Do What You Want, Have Fun



The things that are worth caring about and striving for don’t have to do with fads or whatever happens to be the current topic of conversation. Those constructs are largely illusory anyway. Most of the buzz on the street is no more than traffic noise.


George Orwell defined journalism as “writing something that somebody doesn’t want to see printed. All the rest is public relations.” Most of the messages we see are advertising, calls to shop. If we don’t want to fill our time with shopping, we’ll have to find something else with which to occupy ourselves. As you can see, I’ve gone to great lengths not to end that last sentence with a conjunction.


I enjoy writing both because I think I’m pretty good at it, and because I think I have something to say. Many people find writing a tedious activity and have little to say. I’m always happy when these people don’t write. After years of reading English Composition essays at the college level, I think there is no more tortuous activity that reading a commenting on the writing of someone who didn’t want to write in the first place.


One of the biggest disservices schooling provides is to demand that people learn to do things for which they have even less aptitude than interest. Even if they do manage to struggle through some required course work, they will never have any fun doing so, nor will anyone else enjoy the outcome. It will be purgatory on Earth, hoping for a payoff in the Great Beyond. This is folly, a transparent hoax, a confidence game to justify the existence of schools.


People should do things they enjoy, and in doing so they might please both themselves and others. Why this simple concept has eluded us for the last couple of centuries is a real mystery. The notion of mandatory public schooling probably comes from Northern European capitalism and the desire to train a compliant workforce.



This is it!

Retire cheap have fun. Find a delightful place on this planet and then move there. First you’ll have to get rid of everything you own. That will be harder than you thought, but if you are ruthless about this step, then you’ll know a freedom few of your friends or family know.


The developing economies of the “third world” are full of delightful places which can serve. Don’t worry about income, instead simply cut your expenses. Social security will be enough if you’re living cheaply enough.


Don’t make the mistake of trying to recreate your former life. If you don’t use something every day, don’t buy it. Rent. Remember, you’re not trying to make money. You’re trying to live so cheaply that lack of money is no longer a problem.


Every day you will be tempted to buy something you don’t need. Tourist markets are full of astoundingly cheap trinkets and clothing you don’t need, and buying any of it will hamper you in your struggle to live without worrying about money.


Don’t lie to yourself that you’re simply buying gifts for relatives, or that you’re buying something you’re going to later sell on eBay and make a profit on. None of that is going to help you get where you want to go.


If you have to choose between renting two houses, one that’s more expensive and has a great view, and one that lacks a view but is just as comfortable, go for the one without the view. After a few weeks the view will grow tiresome. And paying for a view just so once or twice a year a visitor might exclaim, “What a view! You’re so lucky!” is a suckers game. Chances are the day that visitor finally shows up it will be cloudy, or raining.



At this point, you probably don’t know. It snuck up on me. I figured since I hadn’t stockpiled a lot of money, I would probably have to work again someday, though I had no definite plans to look for work. Then, after social security started direct depositing checks into my account, and I withdrew cash in the local currency from my local ATM, I realized, maybe this is it, after all. Maybe I am actually done with work.


And I realized what a gift that it.


It’s a whole lot easier to control your spending than it is to make money. Earning money can be like gambling. The level of success is often illusory. Gamblers are notorious in their ability to lie to themselves about their actual gains, because they conveniently forget about or under-report their losses. Same with wage slaves. They forget about taxes, about the cost of commuting, and all the other hidden snares of maintaining a middle-class life in the developed world.


So now, we find that we have been placed in a position we wanted to be in all along, but never thought would be that easy to find. But beware, temptation lurks all around! Get rich schemes. Ebay. Surely you can find a way to have those items delivered to the jungles of Borneo!