I don’t know about everyone who reads this blog, but there seems to be less and less time in the day as I get older and (hopefully) wiser. Part of this is by choice of course. I chose to study for a second degree part-time whilst working full-time. Aside from the motivation of potentially getting paid more in the future, I tried to pick topics that were interesting and at the same time practical from the point of view of what would be a useful tool or pool of knowledge for the future. Then there’s the time you spend with your family and the joy of having a pet. At no point do I think I’m doing it tough. My first boss had to drive from Geelong to Monash University in Clayton (and back!) on a daily basis when he was less than twenty to do night classes for his MBA while his wife stayed at home to look after their first child!
The reality of life as far is that you have all the time in the world when you’re young but no money to do anything with the time. Then, when you’re young enough and earning a decent amount of money, you have to sacrifice the thing you want to use – time – in order to maintain the lifestyle that you aimed for when you were young. Of course, when you get old and you can finally spend time and money on things, you’re tired and not as sprightly as you used to be. If only some of these things were the other way around! I’m more fortunate than most of course, being part of an organisation that values work life balance and allows me to maintain it as much as possible even while supporting further self education.
But as many of my friends will attest, this is not in abundance in the other places. Yes, generally, the money is generally a little better, but many consistently work ten or more hours a day just to complete their duties. This doesn’t sound much like fun to me and instead seems more like a good example of diminishing returns. I decided long ago that I didn’t really want to dedicate my entire life to just working my proverbial off for every last cent and not have enough time to spend with my own family, friends and hobbies.
At the end of the day, we all make sacrifices and compromises to have the life we want. At the end of the day, we do want it all; money, fantastic toys, a nice place to come home to and even someone special to be there waiting for us, even if it is just a beloved pet. We would even like to have time to do the things we enjoy outside of work; the arts, sport or a romantic holiday to somewhere exotic. But, without the genetic luck of the draw that gives you extremely rich parents, we all have to do the hard yards to get there.