Tony Wolski

Enjoying a lifetime with a bit of work


I watched the minimalism film for the second time last night, and I enjoyed it even more this time around. It certainly won’t be the last time I watch it. There is a minimalist’s travel bag chock-full of incredible quotes and realisations, and inspiring people and real life examples in the film.

I really am gravitating more and more to a more minimalist lifestyle, and I can feel the momentum building towards some major lifestyle changes. Some of my friends and family would say that I’m already a minimalist, but I disagree. My answer… How can I be so minimalist when I have still have so much unnecessary debt hanging over my head?

I’m drawn to the whole concept of minimalism, tiny houses, efficient spaces, owning and consuming less. To having more time with which I choose to do what I want. A lot of this isn’t possible right now, because of the lifestyle that myself and my family have, the things we own, and the decisions we’ve made. Some of it isn’t even desirable. I guess what I’m really drawn to is the idea of a more deliberate life, rather than going through the motions. Bucking the status quo so to speak

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to ponder one of the (many) quotes that stuck in my head from last night’s viewing:

How do we go from working all throughout our lifetime, to enjoying a lifetime with a bit of work here and there?

Jay Austin — a tiny house designer — asks the question (at 18:22) from the Matchbox (his own really tiny, carbon-nuetral and off-the-grid house). It’s a thought that really got my mind turning over (more so than usual).

How do I go from my current work-life situation, in which I work 50, 60, 70 or more hours a week and trying to enjoy fragments of time with my family and friends (non-desirable), to a life-work situation enjoying more of life supported by a little bit of work (desirable)?

And I’m not just like “that grass is so much greener.” I really enjoy what I do (I’m software/devops engineer). If I was minted I’d still be coding, designing and problem solving in some capacity. Just less. And not because I have to in order to pay the bills.

After the film I sat in bed staring at my finances spreadsheet, playing with figures, trying to figure out how and when this desirable state might be possible (in a realistic, family-approved scenario). The answer? A lot sooner than I thought. I’m talking debt free and in a position to choose how much I work within 2 years. This is at least 10 years sooner than I thought possible. Obviously plans and habits would have to change, but isn’t that this is all about? Isn’t making some behaviour changes now worth not having to work 50, 60 and 70 hour weeks for another 10 years? Me thinks so…

The momentum of my minimalism boulder has just been given an almighty push.

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