Alternative Resolutions: Make 2019 the Year You Spend Less Time Working
Not a Judgement…
I hate those judgemental Facebook posts. Ones like “When you point a finger at someone there is 4 pointing back at yourself”. Yes? Tell that to the “Me Too” movement!
I try, I really try not to do this, and sometimes I fail miserably!
My aim in life is to live the alternative, broadly pagan lifestyle that I blog about.
I try to live frugally and lightly on the Earth. In order to do that the thing I need most is time! Now some people do have both time and money, but this is rare. Most of us trade off one for the other that is we go to work.
Sowing The Seeds
I have several seeds sown at Samhain that I am currently working on. You may describe what I call seeds as New Year Resolutions. You will note I said working on. If you think we say what we want and cast a spell and then forget about it, you’re wrong! I think pagans spend so much time meditating on the path they’re walking that they spend more time than most working on making it work.
It is correct that spells once empowered should have all that energy released and then be forgotten about. At Samhain pagans reflect on the old year and give thanks and then set their intent for the New Year, so any spells would be spells of intent calling for opportunity and focus or of thanks. Samhain also reminds you that any intent set last year that has not yet been achieved now needs either releasing, because plans changed, or that final push to make it so before the new year arrives at Yule.
At Yule the star child (new sun/year) is conceived, but still in the womb of the Goddess who is in the underworld, so once more a time for sowing and propagating new intents and ideas. Propagating means begin working on them. I’ve said before that spells are the X factor, the one extra thing done after all other things have been done. Want to lose weight, then go on a diet, and maybe add a spell to steel your intent and willpower.
To return to resolutions.
Always at the top of my list is spending time living my chosen lifestyle, so I thought a timely post on ways that I achieve this might work for you, especially if you would like to..
Make 2019 the year you spend less time working
…and more time doing whatever it is you would like to do more of.
It’s not a ‘let’s have my cake and eat it’ post. All resolutions require a change of thought process, a change of lifestyle and compromise. This post gives you some ideas and helpful hints for spending fewer hours at work in 2019 and living more lightly on the planet. Win/win!
Remember this is not a judgement! The native Americans say that you cannot judge someone until you have walked a mile in their moccasins (experienced their life). As I always say when giving a tarot reading. Accept or reject, you have free will there is no compulsion at all but have you considered…?
I have been away for Christmas, and then I went immediately back to work so now I have a lot of washing, and that set me thinking about using the tumble dryer, which in turn inspired this post.
I could use the tumble dryer, very quick and convenient but then I thought,
“Now wait a minute! Eco-living aside if I turn on my dryer it costs money which I will then have to go to work to earn it which takes away my time!”
Working less means I have the time, and a few dirty clothes hanging around for a few days doesn’t hurt does it?
So not only is tumble drying polluting, it means more hours at work! No thanks! This is my mind set, and the mind set you need to spend more time doing what you wish to do in 2019.
That is not to say I NEVER use my dryer, let’s be reasonable! Last year we had the Beast from the East.
I tend to part dry outside in the winter by looking online at the 1 week weather forecast for my area and then selecting my washing days accordingly. I then ‘finish off’ my damp washing on clothes airers in the spare bedroom. This also happens to be environmentally friendly.
Anyway I began to ponder on earning/ spending money V’s my free time. I don’t have any debts but I save a little for contingencies like a new washing machine every month.
Forward planning is part of mindful spending, but thanks to mindful spending I have the time to do this. Mindful spending and budgeting is the way to work less hours, but you do need to be strong minded to save that extra ‘in case’ bit of money, and there’s your X factor spell!
My mantra is this: When you buy anything, it doesn’t just cost money it costs you your precious free time, so it had better be worth it!
I find it’s not the big purchases that are the pitfalls but the small ones. Tired from work? Ignore the food in the freezer and order a take away. Out for the day? Don’t bring a packed lunch go in a café.
But if you spend mindfully you are creating time to look at the week ahead and plan. I know I won’t cook when I’ve worked, so I plan for these days by having things like tins of tuna, tins of sardines, in the larder and I also double portion meals when cooking so I have my own microwave ready meal in the fridge. Double portioning does NOT take more time, just extra ingredients when you cook. Sometimes I just make a big pot of soup.
Not taking a packed lunch? A coffee shop latte, just a medium latte once per week, that’s just one per week, will cost you £127.40 a year. What’s your hourly rate? How many hours do you work each year for the local coffee shop? Do you want to do this? Do you really want that coffee more than your freedom from work? If you think the trade-off is good then buy it, if not then don’t! Be mindful of the true cost of your spend. When my kids were small and I wanted to go shopping, packed lunches were ‘sold’ as an extra treat.
“..and we’re going in the play park at lunchtime, we’re going to go on the swings, and… have a picnic!” Works up to about secondary school age, then you say “Do you want me to spend the money on X (a thing they want), or go into a cafe? I can only spend that money once!”
In the past… I had a mortgage and have borrowed, mostly on zero interest if I could get it, if I needed to, but never ever for things I didn’t need. That’s things I need not want. I have a grown up family so my need now is not as great as it used to be. For you there may be less choice over work/free time than I have. I’ve been there honey, but eventually I got here by mindful spending, there will always be some choice, even one extra hour is worth having.
All companies need you to buy or they will go out of business, this is why advertising is so enticing. There are more psychological tricks to marketing than anything else, just keep looking for that hidden agenda.
The wolf is not your friend Red Riding Hood! You only need to feel good about buying the product long enough for the wolf to lead you down the primrose path, and he will get your friends, or people you aspire to be like to persuade you. Meanwhile he eats your cash (granny) that is his aim, NOT the benefit of pretty flowers for you. Once you’ve fallen into his purchase trap that’s it! You will wake up very soon feeling the same as you do now, and the wolf will be promising you some other new thing. Take care!
Do you know that we all snack far more than we used to due to the food ads on TV at night; you begin to believe you’re hungry!
Sometimes you are told you will ‘save money’ Will you? You’d save even more if you didn’t buy it, plus look out for the tags saying “Special Purchase”, they are just that, something the shop has bought in specially. Those words “special purchase” don’t indicate a reduced price, usually just a bulk buy. Shops cannot remain in business if they sell for less than they buy, they need a profit just to break even, they have overheads like wages.
The Other Side of The Coin.
For the nation’s GDP to grow, people need to buy more this year than last year. For example if our total GDP was 100 somethings, let’s say bikes, last year, a 1% growth next year would be 101 bikes produced and the following year 101.01 bikes. The number always must get bigger every year or we are in recession.
Personally I consider this a poor way to measure ‘wealth’, surely there has to be a point where we are flooded with bikes, so then new models are made and you will feel excluded if you don’t own the new model, or bikes are made so that they cannot be repaired and you have to buy a complete new bike.
Does this all sound familiar to you? No wonder we are in landfill lockdown!
So when you go to the January Sales here is my formula, you can use it all year. It’s A+Hx2+HR=D
- A =your age. If the purchase is something you have never owned before, this is the number of years you have happily lived without it until now. Why did you say you needed it? What will it add to your life? How will it transform you?
- Hx2 is the happiness quotient. 1)How happy will the product make you, and 2) how long will the happiness last? FACT things don’t make you happy, they can enhance your life, they can maybe free up your time or stop family arguments (a new car, a faster car, a dishwasher) But a thing in itself is just a thing not something to make you long term happy. Briefly happy, yes like alcohol, and like alcohol overindulgence brings a payment hangover which rapidly dissolves all happiness. Spending time with family, friends and doing what you want to do DOES generally bring happiness.
I saw a documentary about Brits on holiday abroad. One family said that mum and dad did not see each other all year. One worked days, the other nights to cover the childcare. What did they work so hard for? This one family all-inclusive holiday “To spend time with the family” Crazy! Why not cut the holiday, work less and spend more time together as a family all year around? If you’ve seen Rich House/Poor House on Channel 5 you will know that the one thing the rich people envy about the poor people is that precious family time, and how that time need not involve expensive activities. Maybe just a game of footy in the park.
- HR = your hourly rate at work. Divide that into the cost and that is the number of hours you will need to work to pay for this thing, or alternatively if you are getting a loan, even an interest free one, this is the number of hours you will be obligated, or enslaved, to your work to pay for the item, you must work those hours once you have borrowed. For me I have to consider my health. If I buy a new car no matter how ill I become it’s off to work to pay for it. What was your reason for buying this thing? I hope it wasn’t improved quality of life.
- D= your decision. Is it worth it? Only you can answer this. Can I suggest, as I said earlier that you begin with small things as they tend to be less of a sacrifice
There is a downside to all this money saving though. If everyone bought nothing, then people, maybe you would be out of work and that does happen in a recession.
What is the answer? I don’t know! Communes? Less service based jobs? I told you I wasn’t judging; maybe my way is the wrong way. It all needs thinking about. But I’m not saying buy nothing, I’m saying if you want to have more free time spend mindfully, and think of the real cost that’s all.
Christmas Money & Tokens
Do you have to spend them straight away? How else could you use Christmas money? A token with 18 months to 2 years use by date can wait and be exchanged when you need to replace something, or really need something. Over a period of 2 years, that’s almost bound to happen. No rush, remember the pagan motto “Hasten Slowly”. You will be amazed at the times that the thing you really thought you needed to make your life complete will, 6 months after you failed to buy, you will find you still have a complete life.
Let’s look at your hourly rate again. Imagine you earn £10.00 per hour and Aunt Nelly gave you £10.00 for Christmas. If you put that in the general household pot, Aunt Nelly has just given you an hour to do what you want instead of working, or worse still spending the money on something you didn’t really want/need anyway, which is headed straight for landfill in the near future.
I would say that whilst it is possible to live so lightly that you never buy anything; it is highly unlikely and probably not even desirable since it could ultimately cause you to become unemployed, and anyway we all like new things.
If you seek to live more lightly on the planet, as well as all the usual recycle ideas, you could consider making a resolution to practise mindful spending, which in turn will give you more time to do what you want to do, rather than working hours to pay bills and loans when you would rather have the free time, and no doubt this will reduce landfill and general waste too.
Just an alternate way of looking at living lightly, this could give you some more free time to enjoy doing whatever it is that you like doing.
My final tip is: Start with a serious budget; I have absolutely everything on a monthly cost basis, including my monthly ‘mad money’. That is £10.00 to spend on whatever I want without feeling guilty, so no need to give up takeaways and lattes completely, just do it less to gain more free time to do that thing you always wanted to.
Finally a big thankyou to all those that know this is not for them. It helps me with my car boot bargains and charity shop clothes. Thanks, if I wait long enough I nearly always get what I want at a bargain price!