The Last Days of Negotium
Posted On May 5, 2019
The title of this blog is inspired by an idea from the ancient Greeks and Romans two millenia ago. Namely, that the desired state of humanity is otium, a Latin word that refers to “leisure” time or, more precisely, being in control of one’s own time.
While the concept of otium comes from a bygone era, it remains very relevant today.
I plan to use this blog to examine making otium a reality in my life, including what it means to live a fulfilling life, the importance of having the freedom to meander and explore, and ensuring that I spend my time and energy by conscious choice, instead of as a product of living life by default.
There are already many great resources on the internet about the mechanics of saving, investing and pursuing financial independence, including from the Financially Independent, Retiring Early (FIRE) community. So, this blog is intended to be more of a personal narrative about my journey, to help organize and examine resources that are relevant to me and to explore more conceptual topics.
In the meantime, I continue to work at my white collar day job. It’s mostly tolerable, if not occasionally enjoyable. For now, I’m still willing to make the tradeoff of my time in exchange for what I get out of the job, financially, socially and otherwise (although on some days, motivation seems increasingly harder to come by).
The Greeks and Romans would call working for wages negotium (i.e., “not otium,” as the opposite of otium refers to “business” of any kind) and that’s what I’d like to get away from.
Although I don’t currently have any target date for leaving my job, or a specific net worth goal that I’m aiming for, I have a general sense that I’m closer to the end than the beginning of this chapter of my life. In other words, I hope that these are the last days of negotium (and the coming days of otium).