If you never had to work again…

This topic conversation comes up over and over again for me. I find myself talking about work, not having enough holidays, and weekends being way to short. I mean, come on – 5 days of work vs 2 days of fun – that’s a messed up ratio right there. Quite often I wish that I had no responsibilities, and didn’t have to work at all. I’d love to be independently wealthy. I wish I could just wake up in the morning and not have to be anywhere or do anything specific. Be free to do whatever I want with my time – too have time to throw away without regret. That would be glorious!

Inevitably however, someone always says something among the lines of: “but if you didn’t have to work, you would get bored of just sitting around all day”.

My reply to this is: Are you really so empty inside that you need someone else to tell you what to do? Are you really so psychologically fragile that you would come apart without a predetermined schedule? Have you no self control, drive or ambition?

People who say things like that seriously make me sick. Really? Having all the time in the world, and nothing to do you would actually choose to “sit around”? I’m sorry, but who the fuck sits around all day anyway?

Too me such a scenario means limitless freedom to do things I always wanted to do. It would be the the ability to pursue my dreams without having to worry about money, appointments and etc.

Just think about it. You could travel, you could go back to school, you could devote your time to research, you could volunteer, you could write, you could paint create, you could teach. You could open your own little company, consulting firm, restaurant or whatever you wanted. You could buy a farm. You could make a movie. You could learn how to play music. You would be a master of your own destiny, no longer subject to the harsh dictates of need and opportunity.

Does this really sound that bad? It seems like a fairly decent deal to me. I do realize that a lot of people genuinely enjoy their work and find self fulfillment in it. I have never heard any of those people utter that line though. They usually just admit they like their work or say they could not imagine doing anything else. And that’s ok.

What baffles me are people who really hate their current job, hated their previous job and will likely hate the future one, but still think they would be lost without one. Do people really need structured work environment to keep them busy? Do they really fall apart without it? I don’t get it.

I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I “sat around” and was bored when left alone to my own devices. When I’m not hanging out, or spending time with my family I’m usually at my desk being busy maintaining this blog, coding something, researching, learning and etc. I always have a stack of books to read, and a long, long list of topics to be researched and projects to be finished and/or started. My main problem is that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things that I would like to do.

Do other people really have nothing going on for them? Have they no hobbies, obsessions or interests? Do they feel no need to learn or grow as a person. Do they have no creative drive of any sort?

Who just “sits around” all day?

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16 Responses to If you never had to work again…

  1. Rob UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I’m with you, I would love to be able to drive my own day. Get up when I want to, stay up as late as I want to, go do whatever it is I wanted to rather than what someone told me to do, etc. Sure there would be plenty of days that I would probably blow watching hours and hours of MacGyver on DVD in my PJs and eating bowl after bowl of sugary cereal, but who cares? The next day I could go and do some community service or help a family member or friend in need. The point is I know that I wouldn’t be bored at all.

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  2. I’m with you on that. I’m not the type of person to get bored. I always have something on my list of things I want to do, like coding, reading, learning, and playing. That’s why I rarely let myself get enough sleep!

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  3. JAMBARAMA UNITED STATES Opera Windows Terminalist says:

    I’d go to college forever.

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  4. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Maybe I could relate my experience.

    I got laid off back in July, so I find myself in a situation where I have lots of time in my hands.

    Spent the last two months catching up with my games (most major activity), volunteer at a charity event, reading, catching up on US TV (local TV sucks ass), futile attempts to redesign my site, getting ready for a new family member..

    Now that I’ve got a taste, I wish money wasn’t a limiting factor. Will be rejoining the workforce soon.

    Aside from the money worries, getting laid off is one of the coolest things to have happened to me! :P

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Rob:

    MacGyver used to be my idol. I noticed that I can’t enjoy that show the same way I used to these days because I get too distracted by his mullet. :P

    @ Chris Wellons:

    I know. It’s probably not very healthy, but I’m getting way to little sleep on an average week day.

    Sigh… Maybe in post singularity world we will evolve beyond the need to sleep. Though I’ll probably be dead by then.


    Sign me up – I’m right there with you.

    @ Mart:

    I hate to say this, but your baby looks suspiciously like an alien slug from space. I’d totally check for a withered remains of a face-hugger xenomorph under the bed if I was you. ;) (I kid, I kid, don’t hit me)

    Then again, I’m not very good at that whole ultrasound thing. Every someone shows me one all I see is static, and some vague outlines. It’s like those magic eye books. People are like “here is the head, here is the leg, those are the toes” or “here is the dolphin, and there is the dinosaur” – and all I see is white noise.

    Seriously though – congratulations man! Do you know the sex yet or is it to early to tell?

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  6. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    We’re not going seriously OT here are we? My apologies to the other commenters!

    Heh thanks thanks. Don’t worry, I find it horribly gross too. I’m not even sure if it’s multicellular. Looks more like an amoeba than a human right now.

    But really, it is a googolplex times more amazing to see the live video feed, which I will ask the doctor if I can get one during the next scan. A still is just, like you said, fuzzy white noise.

    The first scan at 7 weeks, we can just make out the beating heart. At 11 weeks (the one I linked above), we were able to see the head, arms and beating heart, none of which can be conveyed by the still. :P Cept maybe the head (the bigger rounder end).

    Still early to tell the gender, but we will know in 6 weeks time.

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  7. The key point is that money is always the limiting factor. Generally, people who have that much time on their hands don’t have money to follow their dreams with. The people that are independently wealthy usually worked for that wealth, and enjoyed doing it (if they didn’t enjoy the work, they probably wouldn’t be wealthy).

    Also, you’re assuming everybody has hobbies and/or an open mind to new things. I know people who literally don’t have a hobby. They spend so much of their time doing the daily routine of get up, go to work, eat, sleep, that they never found the time to pursue something they really enjoy. I feel bad for those people, but that’s how it is. I’m completely with you on this one. I’m always looking for free time to just do what I want, without having to stress about responsibility.

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  8. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ruler of the Interwebs wrote:

    The key point is that money is always the limiting factor. Generally, people who have that much time on their hands don’t have money to follow their dreams with. The people that are independently wealthy usually worked for that wealth, and enjoyed doing it (if they didn’t enjoy the work, they probably wouldn’t be wealthy).

    I think the people who would do this are the ones that won Euromillions or alother lottery. (We’re talking in the range of winning 100 millions or so).
    They even run a commercial for Euromillions in my country with some random dude who won and does nothing but amuse himself (in an excessive way of course). (I don’t know if that one is shown internationally… Someone?)

    I would quit my job so hard if I won tomorrow!

    Traveling, visiting museums, being the dictator of my own domain :P I would probably buy my own island.

    My girlfriend is one of those people who asks: Won’t you get bored after a while?
    Well, no! I don’t think so.

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  9. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Wikke:

    But what if your winning number was 4-8-15-16-23-42? You’ll probably end up on an island, but probably not because you bought it.

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  10. I wonder if those actually ever were the winning numbers? That guy must be flipping out!

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  11. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Mart:

    Well, if you can make out a beating heart it is definitely multi-cellular. :)

    So… Are you planning to instill some geeky values into your child? I decided that when I spawn a descendant I will do my best to make sure he/she will actually know their way around the computer, whether it is running Windows, Apple, Linux or whatever.

    @ Ruler of the Interwebs:

    I’m guessing that it’s possible that somewhere in the world there might be a lottery that did draw this exact sequence of numbers, but it is rather unlikely. You have to remember that the odds of winning a typical lottery are astronomical

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  12. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Luke Maciak:

    Instilling geeky values is already a given, considering that it’s my kid. Jeff Vogel (of Spiderweb Software) has an interesting post on how he’s educating his daughter and I will probably follow the same concepts.

    Understanding (not simply using) that strange entity called a computer will definitely be an aim of mine. I’ve already influenced my younger bro to fix his own PC, and he can DIY himself now. And my wife, who is superbly bored by all things geeky, can name all the parts in a computer now. An impressionable kid will be easy!

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  13. IceBrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Debian GNU/Linux Terminalist says:

    Wikke wrote:

    They even run a commercial for Euromillions in my country with some random dude who won and does nothing but amuse himself (in an excessive way of course). (I don’t know if that one is shown internationally… Someone?)

    They run many of those here in Portugal, when there was the Dakar. Basicly, the guy’s asking his father for the car keys:

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  14. Jesse UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I sit around all day.

    Here is an average day, followed by some facts about me.

    6am. Wake up, make coffee, check email. Maybe some news
    8am. By this time I am working or, more likely, sitting around.
    10am. If I am working *and* productive, more coffee. If not productive, no more coffee, because it kills my nerves later in the afternoon. Productivity feels good enough to justify extra coffee at 10.
    12pm. If I’m working and productive, then I can go maybe until 5pm or even 8pm.
    2pm. Say I’m not working (most likely scenario altogether).. I’ve had lunch, and on twitter, or facebook, reading blogs.
    10pm. I’m doing the same things if I didn’t work. If I did work, then I go to sleep. I only stay up past 10pm when I’ve had really good news or something (like now, it’s likely that I will get a new contract.)


    On average, I am in public fewer than 30 minutes per day.
    I started doing web design & development at age 27.
    Total earned income as a web developer, @ $4,600 (since Jun ’08)
    Before June ’08 it was a hobby.
    I have a handful of other hobbies.

    Well anyways, this comment is making no sense, but the point is that I am jealous of people with active lives who complain about ‘not enough hours in the day’. Half the time, for me, nightfall is never too soon.

    But I just may secure another programming gig this week. Hopefully I will be working steady. But that’s what I do, I sit around all day.

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  15. Karen UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I would LOVE to quit a job or two!!! Right now, I work one full-time job, I have two part-time jobs, and I just started a little “side-business” organizing other peoples’ crap. You have no idea how much crap people in the south can store – generations of it!

    I have 4 teenagers and a kindergartener, a husband, and two huge dogs. I’m on the go CONSTANTLY. I sleep about three hours a night.

    I would LOVE to be able to roll everything that I do for other people into a viable, sustainable business model that I could put to work for myself.

    I haven’t worked as a sysadmin for about 10 years, but my friends still call me to come fix their computers. Forget that what I know about most computers now could fit into somebody’s Cliff’s Notes, I still manage to wing it.

    Anybody know how to roll together 1) troubleshooting mechanical and electrical systems, 2) writing news and political commentary, 3) DJing at a country radio station, and 4) being a “personal organizer” into one job?

    I will SOOO send you a resume – hook me up!

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  16. It’s as if you took the words right out of my head! I’ve always struggled with the same thing. I fill a page in my notebook daily of all the things I want to do, dream of doing.. whether they be big or small.. and sometimes I accomplish them, and sometimes I don’t. Always because I don’t have the time or the energy to pursue my goals after the 8-12 hours I’ve given to work. I dream of having an endless source of money not because I want to spend it on lavish things, but simply because I want to buy freedom for myself and for the many I love. I want to give something back this world that I can’t while being leashed to an office building 5 days a week. Your post was just what I needed to remind myself I’m not alone in wanting out, so thanks for that :)

    If you’re up for a read, you can probably relate to this one. I wrote it awhile back on a day work was especially excruciating lol
    Work is for the Bees

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