Today I sail to work. I live on the waterfront and my office is also on the waterfront, just a few miles from my home.
I can walk, bike, drive, sail, canoe or even swim to work. Today I decided to sail with the yellow water taxi, a service run by the municipality. It takes approximately 20 minutes to get to the office. That’s not a lot of time, but those 20 minutes – or 40 for a return trip – are some of the best minutes of my day.
They are minutes in relative solitude (in the morning I am usually the only passenger) during which I can reflect. Things look different from the water. It’s like stepping off life’s conveyor belt for a moment and become a spectator, watching the city wake-up, stretch, brush its teeth and get to action. Children rush to school, adults rush to work in their cars. I see the lights getting switched on inside the glass boxes that line the waterfront. With their expressionless, uninviting facades they stare at their own reflections. I can’t help to think of Narcissus who fell in love with his own image. It’s like they’re all saying: ‘Look how beautiful. You’ve got to love me! Come and work!’ But inside those boxes people get sick with deadline-stress.
Not far from my office is a bakery. And even though it is early, it is full of people. Breakfast and coffee to go. I see a man who takes a bite from a bread roll on his way out. He spills coffee on his tie and is visibly annoyed. It’s like the opening scene from a movie. Manhattan: Man with coffee and a newspaper spills coffee and calls a cab. Only the yellow cab is missing.
Everyone is in a hurry. God forbid we arrive too late.
It’s a great analogy for financial independence. This trip with the water taxi. We are all on our way to the same destination. We all have to leave our planet one day. But financial independence will allow me to sail a different route, to see and experience life from a different perspective.
Financial independence will allow me to step off life’s conveyor belt. And do things differently, my way.
Each time I take the water taxi I am more convinced that the journey to financial independence and early retirement is right for me. I no longer want my (business) agenda to dictate my life. And I am done with all the deadlines inside those glass boxes that make people sick. And the breakfast and coffee to go’s (yes, I order that too sometimes).
What I do want is every day to start slow. At my favorite coffee shop. And watch that opening scene – the man who spills coffee on his tie – over and over again.
How about you?
Are there any moments or events that make you think (even more) about financial independence?