Friday, June 24th, 2022, at 11:54 AM Alaska Time
In order to ensure that I had adequate rest and rejuvination, in my early twenties, I worked to achieve early retirement. The objective of earning early retirement was not to be lazy, or refrain from doing any work whatsoever. Instead, it was a method of getting out of working in a career that was disconnected from my interests for too long. Certain types of creative work simply do not pay well, and this is well understood. If attending college, one might wonder if one’s chosen pathway and degree would actually be one that is high paying and rewarding enough to make one feel satisfied in a profession, and outside a profession. When I started college, I did Psychology and Philosophy, both of which had poor prospects for earnings over the life span. Deliberately with the goal of getting the freedom necessary to pursue my own creative intersts, in a variety of disciplines known to not pay well (art for example), I chose to temporarily work in the field of computing. This field was known to itself permit greater freedoms and also paid extremely well for the work performed. Within such a field, I thought, I could save enough to do later what I really wanted to do with my time. Rather than be a writer or artist who depended on someone with wealth to donate or procure works that would become in their interest, rather in their own interests, I wanted to use my own savings to keep time open for me to do my work in my own vision.
This work here is actually a product of my success in making that happen for me.
I do not get paid for this work, and other related projects, which I’ve kept up even during my work in my career over the years. Today this is nearly my exclusive interest, to engage in my own productions and to publish them here.
Leisure time is necessary for the development of certain hobbies and interests, which we separated from professional life because we cannot earn from them. This does not mean that the efforts are not genuine work. They can be more passionate efforts that are more desired and worthy, but not necessarily those that will earn a living. So in my vision of retirement, I have freedom to do those things an aristocrat or a rich person would be able to do their entire lives, and it includes much effort and work that is rewarding. This is the benefit of wealth is having time to do what one wants to do and not what one feels one has to do for someone else.
In my life there is plenty of time for rest and rejuvenation. My goal in this category has been achieved, even without much attention to this category. I had awareness about this category as I worked on my livelihood, which included career considerations and financial savings.
My interest in rest and rejuvenation today relates more to my cycles and shifts (calendar) category, in that I’m now separating from the view that one should have a set amount of sleep on a daily basis, and that the career expectations and daily/weekly work expectations have any relation at all to what is restorative biologically. Instead, I think now that my sleep cycle differs from convention and is more informed by what was natural as a child than what was forced in school and in work life. I am now focusing on what makes me feel restored, which seems to include quite a lot more sleep. I’ll sleep 12 hours a day and feel no issue about it. Instead, it seems more restorative and not less. But I don’t count the hours I sleep, and I don’t state “on average I sleep x amount per day every day, per week, etc…” These are part of the same issue of “You should get 8 hours of sleep per day” which doesn’t appear to have any scientific basis, and certainly is not true over the lifespan, for everyone.
My interest is now in countering what I consider to be poor teaching in the population. My background in Psychology informs that common expectations on rest are that of laypeople relying on the media, and not on science at all. People, including myself, have been ready to think of themselves as depressed without any basis other than going by a feeling of wanting sleep and rest, which in my view now is totally permissible. In myself it is cyclical the amount of sleep I want. As a child, I recall sleeping as much as I wanted without any feeling that I would be categorized in a pathological way. If I was more energetic for a period, perhaps because of sports, which happen seasonally, suddenly I would want much more sleep. I remember sleeping on many occasions after arriving home from school and sleeping until the next day, from about 4 p.m. to 7 a.m., which is about 21 hours. It was restorative, and quite nice. Exhaustion feels good and sleeping extra does not indicate one is depressed. It is also cyclical because sporting is scheduled in a cyclical and seasonal way. As an adult, however, one suddenly departs from these types of cycles and is expected to work 40 hours per week, 8 hours per day, which is simply 1/3 of 24 hours, over years as if seasons don’t exist and change behavioral alterations that would result in sleep differences. It is simply an easy number arrived at that has very little significance other than ensuring that pay is consistently a similar amount, and that a certain amount of potential work is available for an employer. 8 hours of work has no connection at all with the required amount of sleep, but oddly, the amount of sleep recommended matches the workday, which I do not think is coincidental.
My perspective on the calendar has changed as a result of these considerations. Retired life makes it possible to self-experiment without any supposed obligations or responsibilities to work 8 hours a day during the time of greatest energy and creativity. I am exploring changes with my approach to rest and rejuvenation which is now very different from that which is accepted in our-your culture.
Even while working in my career I considered it an extreme absurdity that one would only receive a week or two of vacation a year. In order to avoid that ridiculous limitation of work, I changed jobs to ones that would allow for more flexibility and more time off, and would be forceful in my requiring of my employer time off in exchange for performing vastly above what was required. “You are doing a good job but you get two weeks of vacation” is not a reward for doing a good job. It is falsely saying “thank you” and then saying “I’m not giving you more”. When I was working, I wanted no less than quarterly weeks off. 4 weeks off a year at a minimum, and I would use every sick day provided even if not sick. I would also be willing to take time off without pay.
Today, however, most days are days off, or vacation days, but I think back to work and still get somewhat aggravated by the control employers and managers exert without any rational justification. Then in places like the United States, and Western World, people act as though they are running their government and coporations, but they have no control at all on their vacation time, hours of work, and they’ve come to believe their sleep should match the duration of their daily work. Rest and rejuvenation, and how we treat that topic, really reveals much falsity in how our lives are organized from outside. One need not work 40 hours a week every week. Output is not related to hours so much as people think, across workforces. Weeks can vary in how much work is performed. In agriculture, the same work would not exist over the year, but again, would occur in different kinds of cycles. 40 hours a week for a year completely ignores various types of ecological and biological cycles: Cycles and Shifts.
There are things most people can do to get out of the need to follow these rules and customs, but it actually does seem to require doing those things I did, or having similar interests to the ones I had. For example, one can choose to live very frugally, and potentially minimize any growth of a family of dependants. One can try to choose a career with the greatest prospects on earnings that is most amenable to one’s interests and abilities. I don’t like computing all that much, but it did fit well with my skills and other goals I had, and my need for interdisciplinary explanations of my life figuring into my moral system. But I could easily weld and achieve similar results. One then saves and accumulates until one can survive a long while with low expenditures, achieved via practiced discipline in frugality. Today I have a savings that may not even be necessary given I can live easily on very little. “Financial freedom” is something possible to almost everyone but one does really need to live without any other dependents and with some savings, and ability to live on less, and perhaps want less. Additionally, this can be done while expanding travels and other interests which increase freedom and do not diminish it.
Another absurdity of interest is that people think they need salvation in this context. They think they have absurd needs relating to an afterlife, which will give final relief. This is plainly ridiculous, as life can be very easy with planning, and one can have much relief and rejuvenation to feel rested beginning to end, with few deviations during times of increased difficulty. In my estimation, life is very easy. With a reasonable plan, it is not difficult at all, even during times of supposed challenges. However, one can make it hard enough to dream of salvation in an afterlife, for not having a good time this life. This is readily achievable by following a bad system of ethics, and religious systems are definitely very poor systems, if they can be called systems.
My motto these days is “Life is easy for me. Hard for you.”
Rest and rejuvenation has been duly reduced in importance and deprioritized in my life categories because the work has been achieved and I can rest as much as I like, and I have few difficulties that would make me not experience comfort and ease routinely, on a cycle.
I am a semi-retired social architect and consultant, with professional/academic experience in the fields of computer science, psychology, philosophy, and more recently, economics.
Articles on this site are eclectic, and draw from content prepared between 1980 and 2022. Topics include ethics, art, fitness, finances, health, psychology, and vegetarianism. The common theme connecting all articles is moral philosophy, even if that is not immediately apparent. Any of my articles that touch on "the good and virtuous life" will be published here. These articles interrelate with my upcoming theory of ethics, two decades in preparation.
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