I Love…

This post was inspired by this amazing article What Are You Going to Do When You Retire?” written by one of my favourite PF bloggers. I took a few minutes out of my busy day to dream…

Back in August last year I wrote a post “Are You Living the Life of Your Dreams?” where I confessed that my life at the time was quite far from the life I would want to lead. At that time, I was deep in debt. Fast forward 8 months, I am still in debt but my debt load is not as excruciating as it once was. The weight of debt is slowly lifting off my shoulders. I have still got a good few months ahead of me before I can finally shout from the rooftops say I am debt free but one thing for sure, – I feel so much stronger and so much closer to my dream.

I started working when I was 20 years old.

I spent the first four years of my career working in aviation. I was employed by a major airline and spent most of my days at my desk in a busy airport office and sometimes travelling around Europe. It was a full time job, but I was working shifts and it never felt like a chore.

I was then offered a fantastic opportunity to relocate to the UK and work for a major wealth management company and use my travel knowledge. Again, I was in full time employment but it was not a 9-5 job. I had a great shift pattern which varied and which I loved.

Fast forward another four years, and you can find me working in an office in the City of London for a global corporate travel company. This is my first real  9-5 job and I have been doing it for just under 3 years. Every Monday I go to work and start my countdown until the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, my job is great! I can honestly say that I am an expert (or at least I’d like to think I am) at what I do. I earned my senior title by working hard and working with a passion. Of course, there is always room for improvement and I am always looking to learn new things and implement my new skills and knowledge. I get fantastic benefits, I work with great people and I get paid a good salary.

You would think my life was perfect. And it would have indeed been so, had I not hated a 9-5 routine that much! It drains me. It exhausts me. It makes me feel that I am just like every other person (nothing wrong with this apart from the fact that we all like to think we are special, am I right?).

I get up at 7am, it takes me over an hour to get ready for work. I do my hair and make up and always wear something nice for the day ahead. I then spend around 45 minutes on a commute to work. It’s a busy commute on a busy train. By 9:30am I am at my desk. Every day, expect Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I leave my office for lunch, sometimes I work through lunch. Sometimes I leave the office on time, sometimes I stay behind to finish a project. I get home by 7pm if I am lucky. Most days, I don’t. I attend a lot of work functions and socialize with many people in the industry while sipping champagne and enjoying breathtaking views over London skyline before getting on a train back home and doing it all over again the next day.

I am not complaining. This is the life I have created for myself. I consider myself lucky to be living and working in one of most awesome cities in the world. Sometimes I forget how gorgeous this city is and all it takes is a look around to remind me just how fortunate I am.

Then there are days when I feel trapped. Is this the life of my dreams? Working a 9-5 job? Commuting on a busy train just like everybody else? Spending 8-10 hours of my day chained to a desk? Is that it?

I have decided that the first thing I am going to do when my debt is paid off is save money to travel. For at least six months. I need a break. I have been working a full time job non-stop for 10 years. I am tired. Believe it or not. I know there are people working 2 jobs while raising kids and getting a second degree, and I think it’s great! It’s just not for me. I get burnt out by working one full time job and I am not ashamed to admit it.

We all need a break. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

For the most part, I’d say I enjoy my life, but I know there are so many things I’d rather be doing. I wish I had more spare time to do all the things I love.

I love spending time with my family and friends; I love travelling and exploring the world; I love long walks along the river; I love jogging; I love dancing; I love cooking and baking; I love to sleep; I love planning and throwing parties; I love lazing on the sofa and looking at the sky; I love to dream; I love the sea; I love the sand; I love good food; I love taking my time to do things; I love learning Spanish; in fact, I love to learn full stop; I love reading; I love writing; I love teaching English; I love helping people; I love a good film and a good laugh; I love an occasional glass of champagne; I love the sound of the ocean; I love decorating; I love planning a trip; I love street art; I love music…. I love.

For all the things I love, I owe it to myself to get out of debt and start living my dream.

You do too. Life is too short. Make it count.

image: my own. Taormina, Sicily.

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  1. Great post, I know how you feel. Being redundant at the beginning of this year was in some ways a blessing for me. I had nearly 4 months away from the 9-5 thing and it was just what I needed. Now, like you, I get up at 7 and come home at 7. I miss the time I had off, but at the same time, I am enjoying my work again unlike pre redundancy. It is cliched, but the break really did recharge my batteries.

    My plan after debt is definitely a holiday but probably just for 2-3 weeks. However, it will be somewhere far flung and someone I really want to go.

  2. I love, I love, I love… I enjoyed reading that. I used to work weekends and it left me feeling trapped and like I didn’t have a social life. All of my friends worked in the week so I always missed events and birthdays. I made I my mission to find a weekday job. Now I’m working Mon-Fri I still occasionally work over the weekend but that’s the price you pay when you become a school teacher.

    Travelling for 6 months sounds amazing and well deserved and if that’s what you want to do, you should just do it. It’s your life and you only have one. Make the most of it…

  3. I feel the same. I’ve been working for 10 years nlas well. I’ve managed to get in a senior management position where I earn about the right amount of money to be able live on my own in a nice one bedroom apartment in zone 2 (big thing in London!!). I’ve never worked 9-5, it’s been always more like 9-9 job. I will change job in a month and decided to take a full month off between the 2. I need a break too, want to go home for a week, and the rest of the month…well go forweekend trips and just do nothing (go to the gym, go to museums, rediscover London, etc). Might sound boring, but I feel I need it.

  4. What a great post, thanks for sharing.
    Like you, I was drained by the 9-5, and it made me feel trapped and unable to do the things that I love, the things that make me, me!
    After a very rocky patch, and after the sad deaths of two very good, (and young) friends, I decided to go freelance. I left my job. Just like that. I’d like to say that I never looked back, but sometimes I do. Especially if the diary looks a bit empty. But spiritually I am better off, and financially, no worse off, and actually, probably a bit better off.
    Good luck to you. We all only have one life. It is to be lived.
    Jacqui recently posted…You say potato…..I say….Can you get that cheaper?My Profile

  5. I think everyone feels this same way from time to time. I’m a freelancer and I feel stuck sometimes, like is this all there is? This is why I think daily balance is important, at least for me. If Im all work work work then I start to go crazy, but if I can find ways to sneak in those small joys you mentioned, I’m feel more content.

  6. I’ve been there Eva, chained to a desk at a job which was well paid with great benefits. I’m a lot happier now even though I earn less. I’m self employed, I can change my work schedule, I don’t commute anymore, I wear what I like. Life is too short, you’re so right.

    If you’re not happy, you have to make changes. A break is a great idea because you’ll be doing what you love best with travelling and you’ll get some really important breathing space to decide what you want to do. And if you decide you want to return to the corporate environment afterwards, you’ll be doing it because you want to and not because you’ve just fallen into a routine. 🙂
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…Have you got what it takes to pay off your debt?My Profile

  7. I’ve worked full time for 31 years with only 1 four month maternity break and one 3 month mental health break. My hours have been long and the job stressful probably only because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I’ve raised four kids (1+3 step-children) during this time. Now I am so ready to retire but need to keep going to get out of debt and save enough for retirement. I’m estimating I have about 8 more years to go.

    I say take that sabbatical. Just make sure you’re out of debt first and plan to live frugally. Enjoy!
    debt debs recently posted…My New Enlightenment Since Acknowledging our Debt CrisisMy Profile

  8. What a beautiful post, Eva – you seem to have a lot of passions, and that’s fantastic! It’s amazing the amount of debt you repaid within those 8 months, and I know you’re going to keep going to fulfill your loves even more. 🙂 I’m in such awe of your 6 month excursion once you’re out of debt – that’s going to be absolutely amazing, especially with your travel ideas!
    anna recently posted…My Biggest Money A-ha MomentMy Profile

  9. This is a wonderful example of a post that reminds us that personal finance is personal. You’ve worked hard, you’re paying off your debt and saving. If taking 6 months off and travelling is what you want to do, I say go for it! There’s plenty of time to worry about saving for a house (if that’s something you want) or retirement, enjoy your life, you only get one 🙂
    Morgaine recently posted…Weekly Spending: Apr 21-27My Profile

  10. Great article! I think we all have tough days when it’s hard to not spend on things we want or feel fed up at always thinking about how to save money (hopefully it’s not just me!). It’s really motivating to remember what debt is holding us back from and how it’s worth so much more than fancy dinners in restaurants or whatever else we could be spending money on.
    Nats recently posted…Beginnings of small spendingMy Profile

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