Thursday, May 6, 2010

What are these posts about?

The title of this blog is not accurate. It is difficult to be accurate while also being succinct.

When I was setting up this blog, I couldn’t possibly name it "An Attempt to Give Up A Regular 9-5 Corporate Job In Order to Obtain Lots Of Free Time, Pursue Leisure and To Get By with Occasional Paid Gigs." So, I went with something reasonably catchy.

But I hardly ever use the word "retirement" in conversations with respect to myself. I now feel that the words 'retirement' or even 'sabbatical' are too blunt for what I am attempting to do.

When I look at what ties the posts in this blog, I see two of my obsessions recurring.
They are 1) Financial independence and 2) Getting free time.

Actually, even those two are not very accurate. What I am really interested in is getting to choose how I spend my time (autonomy over time). And for most of us, that is only possible if we take care of the money question. In this blog, financial independence is narrowed down to 'freedom from dependence on a monthly paycheck.' So these are the two central underlying themes that I post about.

Staying Sharp: One of my big fears is that an unexercised brain will quickly go to mush. As our world gets increasingly complex, I especially worry about how I will stay sharp. Under the broad label of intellectual stimulation I post about puzzles and games.

Getting inspired by those who are trying very different lifestyles: I am fascinated by people who are trying out unconventional things, shunning traditional routes. Since we can't all try everything out, we have to learn from others who are trying to move off the conventional grid in small and big ways, and maybe find a few aspects to incorporate into our own lives. So I sometimes post about that.

The specifics of how each one of us can get away from a dependence on a monthly paycheck varies from person to person. So my posts are about a few basic financial guidelines and also about my situation.

I also wouldn’t presume to tell others what to do with the free time once they get it.

But why is getting autonomy over time so important?

Because deep down I believe that if all my friends and all the readers of this blog get autonomy over time (full control over how they choose to spend their time), each one will eventually get around to "doing good." Sure, the definition of doing good in society will vary for each of us. Doing good, as I repeatedly find, is actually not straightforward, and I sometimes post about that.

Staying sharp, and learning from others about how to get control over our time so that we can perhaps do a little good.

These are the things I post about.


Retired Syd said...

You have such a knack for saying what I was just thinking, only you are much more clear than what's bouncing around in my brain.

Ram said...


Thanks for the comment. Every time I read your posts, it occurs to me that we (you and I) are in very similar wavelengths.

Your themes (esp. no children and guilt and contributing to society) also occupy my thinking often.

My guess is that that's the reason this post seemed to echo your thoughts, which it most likely did.