I’m going to admit it. I don’t want to spend my life programming. It’s fun and interesting, but it’s not what I would call ultimately worthwhile. What I really want to do is learn, teach, grow in love, and raise a family. I think these are supremely good things for a human being to be doing.
None of the things that I really want to do are good ways to bring in income. It may be possible to make a living as a teacher, but it has too many downsides for me to be enthusiastic. Firstly, teachers are grossly undervalued and underpaid. Don’t get me started. This is one of my hot buttons. Secondly, I’m spoiled by high tech income. It’s tough to take an 70% pay cut. Thirdly, I don’t want to start skewing what and to whom I teach based on where I can churn up cash. I think that would be injurious to the love and joy I’d like to teach with.
Even though learning, teaching, and loving aren’t great ways to bring in money, that’s the way I want to spend my time. I’m a bit of an idealist that way. I don’t want to devote too much time to financing the whole affair. The blessing is that I have pretty simple tastes and a modest budget. I want to live in my community in Jerusalem, keep the kitchen stocked, and go out once in a while. I’d be perfectly happy with about $30k a year.
So what I’m left with is this puzzle: What’s the best way for a person like me – with solid skills in programming, design, analysis, and business – to make a modest income while spending only 4 hours a day on the job?
I think it’s all sorts of possible, and the idea of giving it a run is in itself exciting. It may not be the big hairy audacious goal that star-struck startupists are driven by, but it’s audacious in a different sense. I feel like I’ll be prototyping a sane and sustainable approach to a balanced, enjoyable, and fulfilling life. That’s pretty worthwhile – no?