Ironically i feel more in touch with the fashion scene now than i did working at that once-upon-a-time fashion company (now pivoted to try become the German Alibaba.com). Our offices are in a very trendy part of town and i walk past several blocks of boutiques to get there. It's weird looking in the windows at these places, because it is so very far from my personal lifestyle. I love to see all the fashionable youngsters window-shopping, but it is bizarre to realize that so many people who earn half what i do are spending more on a single outfit than i have on all my clothes in the last two years combined.
A few weeks ago i saw I, and it was nice when she said i looked more relaxed and happy. She came over to my place and we hung out a while, and i felt a bit embarrassed that i didn't even have a couch for her to sit on, but she didn't mind. She did say the place could use a "woman's touch", though. Heh. Well, yes, i still have no ornaments or pictures or books or pretty much anything in my apartment besides some rugs, chairs and my computer and sound system. But, well, fuck it. This minimal lifestyle, knowing i am not spending money on stuff that just sits around unused, knowing if i wanted to drop everything and leave tomorrow i could, it has been the savior of my mental health.
The one thing i don't want is to burn out again. My last two jobs i left a ball of stress and absolute misery. Mostly due to poor management, which is not a problem here because above me is only the CEO, but still. I am very aware that as chill as my current job is, i have a habit of pulling overtime and dwelling on work issues even when i get home. The longer i stay, the more invested i will be, and then i run that risk again. What has been pleasantly surprising, however, is seeing how many guys are working less than 40 hours. A lot of companies pay lip service to flexi-time, tele-commuting or part-time opportunities, but here i realize it really is an option. One guy works 36 hours and takes every second Friday off. I could easily afford to go down to 4 days a week and still pay my bills - and that's even given the paycut from my last position (i am now making around what i did 10 years ago). Another way my minimal lifestyle is paying off.
For now i will stick with the 40 hours and try to monitor my burnout based on whether i start to take "sick" days. I have a few little things to look forward to. In a few weeks i am going back to Poland again for that fabulous festival i attended last year. At the end of September the company is gathering in San Francisco for a meetup with the support guys and perhaps to see some customers. It'll be my first time back in Northern California in years. Then perhaps i will visit Andalucía again, i really loved that place, and it is much cheaper to visit on my own dime than North America. Though, i would love to catch up with R in Toronto again. Perhaps i can tack it on the end of the San Francisco trip (not that Cali to Ontario is a particularly cheap flight...) Eh, we will see.
I am getting old and boring. Sometimes i dance. Often i drink myself to sleep. Mostly i just lie in bed watching Netflix or playing computer games. That's okay, because finally it's on my own terms.