This October I turn 25, thus crossing over the first quarter century of my life :)
In general I am pretty happy with how I have spent the past 25 years of my life; playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, going to college, getting a job, living on my own, etc etc. For the first time however, over the past year I have started to spend more time working than not working. To be honest its kind of frightening to think that a majority of my life until I retire at the age of 67 (average age in the U.S.) will be spent working on average 50+ hours per week (average for a college educated male in the U.S. Business Week). Assuming 2 weeks of vacation per year (my limit if I stayed in my current job) that equates to approximately 125,000 hours of working before I can retire. Counting in commuting time to work makes this figure it infinitely more frightening.
Even though I’ll likely have several jobs between now and age 67, it seems inevitable that I’ll spend the majority of the rest of my life working on improving my 9am-5pm. That then leaves me with the question, “What then will happen to my 5pm-9am, the time that I don’t spend at work?” I’m terribly afraid of loosing out on my non-work life because I spend so much time on my working life. I see it in my friends, my family, and the people I work with; they start working full time and their lives begin to suck. Currently I find myself getting home from work, working out, eating dinner, making lunch for the next day, having a beer, watching some sports on T.V. and going to bed. A few days/week I’ll go out to dinner with my girlfriend or go rock climbing. These are all good things but I think that in general people should spend more time working on evaluating their 5pm-9am lifestyle and that is what I’m aiming to do this month.
When I graduated college my older brother wrote me a note that basically said, “Once a year take a look at your life and make a list of the things that are important to you. Then each year take a look at this list to make sure you’re living the way you want to be living. Eventually you will become what you spend a majority of your time on and you’ll also become the people who you choose to spend that time with.” So in this month I’ll be taking pictures of my 5-9 life plus weekends, in hopes of evaluating and/or reevaluating my life as it stands at the turn of my quarter century. Does this look like the kind of life I want to live? Would others want to live this kind of life? How can I improve the quality of my non-working life?
I’ll be using an app on my Android that will randomly alarm ten times between the hours of 5pm and 11pm, triggering me to take a photo of where I am and what I’m doing. On the weekends I’ll simply take a photo every hour on the hour considering Android batteries suck and generally I’m in a place with no 3G. The randomized alarm clock app was specifically designed for smartphone-using diabetics who want to randomly control their dosages of insulin. Decent concept, good thing it will work out great for my blog this month. At the end of the month I’ll have 310 photos of random points throughout my 5-9. The randomized aspect I think is important because it’ll be an accurate representation of my life instead of me planning to be in a cool location on the hour every hour. I’ll never know when to expect it so it’ll be more natural. There are many blogs out there who have done a photojournal with one photo every day for a year or other similar concepts. These ideas definitely serve a purpose but I don’t want to pic the best picture from every day, I want real life, aka this is what I am actually doing with my life; the good, the bad, and the indifferent. I’m interested to see how it turns out.