Here is a countdown of the 5 best decisions I’ve ever made, in my life.
#5 Buying a House, Not in Toronto
As if I could have bought in Toronto if I’d wanted to! Nope. But having control over my own tiny kingdom is a fantastic feeling. Like anyone with their first car, I got a huge jolt of feeling of freedom when Lia and I bought our little Honda Civic, but that feeling was nothing compared with moving into our own house. For us, being located outside of Toronto has also dramatically improved our lives from an emotional standpoint. Our overall stress is a fraction of what it was when we lived in that city, our cost of living is lower, and the pace of life in Peterborough makes much more sense to us.
#4 Becoming a Freelancer
People think I’m my own boss, and that’s far from true but I’m definitely not complaining. Instead of having one boss, I have a dozen. None of them know who the others are, so I can get fired by one and still keep the rest. This gives me a lot more liberty than if I only had one boss and if my entire paycheque depended on that single relationship. There is much less stress in knowing that I can lose several of my jobs and still get by. If one of my bosses drives my stress beyond a tolerable threshold, I end the relationship and focus on finding a lower-maintenance replacement.
For the first few years of my “self”-employment (it would be more accurate to call it “multi”-employment) I made just enough to pay rent, eat, and occasionally get drunk. Now I’m making enough to live in comfortable frugality, support a family, pay a mortgage, save a little, and travel occasionally. Some days my life follows more of a “retired” pattern, other weeks I’ve got no choice but to string together a sequence of actual, “real grown up” hard work days. On average, life with multiple bosses is fucking awesome.
#3 Signing Up for an Audible Membership
My audible membership sets me back $20/month, and obligates me to use the book credits I’m paying for, and actually follow through on listening to books. After 4 or 5 years, the total book count is into the hundreds – on subjects I absolutely would not have bothered with in printed format. Business, history, self-help, economics, science & technology, fiction, autobiography.. this is some excellent shit and it makes me feel like I have an unfair advantage in life. And even if that’s not true, it sure makes me feel good.
Want a book that will point out dozens of small, simple logical mistakes every single one of us commits? Sneaky little pre-wired errors which trip us up and seriously impair our ability to be truly happy or to make useful, effective, accurate decisions about important shit? This book made me feel like invisible retard-chains had been taken off my brain: You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself.
#2 Having Kids
It’s impossible to imagine how awesome kids are until you have your own. I was slow to come around on the idea of making babies and committing to the responsibility of raising a life. But the truth is Lia does most of the hard work and I help as much as I can, which is probably not very much. Isla is fucking amazing, and gets more amazing as time goes on. She’s the highlight of my day, every day, and when I’m not around her my life is fucking shitty by comparison. I look back on life before Isla was in it and wonder what the fuck I was doing with myself, because it was relatively meaningless.
#1 Marrying Lia
OK I was pretty hard on myself just there, life before Isla was still amazing because of Lia. Life without Lia was like life without tastebuds, eyeballs, ears, hands, or a penis. I was basically a meat sack with a hole to breath out of and another hole to shit out of. Plus I cried a lot. Lia is the most genuinely happy person I’ve ever met, and I’m lucky she came around on the idea of taking me back after I stupidly broke up with her and moved to Korea. I can be fairly happy when I’m single too, but there’s always the “I wish I had something deeper” feeling echoing around in your heart. “I wish I could have sex with whoever I want” occasionally echoes around in the penises and vaginae of happily married people, because we’re still just animals and probably wired for sexual promiscuity, but hey, that’s what porn is for.