Something happens to your attitude when you bill by the hour. I don’t have a regular nine to five job. I have clients, and the more hours I work the more I get paid. I combine teaching languages with therapy and translating and interpreting, and I also get some money for writing. Combined, this lets me earn four times or six times a regular Slovak monthly salary.
I do not have a regular paycheck. This has made me keenly aware of how valuable my time is. Working only a couple hours more per week gets me a substantial amount of money.
I am also more aware of how much time I lose traveling from one client to the next. This travel time makes me earn a bit less than I theoretically could. I’m a luxury product. People pay extra because I deliver what they need where they want it, at home or at work.
Over the years I have also come to notice that friendships are fake. At best they are a contract to use each other. There’s very little loyalty, and especially when you start to compete over something, the friendship becomes fake. Over the years I’ve had tons of fun with people I considered to be best friends forever. But when these people moved, got married, BECAME their career and identified only with their job or when I moved house they simply forgot about me, or only ever contacted me when they needed something from me.
So that’s a large chunk of time that frees up. I honestly don’t see the point of investing in so called friends. To boost my happiness I do stay in touch with quite a few women with whom I flirt and who I do like, but I don’t consider them my friends. I have no expectations towards them, and usually I just want to cheer them up and exchange some banter.
I’ve also noticed that it’s impossible to convince people of your political views. This again frees up a huge chunk of time, as I don’t engage in ‘debates’ on social media. Nor do I try to have an impact on social media, as the ones who agree with you don’t do anything with it, and those who don’t agree with you will never change their mind because of what you post.
At the same time we live in a system that only values money. This system will one day come to a catastrophic end or lead to a sick totalitarian regime, but not yet, not in my life time.
So what am trying to say is this: this past year I have decided that making money is the best way to spend my time. I’m pretty good at it. It allows me to measure ‘success’, like scoring points in a game. I like games and I’m good at them. They have clear rules, they are not like human relationships, politics or something with murky dynamics. A focus on money gives clarity.
It can also buy anything I need. And when I do want to have some impact, politically, I just donate to causes I feel strongly about. Like the Palestinian struggle for their rights in the face of the brutal and illegal occupation by the murdering Israeli offensive forces. Or to organisations promoting a more moral economy.
Because that’s the root cause behind the superficiality of human relations. Everything has been monetized. If someone is not useful to us, we don’t invest time in them.
So, since I can’t beat this trend, I choose to join this trend.
And I must say, now that I see the cash piling up, I have never been happier.