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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Watched Memoirs of a Geisha last night. Lu's recently read the book, as seems to be the fashion, so I was treated to the "that's different from the book... that's different as well" monologue ;-) Even despite the differences I thought it was a wonderful film, for both the historical and cultural comment, fascinating story, and the simply fabulous direction and cinematography. Also I loved the cello lead in a lot of the music, which gave a melancholy but gorgeous feel (one day perhaps I'll have to play again). As an aside, the Japanese architecture was lovely also. 5/5

Anyway, I've completed my work for the day in about... 20 minutes, so that's me done. Of course I'm off to apply for more jobs, but it raises an interesting question...

Given the choice of surviving and having lots of free time, or earning reasonably well but working full time, what would you choose?

Surviving & lots of free time
Working full time & not so much free time
Don't know
Something else (discuss)

I appreciate there are probably a bazillion salary options out there etc., but taking the quiz generally and at face value...

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I'm lazy and I admit it: I only work to subsidise my leisure time. I work from home and if I doubled the amount of time I spent actually *working* each day, it would *easily* double my income, but I would prefer to spend that time surfing the Internet and generally loafing.

I admire people who're more dedicated than me, but I prefer to skive off. :)

It's that whole debate about leisure time vs. work time, at the end of the day (and the end of your life) what would people consider more important. Equally you could argue that to live life you need to earn money. There's a fantastic quote, albeit semi-depressing, from some kind of zen guru at the beginning of a track from the 1 Giant Leap album: Some people went around interviewing dying patients and not one person said they regretted not making more money or working harder, they all seemed to say their regrets were not spending more time with the people they love, and not traveling more and not relating more... to the world.

Provided it doesn't mean that I'd be stuck at the office 7am - 9pm Mon - Sun then I'd go with my lifestyle as it is which is working from 35 - 50 hours a week Mon - Fri. Being a contractor affords me a good work/life balance as it is, in that I can take time off without the fuss that doing the same in a permanent role can bring. I'm also paid for all of the hours that I work, so it's easier to motivate myself to work longer hours to get projects done on time. Having seen both sides of the permie/contractor fence I know the difference between a permie "We need you to stay late" and a contractor "We need you to stay late". The difference is usually about £200 a day ;)

Fundamentally, my work allows Hayley and I to live the lifestyle we like to lead. We don't want for anything, we can comfortably go and spend whatever we like (within reason) and we can (again within reason) do whatever we like. The cost of that is that we each spend 35 - 50 hours a week working, but IMO it's a worthy cost for the benefits it brings. My training proves to be a major expense for me, in that I spend a lot of money on good quality food as well as supplements and other training paraphernalia. Of course I could do this on a tight budget, but I'd much rather do what I want to do, as opposed to what my bank balance limits me to.

There is a certain element of "The grass is always greener" too I think, in that sometimes I wish we had more free time when I'm working Conversely there are times when I'm off for a period and I reach a point where I look forward to the structure and challenge that my career brings.

So, anyway, after all that waffling, I'd much rather work 35 - 50 hours a week and be able to (within reason) lead my life as I want to than to have acres of free time but little in the way of resources to fill it with. However, I'm not totally money oriented and wouldn't want to regularly venture above working 40 hours a week (I average 35 - 40, but sometimes do more if a deliverable is in close sight).

There's definitely that side to it, that working more helps you live more comfortably.

I do have the added advantage where I can take extended periods of time off as and when I see fit. In between contracts etc.

Once my present contract ends, I'm intending on having a three month break to pursue a few personal projects :)

For me it comes down to two things -

1)The stress of "surviving" would kill me

2)The quality of my leisure time

There are things I like to do which cost money - if I only could cover the necessities I wouldn't have any disposable income to spend on leisure activities I like to do.

I hear what you're saying. Similar to kuzanagi_ having the extra money enables you to do more, albeit with less free time.

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Understood. Work can give direction, as long as the work is interesting.

At different times in my life, I have been a stay-at-home mom, worked part-time, worked full-time, and worked a home business. I have discovered that I function best when I work full-time and away from home. It keeps me engaged in the world, keeps me out of my own head, helps me grow as a person and gives me the boundaries of accountability that I evidentally need to keep me from burying myself in a book all day long. My current job has also been very, very good for my self-esteeem as I seemed to have found a niche.

I am making more money now than I ever have. I work 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, five days a week, so I have afternoons and evenings free. So my weekends and about 3 weeks paid vacation a year that I can take here and there or all at once, are all the leisure time I need, as well as the disposable income to treat myself to lots of things I've missed out on up to now.

That's one thing work can be good for, is just getting you out. If you don't, and you're the wrong type of person, it can make you a bit insular and cuckoo I think :-)

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