Updated: Jul 22, 2022
One of the biggest challenges of FIRE is occupying “work time”. I’d posit that idleness is no longer a culturally acceptable state of being and filling the day with idleness will be looked on with derision.
I recently used a search engine to explore my hometown for “recreational opportunities”, hoping to figure out where likeminded FIREees convene. I was bombarded with facilities offering me action. These included both fitness and country clubs. Even recreation is largely considered a place for self-improvement, where the needle must be moved toward progress. So, working folks who’ve not yet achieved FIRE have “work” imposed on them both during and following the traditional workday. How are FIREees even to compete with that level of activity?
It's important to consider how much the concept of work has influenced most of our psyches. We were largely convinced from an early age that no good comes from idleness, that hustle leads to action leads to success. Our friends heard the same. Has it always been that way? Could it be otherwise? What if all this activity is the cause of all this suffering?
So much dialogue concludes that retirement is the acceptable place for rest (ignoring the innumerable physical challenges associated with traditional retirement age), ignoring the fact that early retirees also have time to fill. Suggesting that one will spend the next 40 years resting would provoke derision.
FIREees are stuck trying to find ways to productively occupy their time though this is often alone as the world moves by quickly, stuck in the process of action.