Humans are very bad at thinking about big numbers. Measurements of space, billions of dollars, periods of time that span generations.
While 30 is not a big number, that being the number of years until I can probably retire is not nice to think about. Can I do another 1,560 Monday morning meetings? Considering my current net worth is essentially zero, early retirement is going to take some kind of exceptional event; begging for mercy from the 15th Tory prime minister who backs AI and puts nothing in place to protect redundant workers, anxious that android-Putin actually launches nukes, stoic resignation at the need to build a bigger Thames barrier to fight sea level rises while still running coal plants, and all before I can afford a house and universal basic income is finally introduced.
Maybe by then I'll have realised my dream of working for the forestry commission, spending my day repairing fences and dry stone walls, until my back finally gives in.
I saw a thing earlier of people's dream 5 car garage. Everyone was picking Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Tesla which did not align with mine in the least. Here's mine:
- 2023 Audi RS4 Avant
- 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
- 2015 Land Rover Defender
- 1973 Singer Porsche 911
- 1988 BMW M3
Only Fools and Horses was exceptionally popular in my house when I was a kid. The run of episodes in the early 90s with (what should have been) the finale in 1996 was pretty perfect.
I have been watching some again recently, and the amount of jokes I didn't get in my early teens that now land is absurd.
The best episode, Stage Fright, involves a club singer who cannot pronounce 'R'. This detail isn't revealed until very late in the episode, long after the character is in a long scene and has already sung on screen ('if a song has an R in it change the lywics'). To write it in a way where he doesn't use any words that give the game away is a special kind of genius.
100% mortgages are back, provided there is proof of reliably paying rent. I would have thought that more than 20 years would be enough evidence, but even still the maximum amount that can be borrowed would mean moving somewhere cheaper.
Is 'at least I would own it' a good enough to live somewhere I wouldn't really choose? Living further north is fairly appealing, but I often think of going back to London. But even renting in London is prohibitively expensive. Searching for available properties within budget yielded a set of results that included a tiny plot of empty land and several garages.
A lot of design work has filled my work days recently, and it's so extremely difficult yet satisfying. Being able to take concepts and put them into a coherent map that illustrates exactly what the user is going to see and work with is amazing. Being able to justify decisions beyond what I think is correct is the aspect of the job that I think will keep me from making the switch.
I can take an existing concept and build on it. I can come up with a concept that feels right. But fresh ideas that are not derivative and need to be evidenced, proven, and sold? IS that a skill I could learn?
In Inception, Cobb uses a totem to determine if he's currently in a dream or in reality, as the dreams are so vivid it's impossible to keep track.
The last few weeks my dreams have been so deep and fucked up that I am wondering if I need one myself. There is often a feeling of being late, in trouble, or someone trying to find me. I've checked my phone for the departure time of a flight that doesn't exist, tried to navigate my own bedroom thinking it's an unfamiliar hotel room, and started cleaning.
Most recently, a recurring dream that combined the characteristics of two exes and how they chose to end our relationship. I quickly realise how much of an idiot I am, but the totem would have been spinning endlessly because in reality I didn't grasp it until it was too late.
Five rules for work (that may or may not be applicable to whatever it is you do):
- Never start a day blind. Spending just 5 minutes the evening before checking your calendar and outstanding tasks will mean you sit down the following morning primed for your day. This also helps to alleviate the dread I usually feel on a Sunday.
- Listen to other people, but not too much. If you have a good idea of what the right thing to do is, keep your aim. People's opinions can dilute this, and there is no one more irritating than the person who sidles up late on in a project and points out all the things they though you were too dumb to see. But, know when to admit that someone might be making a good point.
- Take a break. Complex work and a looming deadline? Work up to the hard part, get a feel for it, then stop. Take a walk, drink some water, and come back to it later.
- Know more than you show. If possible, have a little more work done than anyone is aware of. Some days are a little slower, and while good teams should understand this, having a little slack is helpful.
- If you hate your job, do it well. The potential for even a hint of pride is far better than that feeling of being in purgatory. Smash it all day, look for a better job that evening.