Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Money vs. Time

"We live and we die by time, and we must not commit the sin of turning our back on time"
 - - Tom Hanks character Chuck Nolan in Castaway.

My sister Kelly constantly laughs at me and my random choices. Not so much that I choose to do what I do but that I constantly change my mind. It's a Pisces thing she tells me. You swim in the current and as soon a new current comes along you decide, "Hey, this new current would be fun!" and off you go. That last part I made up. Now I am not disputing her observations because it is true. However it is the random choices that have lead me to where I am now since I started this journey.  I am going to wax philosophical a bit. Not so much in defense of what I do but why I have come to terms with the fact that I do it, and I really like it.

It is all about my evolved and ever changing belief in Time vs. Money.

Semi-seriously though. Most of us unknowingly live by the limitations that are placed upon us by an ingrained series of factors. The societal expectations of what is normal is the most damaging. Get an education, get a job, buy a car, get married and have kids (oops), buy stuff, then keep buying more stuff. Work long hours, don't rock the boat, be normal (oops), get comfortable -you deserve it. Dream big and live for "someday" but do not actually "go for it". We subconsciously set limitations on ourselves every day. We worry about the past and stress about the future. That is how we roll.

Personally, I can hear the track announcer yell, "And down the stretch they come". Like it, don't like it, ignore it, deny it or turn your back on it, time is our mortal enemy. You are in a horse race and you are somewhere on that race track running one lap. I am at the top of the home stretch and I am fully aware that I need to have the final kick so that I can finish strong. When the race is over we will all get a big wreath of flowers to celebrate. (This horse racing reference was for you Ken Parker.)

So, what the heck am I talking about you ask? We are back to time vs. money. I want to travel and experience as much of this world as I can, while I can. Naturally I need money to do it. As an example I told my sister that I think I will stay here in Bangladesh until the spring of 2022. I used that time for a few reasons. The first being, aside from the madness of most things here, life and work are easy enough and nobody really messes with you. It can be stressful if you allow it and I have my bad days. It is not stress free but stress debilitating. Secondly, in the spring of 2022 I can start collecting my Canadian Pension (holy crap that looks ominous in writing) early. I will top that off by starting to draw from my personal RRSP pension. With 3 years of living and saving in Bangladesh, which is possible, plus a decent monthly draw I can hit the road on a massive 2 year journey.

HOWEVER, let's talk about time. In the two extra years I spend here in Dhaka, I could arrange to move on and work somewhere else. Ideally 6 month contracts would work for me but most schools want a year. As I get older I am getting smacked hard in the face with the reality of global ageism. Yes, I can find work in various places but it is becoming a larger challenge. So, why would I stay in one place "just because" when I can move on to another place? Ageism is causing a new fear, a limitation if you would. Now we are back to Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways by Dr. Susan Jeffers. The only motivational book I ever make reference to.  Maybe without the stability of staying put I will not save as much. Maybe I will not find a new job. Maybe, maybe, maybe..Feel the fear and do it Anyways.😛😎. I did not start this journey to save money. I am fulfilling a desire that has been deep-rooted in me as long as I can remember. There-in lies the conundrum (wow, big word). What is my personal balance between time and money?

Let's talk numbers. Life expectancy in Canada is 82.5 years. Realistically, how many people are active over the age of 70? I do not mean going to Florida and playing golf, hitting up a Princess Cruise or spending time at their cottage. All wonderful things, but not my wonderful things. Eventually I will stop doing what I am doing when I cannot physically do it any longer. So let's use 70 is the baseline for good health. That leaves less than 13 years for me to journey on. "Wow, 13 years is so long" you say but how many times have you said, "Hey, where did those 10 years go? - exactly. I have so much left to see and do. If I decided to take three of those years away to stay in Dhaka because it is easy, well, I am reverting back to the life that I lead before July 31, 2010. "I am turning my back on time."

Where does that leave me now? I have this new position at school which pays me a few extra dollars. Nothing to get excited about. I could stay here in Dhaka but it is certainly not an idyllic place to spend the next 3 years. If it were Thailand or Vietnam, sure. To just stay here, work at a school that is a nightmare and unorganized, in a city that is survivable but not enjoyable is really not a long term option. Therefore, I might have put a new plan into motion...as I do.

One of the biggest challenges as an older ESL teacher is that ageism exists and is very real. There is nothing you can do about it, it just is. You can whine about how unfair it is and how it would never happen in your country but that is not going to change anything. Reality bites. Or, you can be the optimist and realize this situation opens up possibilities to go to places you might never had considered before, such as Bangladesh. Rose colored glasses? Yup, maybe a little bit. Maybe we all need to wear them a little more often.

You chose how you want to live. Negatively with what you cannot control or positively with what you can. It is up to you. You may not get to exactly where you want to be but you can kick doors down on the limits you were placing on yourself even without  knowing you were doing it, and by doing so opening up all kinds of new possibilities. The rose colored glasses are starting to fit quite nicely, thank you very much.

Fu** you ageism. You give me a constant reminder of time which empowers me. That enables me to make the right choices to move forward. Fu** the obsession with money, embrace time. My next destination will surprise most of you.

News at 11:00

No comments: