It’s hard to remember a time when I was a kid and I wasn’t “doing something.” Whether it was playing sports, video games, going to camp, going to a friends house, or playing manhunt until dinner time with the neighborhood kids, I always felt busy. In fact, as children, that’s all by design.
We’re sent to school, have our schedules and go about our lives in a way that’s extremely structured and laid out for us. Our parents are responsible for doing this because A. they have lives too and have to pay the bills and B. sitting at home with your kids all day every day just isn’t a sustainable parenting model.
In essence, as a child, my life was laid out for me. In fact, all the way up through college, life was laid out for me. Even in college I felt “occupied” close to all the time. Life was busy with academics, socializing, sleep (yes, tons of sleep) and anything else that the college experience threw my way.
But once I graduated college and entered the real world and had to fend for myself, outside of my job, there didn’t feel like nearly as many “things to do” as there did when I was younger. In fact, it only got worse as a parent. Because as a parent your life revolves around your children so keeping busy for yourself feels close to, if not impossible. What’s more daunting is that as an adult, you have to figure it out for yourself. Life’s a hell of a lot easier when it’s laid out for you.
Why do I bring all of this up? Because many of us (including myself) have an extremely hard time keeping ourselves busy with interesting things to do. Not only is the thought process of trying to come up with these things exhausting, they don’t always work out. That’s where money comes in.
Paying to be busy is a great investment
Fast forward to today and I have a job where I’m pretty much done relatively early in the day (yes I know I’m lucky). However, once I’m finished I find that the rest of the day can get really really boring at times. I’m not a kid anymore so the idea of playing video games isn’t incredibly fun. Playing with my kids can only so far because they’re getting independent so they don’t need me as much. Which leaves me stuck to my own devices. And what does that mean? Sitting on my ass and watching television which gets old awfully fast.
And as I said before, even the act of trying to find things to do can get excruciatingly annoying. But let me give you a couple of examples of things I’m doing in the near future that take the burden off of all this.
Hiring someone to do it for me
Over the next six months to a year, I’ve actually decided to work with a PR firm. And the reason I’m doing this is because I think it’ll be exciting. It’s not because I’m incapable of reaching out to outlets and pitching myself, it’s because I hate doing that shit.
This firm will be able to potentially connect me to outlets that I haven’t really been able to connect with myself. Hopefully over the next six months to a year I’ll do some interviews. Maybe I’ll meet some new people. Maybe I’ll be a guest on someone’s podcast. Who knows?
The bottom line is that in time, hopefully I’ll fill out my day with some interesting things to do. I’ve decided that it’s a good use of my money regardless of whether or not I even make back said money.
For yourself, not just for work
In my case, hiring a PR firm and paying for it is very similar to paying for a gym membership. My hope is that like a gym membership, working with the PR firm will get my ass out there a bit more and the more I’m out there, the more interesting opportunities will come my way.
But in essence what this is really about is trying to fill your day with things to do that you feel are worthwhile. I mean that’s all life really is right? So paying for it is completely, 100%, OK. In fact, I think that’s a great use of my finances and your finances (if you choose to do that).
So remember folks, paying to be busy is okay. And if it doesn’t work out? Stop the activity and pay for something else.