January 17th, 2013
What I neglected to say yesterday would be the obvious thing I would do if I had more money, is I would have more time. At present, I have very limited time to do stuff I would like to do.
Writing, working at the press, running, hanging with family and friends, and just getting enough sleep all seem to take a back seat to working to make a living by university teaching. I’m amazed at how people in LA, if we’re lucky given the driving, get to see each other 2-3 times/year. I think it’s better in cities like NY and SF where there is public transportation.
Money and time are closely connected. We sell pieces of our intellectual and creative selves so that we can live indoors, drive cars, have stuff.
I am very much aware of this exchange because my son is spending his life simply enjoying himself. This is called doing nothing. It’s called being a slacker. But is it really doing nothing? He is living on a sort of permanent camping trip in New Zealand, picking fruit, loading fish on boats and basically barely getting by, but he gets to hang out on rivers in New Zealand and play his guitar.
Recently, he was in international news because he and his friends parked two vans by the river. When they were woken at 9:30, (why were they sleeping so late?) the vans were about to flood away. They got out of the vans just in time to watch them get washed down the river. Steve said he was willing to be without his backpack, but he needed his guitar so he dived in after it. He said that they had joked about flooding the day before as the rain continued while they parked under a bridge, but they were surprised it actually happened. News stories the next day showed him sifting through the rubble and holding up a dead iPhone while explaining that he plans to write a song about the whole experience.
He’s having an adventure. He’s living his life. Most of us would love to take the time to go travel somewhere like New Zealand where we would sleep in a hotel, not a van. We don’t do this because we don’t have the money, nor can we afford to stop making money long enough to go.
Of course, there are some people who travel on credit whether they have the money or not. They roar through their credit cards and they travel. Not my style, but who’s to say what’s wrong or right?
I’d like to afford to be a full time editor. I’d get my writing done on weekends. I’d run in the mornings. I’d breathe. I’m taking a deep breath right now just to see what that would feel like on a regular basis.