right boundaries? Do you put yourself first? Like right now I’m in working mode and I’m answering nobody, not on facebook, not via email, not via phone, unless the message is work related. If you don’t run your own life, someone else will run it for you.I’ve never met anyone stuck in a job he or she hated who didn’t have realistic options to change that situation. They had options, but they were buried under their excuses.

What’s your preferred way of spending a Friday evening? Is it in line with your long term goals?