I spent yesterday at the Springboard annual conference in this rather beautiful hotel just outside Bristol. As the next part of my Biodynamic farming course doesn’t start until Friday night in Exeter, I’m just hanging out here, staying with friends until then. And having given a mention to the beautiful (but at the same time, corporate and faceless) Hilton, I must recommend my friend’s AirBnB in Bristol. It’s a beautiful, friendly and very cool place to stay. Book here.
Last week I was in Cambridge on a spontaneous yoga retreat with a lovely friend. We stayed at this AirBnB and took a temporary membership at the Satyam yogastudio, both were wonderful. While we were there we met up with a friend of mine who had just the month previously, given up a job that she hated to work full-time on her art. Having already won some awards this is no whimsical idea of becoming an artist – she really is one already, and working full-time at something that she is clearly very good at would seem to be a very sensible step.
But she told us that since she finished her formal work she felt guilty every day. She feared that by not going to an office and working 9-5 (at least) she was a loser and she worried that her husband who is kind and supportive, might secretly think her a bit lazy. She felt anxious that in a few years’ time she would look back on the day she gave up that job as the day she ruined her life – precipitously descending into an alcoholic existence, wild-haired and dragging assorted possessions around in shopping bags. She asked me whether this feeling would pass – I swore solemnly that it would (although I could make no promises about the hair).
As I’m writing this blog from a park in Bristol with nothing to do for another 30 hours, I’d say that I’m pretty much there with getting free of the guilt feelings. I really hope that my friend gets there too, and starts to feel proud of what she is creating. The life I’m living now is one that I dreamed of for quite a long time. I know it’s unlikely to last forever, but I also know that I am free to choose my projects, where I deploy my skills and who I spend my time with.
Yesterday I interviewed someone for my book. She is a gardener and used the word rich to describe the happiness of her life. She is picky about the work she does, and only works for nice people. She has time to visit friends, grow flowers at her allotment, or go off on adventures in her camper van. She doesn’t hanker after any more money or possessions than she has – the true definition of riches.
One of the reasons that I write this blog, and that I’m working on the book is that I want people to see that there are different ways of doing things. You don’t have to be a millionaire, a hippy or an anti-capitalist (check out Mr Money Moustache – he’s all about his investments) to give up a job you hate, or even one that just isn’t that fulfilling. Do something you love – please! Spend a little less and live a little more – it’s a magical thing to do.