Today is my anti-versary: on this date, in 46 years, I am scheduled to die. It’s also a gorgeous, clear, sunny, perfect October day. I’m thinking about walking in the woods. I’m thinking about writing. I’m thinking about what a waste it seems like to go back to work tomorrow.
I like my job, but I think it just made it onto my to-quit list. I have too many financial obstacles to quit it the whole way this coming year without something of a miracle, but what if I could take the summer off? This past summer, I went to the Adirondacks for two weeks, and I looked around at the other people who were staying much longer, and I thought “these people have it figured out.” Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time in academia, but it just seems unnatural to me to be stuck in an office all summer. Really, worse than unnatural, it seems inhumane.
I’ve got some pretty fat extra expenses right now, so the amount it would take to buy me the summer off is $10,000. If things go better (old house sells, tax refund, etc.), it will be less, but I’m focusing on the number that will definitely get me there. And I’m visualizing myself in a cabin in the cool New York woods next summer, writing, hiking, cooking, and writing some more. It doesn’t have to be the actual Adirondacks, but I definitely want mountain woods. I know from experience that you can find lodging like that at a reasonable price if you look hard enough and don’t worry too much about the exact location. Cat’s coming with me, that’s the only thing that might make it hard. But worst case, even just taking the summer off and staying home would still give me a really awesome life and lots of time to write.
And the year after that, I want to break free completely. Everett Bogue, Leo Babauta, Corbett Barr, Chris Guillebeau, they’ve all done it and written guides to help the rest of us follow in their footsteps. Me next, I say. Me next.
And you, dear reader? If money was no object, what would you do? What would your life look like? What do yo plan to do when you retire? What did you want to be when you grew up, but instead you became something practical because that’s what your parents, or society, or misplaced practicality told you to be? What would it take to do the thing you want instead of the thing you’re doing, and what first step can you take to start getting there? Check out the inspiration page if you need help getting started. Figure it out, and then do it! Life is too short to waste, but it has room for big dreams.
Update: I’ve written a follow-up post about how to turn your dreams into reality.