07 January, 2010

A Day In The Life

People keep asking me what I do all day, and I keep telling them I keep myself quite busy, despite living a NEET lifestyle. I'm not sure they believe me. So I decided to catalog a full day's worth of activities, to provide an idea of just what it is I spend all my time doing. This is from yesterday:

16.13 - alarm goes off, struggle with sleep (set at .13 because the minute button is broken)
17.00 - get out of bed, stretch, light wakeup exercises (to keep my muscles from atrophying :p)
17.07 - check email
17.12 - to the bathroom
17.25 - get in shower
17.55 - dryoff mode
18.05 - hair dry phase (including a few minutes admiring naked girls on flickr while I wait)
18.20 - get dressed
18.25 - dinner
18.55 - get undressed
19.05 - reply to an email
19.35 - catch up on my favorite forum(s), read discussions on activism
20.20 - read an entire manga volume of Berserk
22.00 - browse Berserk images, old chapters, look for a quote (that I found, but couldn't source), think about how much I'd like to go through the entire manga series and save all the best of the beautifully drawn pages (though in some cases it'd be nice to have a better scan than what I've got), etc.
22.55 - prep for guitar practice
23.05 - guitar practice
00.13 - more Berserk image stuff, shuffling files
00.26 - lunch
01.00 - watch movie - animated Return of the King
02.44 - write a blog entry
03.33 - website update
03.42 - retrieve batteries for my new digital recorder
04.03 - aerobic exercise (DDR)
05.00 - cool down phase
05.17 - upload a photo to flickr
05.23 - breakfast (took longer than usual today)
06.22 - write another blog entry (different blog)
07.41 - look at funny pics and watch a girl on video (not that kind of video, you perv :p)
07.54 - brush teeth
08.01 - more internet inanery
08.19 - go to bed
08.25 - answer pedobear-related IM
08.28 - watch that girl on video again (I swear I'm falling in love, and I don't even speak her language)
08.31 - to bed for real
08.37 - ok, vid ripped, *now* to bed for real

Now then, where is all that free time? Sure, it's nice that I have time to read books and watch movies and putz about on the internet. But this is what I do. I spend my time cultivating and expressing my creativity and individuality. And I don't always have time to read books and watch movies. I didn't do much with photography on this day, and that takes up a lot of time, from shooting to processing to uploading. And things like writing blog entries and updating my website, that goes back to the expressing myself thing.

If I had a nine-to-five job just to pay the bills, I wouldn't have time to be myself. At least 80% of this stuff just wouldn't happen. I'd be hard pressed to practice guitar every day, and I'd have the time to take photos even less often. And everything else would pretty much get pushed out of the way. It would be like when I was in school, and I didn't have time to read books and watch movies and stuff like that because there was always another assignment waiting to be done.

So I'd love to be able to not just get a job, but make a living off of one of these things I like to do, that's a part of what I am, be it playing guitar, or taking photos, or expressing myself creatively in some other way. But it's not as easy as walking in to a McDonald's and saying, I need a job.


  1. I feel like you're exaggerating when you say that if you had a nine-to-five job, you wouldn't have time to be yourself. A lot of driven, organized people work longer hours than that and still have time to be themselves; they simply stagger their time out over the week, doing different activities every other day or sacrificing time in something else. It doesn't make them any less "them."

    Sure, they wouldn't be able to do everything they want in one day, but that's what the weekend's for -- and with money, they'd be able to fund their recreational time better.

    You always talk about jobs like they're shackles that hold you down in bondage to "The Man" and prevent you from being who you are. That's sort of a "glass is non-existent" interpretation to me. I mean, yes, you have to go do crap you don't necessarily enjoy, but that's one reason why the money you get in compensation is worth so much.

    You're also only as much of a prisoner as you think of yourself as being. I mean, sure, you could be flipping burgers all day in a terribly boring job, but your mind is also free to think about the next story you want to write, the next song you want to learn, the next picture you want to take. Different stimuli force you to make connections in different ways -- and those stimuli include people, too. And no, it's not always pleasant, but Bucknell wasn't all that pleasant either and I doubt you can say nothing good at all came of that.

    I also can't help but wonder if your glut of time has made it hard to appreciate what you have; I know it was like that for me when I was completely unemployed. I felt busy, like I had a billion things to do every day, but even when I had the worst job I've ever had, I still found time to do what I wanted to do.

    I mean, sure, some of that is because I read faster, but it's not just that. It takes you almost an hour and a half to get dressed after getting out of bed -- I find it hard to believe that you could reasonably argue that that's not a "luxury." Sure, you enjoy it, and I'm not going to argue about that, but it is a place where you could save time.

    If we compared days where I had an open schedule like yours, I also save time by eating while I read or watch something on the computer. Granted, I have more time in my day to begin with because I sleep less, but that's another issue.

    I'm not saying you're lazy or anything, though. You get tons of stuff done. It's just that it seems like you look down on "working stiffs" for not being real people because they have jobs because you don't have enough time as it is WITHOUT a job. It just bothers me a bit.

  2. Well I wasn't intending to talk smack about "working stiffs". I respect them for what they have to do, my beef with their lifestyle has to do with the work, and not those who do the work. It's a personal problem, whereas I feel less able to adapt to that kind of lifestyle than others, I envy those others for having less of a problem with it, or else having a better ability to get over whatever problems they have with it.

    Also, I was thinking it over after I wrote this post, and I realized the importance of priority. I do the things that I feel inclined to do, while skipping the things that are less important to me. Thus, I'll spend time organizing my thoughts (which is something I both enjoy and consider important for me to be able to do) instead of wasting 15 minutes on a brainless flash game. Which I would probably enjoy, but wouldn't contribute much to my metaphysical existence on this mortal coil.

    If I had a job, I'd have less time for me, and thus, some things would have to go by the wayside. I can afford to spend time practicing my arts, whereas, if I was working, that wouldn't happen. While I was in school, I went weeks without picking up the guitar. And I've only gotten better at it now that I spend a considerable amount of my time working at it. Of course, I'd be me no matter what path in life I took. The point is, the me that I want to be isn't the me that works a 9-5 grind and squeezes his hobbies into what's left of the day, but the me whose life is completely fulfilling, with the ability to pursue his passions without significant obstacle.

    I do say that I'm lazy, though. And I'm also slow. I like to take my time doing things and taking things in, not just because it's comfortable, but also because when there's too much going on, and I'm jumping too quickly from one thing to the next, I get overstimulated and I'm not able to cope/keep up. Some people are much better dealing with that, I would argue most are better than I am. I'm not saying I shouldn't push myself, but there is a good reason why I'm not so eager to.

    Well, I think you've got a lot of good points, and I appreciate you sharing them, but what bothers me is the one-size-fits-all strategy. Everybody else can cope just fine with modern society, so I should be able to too. I want my freedom of choice.

  3. Do you think that perhaps your inability to deal with a lot of things at once is related to the fact that you no longer really have to try anymore? I mean, I know that if I spend all winter break in my room without really going out, I come out feeling like I can't carry a conversation well (in either Japanese or English), I can't deal with other people as well, and I certainly can't hear as well..

    Even with my job, from 8-4, I still feel like I have plenty of time to do what makes me me. Just looking at it, I have a solid 7 or 8 hours to myself after I get out of work, and that's not including random things like dinner prep.

    To be honest, I don't think it's really fair for you to complain about having to deal with a one-size-fits-all strategy with regard to society since you've not held a job since college, so you can't complain from experience, just the perceived tedium and time restrictions...