Imagine all your basic needs are covered: housing, food, healthcare, and so on. You don’t need to work for a living anymore. What would you do with your time?

I know this might sound like a bit of a dreamy question, but it’s been on my mind lately, especially as I see so many people working tirelessly day and night. Perhaps it’s time for us to slow down and reflect on what truly matters. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • cobysev@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    This is actually my life right now. I retired from the US military at 38 years old and received a pension which I will collect monthly for the rest of my life. On top of that, they messed me up enough that I got the coveted 100% Permanent & Total disability rating from the VA. So I’m getting free medical and dental for life, plus a monthly paycheck from the VA that’s bigger than my pension. My wife also got the same VA deal (she was actually medically separated from the military), so we have double the VA benefits coming in.

    All this passive income means we don’t have to work for the rest of our lives. I just turned 40, and after spending the last couple years getting settled back into civilian life, I’m starting to invest my free time into hobbies and projects.

    My father just passed away a few months ago and I inherited his house (my childhood home) and its 6 acres of property. My dad didn’t take care of the house or land (he was a bit of a hoarder), so I’m working on fixing up the house and cleaning up the property. That takes up a lot of my free time during the summer.

    I wanted to get involved in my community, so I’m on the parks committee and communications committee for my local township, where I help to improve our local parks and trails, and ensure information about our local area and its events is disseminated to all our residents.

    I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately. I have a steam library of over 3,400 games and I’ve been picking through my library, trying to discover hidden gems that I’ve missed. My library is so huge because I’ve been a Humble Bundle subscriber for a long time now, so I get nearly a dozen games a month. I also play online co-op games with some old childhood friends of mine every week.

    My wife and I picked up Duolingo again recently and we’re trying to learn a foreign language. I’m juggling both Japanese and Norwegian right now. I learned some basics of Japanese when I was stationed there 2 decades ago and I really love the language, so I’m hoping to master it. Plus, I have living descendants of my ancestors who still live in Norway and I’d like to communicate in their language one day instead of forcing them to use English to communicate with me. I also took 4 years of French in high school, and I was stationed in Germany for a couple years, so I have both of those languages cued up to learn if/when I get bored of my first two.

    When I was 13, I discovered I was a prodigy at the piano. I taught myself how to play because I heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and really wanted to be able to play it myself. My wife is actually sore about it because her bachelor’s degree required that she take 4 years of piano lessons… and I’m still better than her at piano, without ever having a single lesson. Unfortunately, I haven’t touched a piano in nearly 2 decades, so all my skill has gone to waste. So I bought an electric piano recently and plan to re-learn how to play. In my childhood, I had to read sheet music and sort of figure things out myself, but in today’s world, there are all sorts of training and tutorial programs and videos online that I can use, so I imagine it’ll be super easy to get back into it.

    My wife and I watch a ton of movies and TV shows. If we’re ever tired and just don’t want to be productive for a day, we’ll just sit on the couch and binge shows or movies all day. When we’re extra lazy, we’ll order DoorDash so we don’t have to cook. We live in the countryside, about a 15 minute drive from the nearest town, so it’s easier to order DoorDash than head into town for food some days. We always tip extra for the drivers, because we know our home is out of the way for them.

    When I used to work, I always looked forward to the weekends. But now that I’m retired, I actually find myself hating the weekends and looking forward to weekdays. On the weekends, it’s always so busy in town. So many people running errands, eating out with their families, partaking in local events, crowding parks and trails, etc. But during the weekdays, everyone’s at work, so the town is quieter. Sometimes I like to go downtown and sit in a coffee shop or restaurant for a few hours and just idly browse my phone or read a book. Or go for a walk or bike in one of our parks and just enjoy the peaceful nature. Or browse some stores, knowing it’s just me and the shop owner. I’m not bumping into other customers, I can chat with store owners, etc. I’m starting to understand why old people like to chat up employees so much. It’s kind of nice when it’s not busy.

    As a 100% disabled vet, I get free passes to all national, state, and county parks, and there’s a public park with a beach just a couple miles from my home, so I go there in the summer to swim and try to build my strength back up. It’s especially nice on weekdays because there’s no one there. I can swim laps and not worry about bumping into people. And since it’s just down the road from my house, I can head over there anytime, all summer long.

    I have a few other hobbies and projects on the back burner. A buddy of mine wants to build furniture and I’ve always been interested in woodworking, so we’ve talked about maybe starting up a workshop in my garage. Plus, I was a pro at electrical engineering stuff in my high school years, so I’d be interested in learning more about that field. My house is in rough enough shape, my wife and I have been talking about just tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch, so we’re currently designing our dream home right now to see if that’s a feasible project. We have enough land that we’re interested in learning how to garden. Ideally, being able to live almost completely off our own produce. I’d also like to set up a giant solar panel array in our back field, so we don’t have to pay much (if anything) for electricity anymore.

    Plus a bunch of other little interests that I want to indulge in over time. In the meantime, I don’t have much of a schedule. I go to sleep whenever I’m tired and I get up whenever I naturally wake. I’m a night owl, so that means I’m usually up most of the night and then sleep until almost noon most days.

    I dunno what else… I guess I’m just living in the moment now, trying to focus on what makes me happy each day and not worry about trying to be productive or accomplished. I did all that when I was working, and now I can just focus on being comfortable. It’s a wonderful feeling, knowing that I have no commitments outside of my control. My wife wants to go back to work one day, but I think I’m done. I much prefer the ability to plan my own days on a whim and not get tied down with long-term commitments. Every day is an adventure that I get to choose.

    • HonoraryMancunian@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      Damn. Disability notwithstanding, your life sounds pretty fucking sweet (although sorry to hear about your dad’s passing)

    • /home/pineapplelover@lemm.ee
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      5 days ago

      Your long ass wall of text is why I fucking love this community. Thank you for that incredible read and I wish you and your life the best life together.

  • sajran@lemmy.ml
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    5 days ago

    Software development and computer stuff in general is my passion. I enjoy doing it as a hobby even after doing it at work. If I didn’t have to work for money, I would probably work on some open source software. In fact that’s kinda my dream / goal - achieve financial independence and work on open source as I please.

    • SendMePhotos@lemmy.world
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      5 days ago

      I’d love to say being productive, learning languages, helping the communities, doing good deeds, exploring the world, trying to fix the wrongs… But as of this moment, the above comment is the realistic answer.

    • Etterra@lemmy.world
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      5 days ago

      Minus the existential dread most of the time, plus a constant lack of any hope whatsoever but same. Oh and don’t forget my eight fucking medications daily, and a few more less often or as needed. And therapy of course. And having regular suicidal/death centric thoughts.

      So you have trouble falling asleep and waking up too? That part is fun too.

  • The Snark Urge@lemmy.world
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    5 days ago

    Go on long walks with a litter bag cleaning parks etc while listening to books and music. Get really in shape. Cook every meal for my family. Write fiction. Get involved in helping local political movements. Attend more protests.

      • kibiz0r@midwest.social
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        7 days ago

        I tried to be accurate instead of specific.

        If I didn’t have to work anymore, I’d have more time to explore potential things to work on, so whatever project I’d pick right now would probably not be my main focus after 3 months of settling into my new life.

        From where I am right now, I think it would be something to do with language-level features for distributed computing (but not that web3 nonsense). There’s a lot of potential to weaken the monopoly power of cloud providers by working on something like that, which is why it’s an under-explored area.

        But I’d need more people to work with, and some specific use cases to go after. So I would expect the effort to change a lot by the time I actually found the right group of people to work with.

    • grrgyle@slrpnk.net
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      7 days ago

      Hell yeah, I would not be helping puff up a doomed tech product for venture selloff if I was chasing actual utility.

  • Cowbee@lemmy.ml
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    6 days ago

    Reading, hiking, backpacking, cooking, brewing, fixing, loving, caring, dreaming, building, gaming, growing, learning, teaching.

  • makeasnek@lemmy.ml
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    5 days ago

    I would work full time on contributing code and development efforts to [email protected] , which is a software used by scientists to distribute massive computational workloads to the computers of volunteers for processing. All sorts of medical, physics, and math research gets done through it.

    • AdNecrias@lemmy.pt
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      5 days ago

      I do that when I don’t work but will Monday, or after the holidays. But when I actually had time as in, I’m not going to have to be back to work for a long time, I’d start picking up useful stuff. Turns out the sleep in and games/ depressive state comes from expecting to have to go back to the routine again. That’s why how you react to time out when you are still pressured to have to work eventually doesn’t give you a good answer to this question.

  • macabrett[they/them]@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    Create and contribute to open source projects.

    Write music.

    Make little video games.

    Write short stories.

    Learn a new language.

    Basically, a lot of stuff I already do as a hobby, but I would have more time/energy to devote

  • python@programming.dev
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    7 days ago

    Realistically? I’d play video games all day and die at 35. I kinda need work for the daily structure and the socialization.

    • LoreleiSankTheShip@lemmy.ml
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      7 days ago

      I think many people say stuff like that, and indeed they would for a few months, but after a while people would look for stuff to do, and they tend to turn towards volunteering. That fulfills both daily structure and socialization. Do you think that’s something you would eventually do in that case as well?

  • shortwavesurfer@monero.town
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    7 days ago

    I have disability income so I’m kind of in this situation already and what I spend my time doing is contributing bug reports to open source software and answering questions for people on how to get started with different things and just helping the communities in general.

  • phoenixz@lemmy.ca
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    5 days ago

    Spending time with my wife

    Working on open source projects

    Learning new skills, musical instruments

    Practicing karate

    Spending time with my wife