So about four years ago we bailed out of the rat race.
There were a couple of reasons.
- We both worked in the big smoke (in London,UK), both commuted across the city
- We didn’t see much of our only child, he went to breakfast-club before school, then to school itself, and then to after-school-care.
- We talked on the way home, had a blur of dinner time, bath time and bed time, if we were lucky … there might even be a quick story time.
- We were exhausted by the time the weekend rolled around
- Saturday I went to business school all day … You know … continuing education to keep with, perhaps, even get ahead in the rate race.
- Sunday, collapsed in a heap and tried to regenerate enough energy to do it all over again the following week.
One day we asked … Why?
It was hard to answer. We really couldn’t come up with a good reason, other than chasing money. So what if we gave up chasing money? What if chasing money was no longer the primary reason for our existence ?
Well, it would be difficult. What would we tell our parents, our friends? Our colleagues?
Umm, hey guys, we’ve lost our minds, were now officially certified as sub economic lunatics. That’s going to go down really well.
But money aside, what else would we loose? What would it mean to our own identities?
If I lost my work identity … Who would I be ? At the social barbecue, if the guy opposite that I didn’t know yet says … So what do you do? What would I say? If I lost my daily city commute? If I was no longer defined by my desk by the window, my work computer, my conference call pin number, my office mobile number, my work email address?
What would I say? Hi I am Chris, I am a …. a bum? a drop out? economically inactive? economically challenged? Forging my own way? Swimming upstream? Being an idiot?
It’s very difficult to imagine really. Its life changing.
Gone are the … Expensive coffee at Cafe Nero the fancy sandwich to go from Paul’s Bakery at Waterloo Station. The disgressionary purchases of magazines at Waterstone’s to read on the commute home. Ties from the Tie Rack. Shirts from TM Lewin. Free calls on the office mobile. And all of this … Is before you have actually made it back home … on your last day of paid work in the rat race.
What about the first new day?
- Where would we go?
- What would we do?
- Our child still needs an education.
- We still need a roof over our head
- We still need food in our stomach.
- What about the damn cable tv subscription ?