Since quitting my job and living this employment-free life, a few friends have asked with varying degrees of puzzlement, “Aren’t you bored at home yet?”
My answer has unequivocally been the same: no.
The 8 hours that they spend at work, plus 1-3 hours of travel on top of that (because: Sydney), have been spent in so many ways that I find the answer should be instead: “There are so many things to do, I don’t have enough time!”
Perhaps it helps that I have always been somewhat of a homebody. Whereas I know those who can’t wait for the weekend because it means they can go out, I’m the sort of 28-going on-grandma that is completely at ease staying in.
Don’t get me wrong. I go out, too, sometimes twice a weekend! If they’re full events, I’ll be completely knackered by Monday, so I try not to do that. But it happens, so I’m not completely a hermit.
My fondness for staying at home means, however, that I don’t spend so much money eating out or drinking $9 beers at expensive small bars in the city. I’m also a lightweight when it comes to drinking, so even when I spend the night drinking with friends I often don’t need more than three drinks. Or one, sometimes -I’m that light.
What this all means is that while I have copious amounts of time on my hands these days, I am not spending it on highly priced outings, which means I can spend even more time at home. Hurray!
At home, I have so many sources of entertainment the only time I think I’m bored is when I’m actually just too overwhelmed with choices and my brain shuts down instead. Imagine that! Having so much to do, my brain decides to procrastinate on choosing what to do, thereby ending up doing nothing and thinking I’m bored. Sometimes my intelligence baffles me.
Looking back at what I’ve done in the last week or so…
Today (Tuesday): Right now, I am typing this amazing blog article… Just before that, I put together a spreadsheet list of things around the house I can sell on eBay or Gumtree to a) earn some money to prolong this beautiful time at home, and b) free up clutter from unused stuff. I inputted data on eBay sale prices, fees and postage etc to get an accurate read on how much money I can get.
A few minutes prior I did a bit of stretching to warm myself up (it actually feels like winter today, boo). Played 5-8 games of SC2 before that. I got to Platinum league somehow. Read through a number of MMM articles. Picked up the dry cleaning and a Subway footlong for Jared. Had my own lunch, which was roasted drumsticks with bok choy veggies.
It has just occurred to me how hard it is to recall things backwards like that. I’m really struggling here, so let me fill in my morning in chronological order instead.
Woke up, had breakfast outside on the patio. Did laundry. Started reading 100 Contemporary Houses, but was too cold outside so I went back to my room. Read through my emails – a number of Alibaba enquiries, etc. Played around with some money on RateSetter. Read more MMM articles. Hung laundry out to dry. Put up an article about how P/E ratios interested me. Read a few more things on P/E ratios. Put the frozen drumsticks in the oven. Practiced some guitar songs. Used a pick for the first time in years! And then it was lunch time.
I was going to do the same thing for a whole week, but I know I will have forgotten many things. Here are a few of the broader things I did this week: MMM articles, Alibaba research for a small retail business idea, RateSetter/P2P lending research, guitar practice, exercise (very small, but I will always count this!), read Sapiens book, write blog posts, reconcile my recent Europe trip’s expenses, watch Gattica, watch GoT. Oh, and I just did my tax return!
I guess I don’t help myself sell this lifestyle to others when I just describe all this as “reading and Netflix”. I read a lot of different things. Sometimes they’re novels, brilliant stories of fantasy or dystopian worlds. Sometimes they’re non-fiction works, such as Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind that I am currently halfway through. Then there are blogs, like MMM and Scott Pape. Then there is reading through researching things, like looking through pages and pages of Whirlpool to understand from the people what there feelings are on everything from superannuation funds, to which slow cooker to buy.
So when I say I am doing some reading, it is actually a lot of reading.
Initially, when I told my friends and colleagues of my plan to stay at home for a few months, I told them all that I was going to be watching a lot of Netflix. Sadly, I was lying. I watch a lot less Netflix now than I did when I was still working. For some reason, I can not seem to sit through and binge watch the heck out of every show as I had originally planned. You should see my List on there, it is overflowing with titles I thought I’d have consumed by now.
I have a feeling that my declining interest in Netflix has a direct correlation with not working right now. It would be much simpler to feel tired after a day or days of work, go home and switch it on just to mindlessly stare at something for an hour or two. Compared to these days where I’m full of energy and doing a hundred things. I simply don’t have the attention span to not pay attention to Netflix. Does that make sense?
So three months after leaving my job, it is safe to say that I could easily do this for another three months. But at some point, the balance between this freeing life and my financial status will tip.
The right question is: How long can I keep this up for?