This week I've been a little down. I think it's because of work, at least partly. Over the past few months I've concluded that I want a new job. I don't think the details are germane to this blog; basically I've given up hope that the professional principles I've come to consider important are supportable at my company.
I was a little surprised to conclude that work is making me unhappy. I have a plan, after all. I save money to buy freedom. I have a goal to one day live entirely off passive income, which will give me the freedom to pursue more fulfilling activities than full-time employment. I'm living the plan every day... mostly, but not completely. I think it's that differential, the niggling idea that I'm not quite on course, that's been getting to me.
You see, my consumption habits have been trending upward. This is a feeling I have: it has been a few months since I drilled down into my spending to get a quantitative sense of how I'm doing, so I'm not positive, but it is a real feeling. Come to think of it, this lack of situational awareness is probably another part of the problem. Joint expenses for my girlfriend and I last month were higher than usual by a few hundred dollars. We've been getting take-out more often, maybe once a week. I've been buying lunch maybe once a week or so. I've also bought a few things I don't need, like a Kindle book and an upgrade to our homebrewing setup. None of these is troubling on its own, but taken together and without a clear view of how our overall spending fits into our plan, it paints a darker picture.
I think that even with a bad work situation I could be happy if I felt I was on track. Sure, I've been applying to other jobs, but I haven't put forth a concerted effort or set a goal or timeline for sending out applications. Sure, I've been saving money, but it hasn't been as much as I could be saving and I've been distracted by consumerism. It feels good writing about it since this is the first time I've pulled my situation into a narrative for my own sake: I need to get back on the Mustachianism band wagon for my own happiness.
I don't want to be someone who takes his work with him into his home life. I don't want to depend on my job for life satisfaction. I don't want to need my job, either. I've strayed a bit from the right path, and that implies a greater dependence on my job than I'd prefer. I'm overdue getting back on the path toward Mustachianism.
Mustachianism, I think, is about valuing things like freedom and flexibility over things like consumerism and status symbols. It's about living up to those values and avoiding getting stuck in a rut of bad habits. I'm going to re-commit to my savings goals, not because I want money, but because I want freedom.