Below the Surface

Frog lies below the surface of water

When I started this blog, I often actively thought about quitting my job, although I continue to put off acting on that urge. However, occasionally — like now — the urge to quit subsides. Like the sun when it’s hidden behind clouds or a creature who lies below the surface of water, the desire to quit is still there, even if it’s not totally visible or I don’t feel its presence as strongly.

During times like these, quitting becomes a distant, almost academic thought. Instead, I focus on more immediate concerns, like finishing projects at work or home, or enjoying my weekend or vacation, or simply living life. It then becomes easy to fall into the routine of the workweek and for the days to pass by in a blink. In large part, that’s how I find myself being amazed that I’ve been practicing law for over ten years, even if it’s been a bit of a struggle at times to stay motivated or to resist the periodic urge to leave it all behind.

Even when work seems bearable for the foreseeable future though, given how much thought I’ve given to the topic over many years, I know that I don’t want to work at my current job forever. Being an in-house lawyer is a million times better than being at a law firm, but that’s still not enough for me. I know that I want (and need) to quit sooner than later, even if I haven’t reached financial independence yet and still need to figure out what I should do instead.

To get out of my current inertia, and to avoid living life by default, I plan to use this blog to make more intentional progress in my pursuit of otium. Part of that requires me to be more conscious in my daily life, to think about what I’m enjoying or not enjoying in my day, recognizing when I feel a sense of flow in something I’m doing, or noting what gave me a sense of satisfaction or well-being. It also means thinking more seriously about my next steps and actually taking action.

As Andy Dufresne says to Ellis “Red” Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” I only have myself to blame if I don’t take active steps towards Zihuatanejo.

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