Author Topic: "Me" Time Crises  (Read 2101 times)

Cubist

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
"Me" Time Crises
« on: July 17, 2018, 08:44:25 PM »

I don't know how to spend my free time.

I constantly have an exhausting inner-debate about how I should spend my "me" time, which I define as free time not spent with my family. The three strings of the debate are:

1) Specialize

I should be working more to get to FIRE faster. It's hard to calculate comparative expected value of additional non-paid time (I'm salaried) spent on work, since I'm essentially trying to calculate how additional time results in promotion potential, but I suspect it's a lot higher than the next two lines. It may be relevant that I tolerate my job, but don't really enjoy it. I work 40 hours per week.
 
2) Diversify

I should find a hobby that I actually enjoy that can become profitable. Diversification seems useful so that I can potentially find something that I'm actually interested in that can also help me reach my FIRE goals, or gives me another marketable skill in case I can no longer tolerate my profession.

3) Whim
 
Do what I would if I were FIRED. Follow interesting whims and hobbies where money making potential isn't considered. Basically, just have guilt free fun.

Honestly, option 3 is most desirable (obviously, right?), but I can't shake the guilt that comes with spending my time in whimsical ways. I don't feel bad when I dance around the house with my dog, or watch Jackass with my wife, but If i try and do something whimsical on my own (i.e. write a short story, design a game, etc) I feel incredibly guilty. It seems that everyone should have a bit of option 3 to stay healthy, but it doesn't feel healthy if I'm stressing about it. Option 1 is the least desirable, but sometimes I feel like I'm being a wuss and need to suck it up and just work as hard as possible to FIRE ASAP since the faster I get FIRED, the faster I can whim out, since all my time will be free. Option 2 seems like a great compromise, but I end up feeling like anything I research that has money making potential would feel like a job once you start making money at it.

At this point, it feels like I spend most of my "me" time on researching which option I need to focus on rather than actually select one. I realize this is probably a balance I'm going to have to find out for myself, but does anyone have any insight on the topic? Have you found a way to spend your time on whims without feeling guilty? Have you found a way to convince yourself to suck it up and work hard to retire faster?

Let me know below, thanks! :)

Possibly Relevant info:

27 yo
Accountant
Wife and Dog
Goal = FIRE at 40, will probably get there sooner.


Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 05:04:35 AM »
Number 3 is exactly what "me" time should be, time to immerse in yourself, take care of yourself.  Learn a hobby (if you'd like) but don't monetize it, because then it WILL feel like job (ask me how I know that).  Before I hit FIRE my 'me' time was sitting back with a cold beer and a book, soaking in the tub, taking walks, etc.  My mental health and mood improved so much when I finally allowed myself the time just for me and let other things go for awhile.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 05:29:42 AM »
You aren't guaranteed to live long enough to FIRE. FIRE is a great goal, but losing sight of living life NOW while on the journey towards that goal is a mistake imo. For me, the choice to do anything that will negatively impact my enjoyment of my free-time is one to only take after careful consideration of the benefits and the cost.

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 06:31:57 AM »
You aren't guaranteed to live long enough to FIRE. FIRE is a great goal, but losing sight of living life NOW while on the journey towards that goal is a mistake imo.

Very true.  You are not guaranteed to live to 40, heck you may not make it to 30.  It's not to be morbid, but it could be reality as we have no idea how long our time here is.  That's not the signal to spend like mad but to enjoy life, especially the little things and those things do not have to cost a bundle, or anything at all.  FIRE is a great goal, but don't sacrifice life in general for it.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3651
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 07:27:53 AM »
Human beings are not designed to always be on the go. A certain amount of downtime is absolutely required. If you do not get that downtime, it will be apparent in your physical and mental health. Maybe not immediately, but it will catch up to you.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14050
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 07:36:49 AM »
#3 All the way.  Don't work really hard to become FIRE, only to realize that you have nothing to do with your free time and no interests.  Find something that makes you feel good about yourself, be it exercise, creative pursuit, tinkering with mechanical stuff, etc.  If you make money from it, cool.  If you don't, cool.  The important thing is that you have that pressure release to help carry you through your working years without being miserable.

ejmyrow

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2018, 10:42:50 PM »
Maybe some time sitting and doing nothing would help to clarify your inherent value.
Everyone has inherent value. Being is valuable.
They say if you are busy, meditate 20 minutes a day. If you are too busy to meditate, meditate an hour a day.

Astreja

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2018, 11:58:35 PM »
How about a one-day-a-week activity that's just for you but puts you in touch with a new group of people?  You could join a local band or choir (look up the New Horizons organization if you don't play a band instrument but want to learn one).  Softball or soccer team.  Book club.  Writing group.  Elective course in something you've always wanted to know more about.

(I'm still working for the next four years, but I view my job as an income source for more and better "Me" time.  This summer I'm playing clarinet in a band, taking an introductory ballet class, and occasionally hanging out with a local astronomy group.)


Moonwaves

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Location: Germany
    • My blog
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2018, 02:22:25 AM »
Definitely number 3. I've been really struggling lately and have started a phone-therapy program offered by my health insurance (kind for people who need a bit of a helping hand rather than full therapy or those who do need therapy but are on a waiting list) and just last week my advisor suggested that I need to give myself permission to just do whatever I feel like doing at that time. Like, I need to actually say to myself "this next two hours are me-time and I may do whatever I feel like". I have so many things I need to do and feel like I should want to do (hobbies/skills that would help with FIRE goals, for example) that I'm a bit overwhelmed and it seems counter-intuitive to be taking even more time away from all of that but honestly, I'm so overwhelmed that I actually waste a lot of time just sitting in a chair doing basically nothing. She has suggested that unless I purposely do things that I just feel like doing, I'll never recharge my batteries enough to get past that kind of paralysis. I'm still struggling a bit with the whole thing but am trying to spend some time this weekend figuring out what days I can allocate some time, how much time, and what I actually might want to do. I've spent so long thinking about all the things I think I should do that I'm not even sure exactly what what I want to do looks like anymore. Anyway, it definitely seems to me like number three on your list is the way to go.

Oh, I have to admit that I'd really like to come up with some expression other than me-time though. Have never much liked that term.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 02:25:29 AM by Moonwaves »

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2018, 03:27:28 PM »
Dude, chill the f out! What is motivating this big rush and pressure for FIRE if you canít even work out what to do with the little bit of free time you have now? Whatís the pressure about? Itís about enjoying life, not stressing and definitely not overly critical judgements about how you manage your own free time. Give yourself space and permission to take your time to discover what interests you or doesnít.  The nice thing about free time is: itís yours, whatever you do with it is fine, just donít spend a second of it beating yourself up about anything.

MoStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: "Me" Time Crises
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 08:14:44 AM »
This book is perfect for helping people with an analytical mind find “balance”.  I highly recommend it:  https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Your-Life-Well-Lived-Joyful/dp/1101875321


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk