Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Living the Dream"

A typical hallway conversation at my workplace:

Person 1:  "How's it going buddy?"

Person 2: (in a dejected and sarcastically toned voice) "Just living the dream..."

I hear this too often.  Why don't we just stop?  If you aren't living the life you want to live, living your dream, it is time to change.

The problem is that most of us think we have to work for forty or more years and sock money away to get to the point where we can go live our dreams, some would call it retirement.  Somewhere along that journey we lose our youthful ambition and the daydreams we had as children.  The simple fact is that almost anything is possible with enough determination and initiative.

What I mean is, I can't walk onto an NFL team as a quarterback (one type of dream), but I can get out of the work-a-day life I have been leading and start living life on my own terms.  It won't be easy, and it will take some sacrifice, but what is leading the life you want worth?

Too many people are unhappy, or just content with their lot in life.  But they assume that is how it is supposed to be: you work, save your pennies, and then "someday" you'll get to enjoy the things you are truly passionate about. 

Part of the reason for writing this blog is to challenge that assumption. 

Maybe I am crazy, but I feel there has got to be a better way.  There's got to be a better way than driving thirty minutes to work to sit at a desk under fluorescent lights while staring at a computer screen for nine hours only to turn around and drive thirty minutes home eat and watch TV till you fall into a fitful sleep only to repeat tomorrow.

My wife, Trisha, recently broke free of that trend.  By renting our house and getting rid of much of our stuff, she was able to quit her job to focus on starting a business for us.  It's nothing too fancy, no dot-com start up that will turn us into uber-billionaires, but rather a seasonal concession business that we can hopefully work at for an eventual six month on/six month off schedule.

I'll soon follow her out the door away from corporate America.  Our plans now include traveling south by RV for the winter.  It would be better if it was by boat, but plans change and we have to re-evaluate our situation and adapt to the challenges at hand.  We are sticking with our overarching plan of heading south before winter sets in, and we are still going to be looking for boats, while we journey in our "land-yacht".

I'll leave you with a quote from Bob Bitchin of Lattitude & Attitudes fame:

"Don't dream your life, live your dreams"


  1. Bill, I agree with everything you say. Go for it! At least you realized it before you got too far into the corporate loop. I call it the humdrum, where every day is the same. Get out while you're young, and make every day different from the last.

    Good luck with the boat search. Don't be too picky, as the perfect boat does not exist.

  2. Don't give up! And be glad that you realize what it is you want out of life at such a young age. At the age of 50, I now refer to the corporate life as The American Trap (vs the American Dream of which I was a part of for too long). A few years ago one of my co-workers had his retirement counted down to the minute, "I have 15 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day until I retire, and I can't wait!" He would proudly announce. I found this to be profoundly depressing. He has since retired but since his wife still has a job, he sits in bars and drinks all day. Oh well, I guess he could do the 6 AM MacDonald's thing with his other retired buddies and talk about Medicare.
    You have the right idea!! Stick with it!

  3. @ Paul & Deb, thanks as always for your encouragement!

    @ Laura, thanks for the comment. I know people like your co-worker, it's too bad that that is the only way they see and know.

  4. Congrats on not giving up and adapting to the situation. Heading south in an RV sounds like a great idea!

  5. Scott and I want to travel by RV one day too! Ha! Awesome. Either way - by land or by sea - here's to headin' SOUTH!

  6. RV should be alright, really would love for it to be a boat, but that will come in time! We plan to follow the Eastern seaboard for most of our trip, maybe we'll end up in the same port at the same time.
    But you are right, it is getting chilly here, time to head SOUTH!

  7. Great, I'm glad you also came to this insight.
    Life can be much more free and beautiful than most of us make it. It's all up to oneself, in the end.

    We have now 17 days left till our circumnavigation starts and can't wait for the ultimate sense of freedom it will give us.

  8. Thanks for the comment Taru, I look forward following you on your adventure! You're definitely right that life is what we make of it, so why not choose to make it awesome? :)