• Lara Flanagan

Day 11 - 360 days

Updated: 6 days ago

Day 11 – Thursday 14th January 2021

Non-essential purchases: none

Weight: 66.4 kg– 4.4 kg lost in 11 days

Calories: under 1200 calories

Alcohol: none (day 11 of 11)

Exercise: 60-minute walk, 18-minute yoga 20-minute yoga.

The kids and I are going away in Tiney-Boppa, our 1969 vintage Viscount caravan next week and we cannot wait. I have been spending a few hours every day doing some extra work and the kids are busy with their OJT jobs so by the time Monday morning comes around we will be incredibly excited and ready for a break.

Being self-employed, I don’t get holiday pay, sick leave, or superannuation. I also don’t really get days off, as I could work 7 days a week. But what I do have is the flexibility to arrange my hours around my life, so I am there for me and the kids. In the case of next week, if I get all my scheduled work done, I can hopefully get away with checking in for about two hours a day and the rest of the time will be for having a wee holiday. Sounds like bliss.

I don’t want more money. I want more time.

A 360-days musing......

I was talking to an acquaintance recently who has a daughter who wants to be an acrobat. (Her daughter doesn’t really want to be an acrobat. I am simply trying to hide anyone’s identity when I am talking about something that could be considered to be negative. This story is just to relay a point, it is not about being negative.) Instead of allowing her daughter to pursue the art of being an acrobat, she advised her to go to university and become a lawyer or a teacher first, so she had a reliable income. I didn’t get it. Did she seriously think her daughter would want to come home and do acrobatics after she had had all the stuffing knocked out of her after a long and awful day in court?

In our modern western world, we seem to have an obsession with money. Another story; last year, I was sitting on a webinar and a life coach was advising people to set their financial goals before pursuing anything else. A few people wrote down $100k which I thought was an amazing goal! $100k would give everybody what they needed and then some. But the facilitator screamed out enthusiastically, “why are we aiming so low, don’t you want to be successful! Let’s aim for $500k and you could have everything you ever dreamed of. Let’s aim for one million and you could buy your mother a house.” It seemed to me that success was entirely dependant on how much you earn, which I think is where we get it all wrong.

Do people who earn more than $100k have more time, more happiness & more joy? No, they don't. There have been multiple studies done, (see as examples 2010 study by Princeton researchers Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, 2018 study by Purdue University), that maintain money does not equal happiness. An average income is linked to a basic level of happiness when essential needs such as shelter, food, and medical are met. But after that, your happiness does not rise because you earn more, some might suggest it decreases.

We tell our children to give up on their dreams to pursue jobs where they can earn more money. What does that extra money get you? It gets you more stuff. More cars, more clothes, more devices, more shoes, bigger cars, and more debt. Then you need more storage space or bigger houses or another level on your house, to store all that stuff. Then when you get a bigger space or another house, you will probably need new stuff to fill your space. Then your bigger house with a bigger mortgage will mean that you must work more hours so you can pay all your bills. So then when you have a big house filled with stuff you don’t need, and endless debt you struggle to service, and a wardrobe that is not big enough for all your clothes and shoes, then and only then will you be a success.

It doesn’t make sense to me.

I left my job in 2015 because I was embroiled in a political nightmare that had started way before my time. Even though I worked with the most beautiful people, they could not make up for the stress and the nastiness of others. I decided to go freelance as my kids and my health were my priority. It was just over 2 years since I had been diagnosed with MS and I did not want to end up incapacitated in a wheelchair, so I had to make some incredible lifestyle changes.

The first year was hard; I often struggled to make ends meet. However, since then I have spent 9 months travelling through the USA, Costa Rica, and Italy with the kids, returned to Italy two more times, and bought an old vintage caravan. I work big hours some weeks or some months, but I am location independent and by keeping our lifestyle simple, I can afford everything we need.

The kids and I live well. We have a rich and wonderful life and I have a head and a heart full of memories. Do we have a lot of stuff? No, we don’t. We also don’t exchange birthday or Christmas presents as I would rather travel. Do I earn a lot of money? No, I don’t. Far from it, but it is amazing how much further your money goes when you have a simple life.

You see I don’t want more money. I want more time. I choose to find that time by owning less, rather than working more.


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