A New Life in Japan

A Better Life in the Second Act

8 rolls of medium-format film ready to be developed

Daily Thoughts 2021-04-14 Wednesday

Thinking about how we fill our time when trying to grow in our lives and careers, but are also working full time, likely with additional commitments at home.

When working full time and commuting, it’s alarming to think how little time of your own you actually have during the work week. This is one major motivator I have for eventually getting out of working for anyone else and working only for myself. But for now, every usable chunk of time counts.

I woke up at 5:30 today and was as productive as I could manage at home for 3.5 hours before going to work. Journaled, meditated, wrote, made our breakfasts, made my lunch, worked on paperwork, planted seeds for our container garden, and loaded film into a developing tank so I could develop it this weekend.

On the commute on the way to work, I studied Japanese vocabulary and kanji and caught up on a few emails. In the downtime between finishing lesson prep and starting afternoon classes, I worked on tweaking some web sites.

I also made some initial notes on how I might help another photographer later this year. He’s something of a recluse, but makes wonderful work and wants my help to get it out in the world. This has to be back-burner for the moment, but definitely worth some attention later on.

Currently, I’m waiting for students to trickle in, and have another 90 minutes before I actually have to do anything, so it’s writing time.

I’ll leave here at 19:30, get home about an hour later, and from there it’s a matter of doing some tidying/decluttering in the apartment, eating something, showering, and going to bed. Maybe a little studying, maybe a little editing, and finally some reading for pleasure until I fall asleep.

When days like these get strung together in long succession, going to bed at night feels more like lying down for a nap than anything else. People can spend their whole working lives in a blur like this, but I think it’s a crazy way to spend the bulk of your life.

There are better ways.



2 Responses

  1. One thing about self-employment is that it can often take much more time than being on salary (can be much more fulfilling too). You can’t ever get away from your boss or ‘clock out’ of work.

    1. Oh, I know. Been self-employed before. I still prefer it, hands-down, and depending on various factors it’s still possible to wind up with far greater time freedom. I don’t mind hard work, I just mind hard work when someone else is taking most of the profit for my labor.

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