Tempus Fugit

By -

I’m accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I’m a dog who’s lost its bite
I don’t expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don’t expect to sleep through the night

The other day, I offhandedly mentioned a beef soup I had made for my family, and a Sloper mentioned how surprised he was that I manage to do as much as I do through the course of any given week. I was touched that he pointed this out, since it hadn’t really occurred to me, and I’ve been thinking about that remark.

When people at social gatherings ask me what I do, I have great trouble answering the question. There’s no nice, neat answer, like “Product Manager” or “CAD Engineer.” What do I do during the course of a week? Well, let’s see, I…..

  • Write articles for a blog that I’ve been running for over ten years now, and for which I’ve written well in excess of 10,000 articles;
  • Develop special features for the blog (like SocialTrade, the comments system, Slope Plus, etc.) and am the one-man customer support person for any emails and questions I get;
  • Manage a small bearishly-oriented hedge fund and attend to its various compliance and administrative requirements;
  • Do a daily show on Tastytrade which I try my best to make informative and interesting;
  • Continue to work on a start-up I’ve been at for about a year now, particularly managing the development of its products;
  • Do pretty much all the grocery shopping for the house;
  • Prepare a kick-ass dinner every night;
  • As necessary, take my beloved children to or from their (rather distant) schools;
  • Participate at school events and social gatherings (where the aforementioned question is posed);
  • Travel, often great distances by car or plane, to various fencing, gymnastics, and musical events for my children, sometimes on a nearly-constant basis
  • Deal with all the creatures on my homestead, including a trio of rambunctious dogs, a bunch of chickens, reptiles, fish, and God knows what else finds its way here.
  • Do a surprising amount of cleaning and tidying up the house, since I’m really hung-up and anal about neatness.

I’m sure I must be leaving a lot out, but you get the idea. You want to know the bizarre part? I find myself bored quite often, wondering what to do with myself!

So where does all this time come from? Well, I didn’t plan it like this, but there’s a lot of stuff in my life that would otherwise be a huge time sink which simply doesn’t exist. Off the top of my head:

Meetings – I don’t ever have to go to any meetings. Ever. Back when I worked at Apple, they had meetings constantly. They were a bore and a complete waste of time. Same with Investools. I’m done. No meetings. Not even phone calls.

Commute – My commute consists of ambling down to the first floor of my house. I can also be wearing anything that I want, so I don’t have to mess around with picking out a suit for the day and going nuts in traffic.

Sports – Careful observers may have divined that I’m not much of a sports fan. Every sport on the face on the planet could cease immediately, and I wouldn’t care one bit (well, I’d be interested, since I’d be curious to see what the countless masses would do to amuse themselves, but speaking for myself, I wouldn’t care). So I don’t spend any time on anything sports-related, except with respect to fencing and gymnastics for my children.

Television – Want to know how many hours I watch a year? About zero. Now, I watch movies (and, ummm, Bob Ross) constantly during the trading day, because I find great interest and comfort in those. But in terms of focusing on television to the exclusion of everything else, I don’t do it at all.

Hobbies – I have no life! Which allows me to have a very full life. I don’t play golf, go windsurfing, meet up for poker, or anything else. My entire life is with my family (or alone). Maybe that makes me one-dimensional. So be it.

Complementary Activities – This is probably the biggest one of all: my various activities tend to complement each other. For instance, (a) trading for my hedge fund (b) looking at charts (c) writing the blog and (d) doing the Tastytrade show are all pretty much the same activity. They feed off each other.

I didn’t eliminate these activities from my life because I took a course in time management. I simply focused on what I value. Things that I value (trading, family, security) get my attention, whereas things I do not value (meetings, mindless entertainment) do not.

I’m quite fortunate to have the life that I do, because I’m a completely unemployable brat. I can’t stand working for anyone, and for my entire life, I only like to do what I like to do. My stints at “real” jobs in my early 20s didn’t last, and by the time I was 26, I started Prophet and never looked back. God help me when the kids leave, because I’m not going to know what to do with myself. Maybe I’ll take up sitting on my rear and watching football.

No. Probably not.