The Sprint to FI

The tyranny of the calendar

From the age of 11, I have been at the mercy of someone else’s calendar and I suspect you have too.

I was given a calendar on my first day of secondary school.  My days were spent moving from class to class directed by that calendar. Even after leaving school and moving on to further education, it was more of the same. Every day there was a calendar that had to be followed. Post graduation and here I am again at the mercy of my various employers over the years. The all had the calendar in common and it must be followed.

I was given some time to spend as I liked, after all it was not a 24 hour calendar, just an 8 hour one, for 5 days of my seven day week. There was the annual paid time off, and holidays. Why I have so much time on my hands I hardly know what to do with it all!

But here is the problem – with 8 hour blocks in the middle of 5 of my 7 days, what can I get done? In reality, after commuting, chores, dinner, I have maybe an hour or two and then it time for bed. There is time for a side hustle maybe or time to relax with family, but that might be it. Same with the vacations – rushed along with everyone else because we all take vacation at the same damn time.

We are told we are free, but because of the way our time is structured by our work and social commitments, we are effectively tied to our work and homes. There are very few people who have managed to figure out how to work and still have freedom. Most of those are people who have jobs that allow them to work from home. But even then some employers frown on their workforce being too mobile.

So how do we rebel against the tyranny of the calendar?

The only path I see is that of FI. When we remove financial concerns from our lives, we can (if we wish) remove ourselves from other peoples’ calendars and free our time up to do with as we please. Financial Independence can free us from having to follow any calendar other than our own.

Whats on your calendar?

2 Comments

  • Ellen

    I am one of the fortunate few who can work from anywhere anytime as long as the job gets done. It’s been a fantastic way to see the world when my husband travels for work or when we are house sitting for friends in fun places. Even with the high degree of flexibility, I am still at the mercy of the calendar. Not everyone I work with has the same flexibility so I join calls early in the morning or late at night from hotel rooms, airport terminals, coffee shops, pubs, pool decks and beach chairs. It’s most definitely way better than a 9-5 office gig but FI is still very much the goal.

  • Tony

    I have the same issue. I can work from anywhere and mostly do my work at any time, but I have the same issue with some of my coworkers. I don’t work in a vacuum so I have to conform to the calendar. I am looking at a halfway place though; when Cat retires we can move to a number of places if they are in the same timezone (or similar) as I am now. For instance, a nice quiet beach somewhere in Western Mexico – I can work while she is retired. I may still be tied to the calendar still but at least its in a really nice place.

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