It’s field school season and I’m getting the itch to participate in an excavation.
Though it’s been 12 years since my first excavation in Belize, the experience of learning about Aztec civilization first-hand stuck with me. Six days of (careful) digging and measuring and cataloging each week for a month. Culture and conservation collide with my desire to learn all the things.
Fast forward to 2018 and I’m a knowledge worker. Having amassed far more than my 10,000 hours, I’ve become quite good at the work I do. I enjoy it, too.
Pursuing financial independence/early retirement implies the need to peck away at a keyword daily until some trifecta of consistent investing, compounding interest, and luck unlock whatever’s behind door number two. Do I really need to remain a knowledge worker pursuing FIRE to get where I think I’ll end up going anyway?
Don’t get me wrong…I like being known as a marketer, but I’d also like to be known as an archeologist, vegetable gardener, singer, stand-up comedian, yogi, section hiker, trail runner, race car driver, cellist, and someone who sells ice cream and popsicles at the beach.
Arguably, I have tried my hand at archeology, but I wasn’t employed as such. I would like to start archeology slowly by way of field school experiences and perhaps take graduate courses at a snail’s pace to finish a master’s degree I kind of sort of started.
I love to sing, but I can’t carry a tune. I am deathly afraid of singing in front of anyone, especially a voice professional. Small problem.
I’d like to think I can make some people laugh with my dry wit. Or cry. Either way, I’d get some feedback on this bit about horses I’ve been working on.
I am the least consistent yogi you’ve ever met. I would like to practice daily.
Section hiking and trail running…also inconsistent at best.
Since I’ve never been in a race car, I think I should start with one of those NASCAR or Formula 1 experiences. I wanna go FAST!
School provided opportunities for playing instruments, but I didn’t value that opportunity at the time. I would like to take up cello lessons.
I want to sell icy treats on hot summer days to happy people on vacation. I don’t really think it’s possible to be unhappy when you’re eating ice cream, right?
I want to do a lot of things, things I haven’t had the chance to do yet or things I’ve been doing inconsistently.
I’ve been stuck for a long, long time not knowing what I should do next. Or maybe I’ve been stuck because I got swept up in this financial independence/early retirement movement thinking it was some kind of magic pill. I think I’ve finally come to terms with the pursuit of FIRE being a waste of precious time.
Today, I’ve taken steps to scratch some my own
itch itches instead of waiting for whatever I thought was supposed to happen next when we fixed our finances.
#1 Spend less time working on things I can outsource.
I work closely with someone who I have trained who can take on more of my work over time so that I get to the point that I can reallocate my time.
#2 Save for a field school focused on Aztec civilization.
Time has run out for field schools this summer, not that we had set aside $5,000 to travel to and participate in a field school.
I opened a new Ally savings account specifically for field school tuition to afford tuition and transportation for 2019.
(Lower-cost, non-credit options are available, but I’d rather add six credits to the nine I already have in archeology so that I’m ready for whatever I decide to do in the distant future.)
#3 Volunteer on a farm.
I reached out to Horn Farm Center, which is a local nonprofit focused on agricultural education. I don’t know the first thing about growing food successfully, so I’m just going to put my hand up and see how I can get involved and where that leads me.
#4 Sell ice cream and popsicles at the beach.
Are there laws against buying a cooler full of popsicles from ALDI and then reselling them on the beach? If not, I’m totally doing this at a beach in Delaware this summer to practice for the stand I plan to open at a beach somewhere in the distant future, just for funsies.
#5 Go for consistency.
Despite my mediocre effort, I’ve been unable to foster meaningful habits when it comes to healthy eating, exercise, and self-care.
I get on a kick. I’m good for months. Then, I quit. I eat lots of cookies.
So…Will Smith told me to get my butt in gear and develop some self-discipline.
When you get an itch, find a way to scratch it. That’s my motto for today, anyway.
Does it mean I’ll earn less money than I projected? Potentially.
Does it mean I’ll spend more money than I anticipated? Probably.
So that’s where I am today with this. I’m just going to get started doing some other stuff I enjoy doing.