I refer to it as the Farmers' Dilemma:

"I never go anywhere.

I never do anything.

I never have any fun.

I have to take care of the animals."

In my case, I have four cats and I am happier for it.

In an introverted sort of way.

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The resurgent cruise industry might fit the airline hybrid worker dynamic for study. I write this as one who is retired but living in hybrid worker space as a clergy coach and online teacher AND as one, who along with my wife, will be on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in early December. Now, here’s the real story: no one watches YouTube videos on how to fly on an airplane, HOWEVER, they’re is quite the rabbit hole filled with many, many YouTube channels on cruising. Cruising may just be worthy of a future Understandly.com poll!

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Read this recently, not sure of source…

A boat was docked in a tiny Calabrian fishing village.

A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and... asked how long it took to catch them.

"Not very long" they answered in unison.

"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"We chat in the piazza with friends, fish a little, play with our children, and enjoy time with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.

We have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?"

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Milan, London, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, play with your children, catch a few fish, enjoy time with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Italians.

And the moral of this story is:

Know where you're going in life, you may already be there! Many times in life, money is not everything.

“Live your life before life becomes lifeless”

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Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

— Ellen Goodman

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You are blessed! I did not live that kind of life until I retired. I have never been so happy. It does take a lot prioritising and there is still a learning curve to find what is most precious. I really hope more people can live like you do. It is a trend that should stay.

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I do have more flexibility since the pandemic, because we gave up our building. I was working hybrid for 11 years before that. I miss the socialization.

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Time > money, imho

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I have friends in Europe and their focus almost everywhere is either family, community, the pub, just about anything but work. In the US, work seems to be the first focus. 😳

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I laughed with today's newsletter end. "The National Park Service is warning people to stop licking toads in the wild, due to their gland-secreted psychedelic substance that can create a hallucinogenic experience" What better way to get people to lick them? Poor wild toads! Thank you, Bill, for my first laugh of the day.

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Natural selection occurs with or without advertising. 😊

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Nov 9, 2022·edited Nov 9, 2022

2/3 of the way through your story, I would have bet good money that the "punchline" was going to be about pushback from parents who can't get off work early and thus couldn't be there by 4pm. I would have lost that bet.

Since the theme revolved around increased workplace flexibility, it would be great to see a quick update about whether you got any gruff from the parents for the 4pm thing. If not, it further supports the premise that workplace flexibility is gaining traction.

As for me, I'm an older (mid 60s) small business owner (14 people + various employees' dogs.) I'm also old-school: Everyone - not just my employees, but literally everyone - should get to work on time or better yet, early and put in a full, productive day's work. I got that hard-headed outlook from growing up the stepson of an even more old-school construction worker and via my time in the military.

I've softened that stance significantly during the last few years ... partly due to seeing the flexibility needed by my own family members who work for me, and partly due to the craziness of Covid and its required stay-home quarantines. My new approach is better for my team while being self-serving for me and my company as we look to hire and retain the best possible people. And, I have to admit it feels good to hear my team members say they appreciate how "family flexible" we are.

We've enjoyed the most stable team with our lowest turnover ever since the start of Covid, and I have to point to our flexibility as the main reason.

Thanks for this article. It inspires me to take it up a notch and publicly proclaim ourselves a flexible workplace in our job postings.

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It would be interesting to note how many parents showed up at the earlier practice time (might show how many in your group is as flexible as you)

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Nov 9, 2022Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

ooh, let's talk about puppies! what works, what doesn't, what to definitely do and what to avoid. How many to have, what is the sweet spot on numbers, sizes, etc.

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For those of us who work/worked under the general umbrella of service provision (human services, therapeutic and medical services, educational services, etc) the pandemic hybrid work pivots were extremely challenging. The expectation of those service recipients was that the services would remain intact, yet many of the organizations did not have the technical infrastructure and/or personnel who had the technical knowledge to do their work remotely or provide necessary in person assistance. And “time flexibility” has always been tied into accommodating the schedules of those service recipients.

For the service provision entities (like the one I recently retired from) that are also tied to governmental oversight or regulation, changes are historically minute and incremental due to the layers of approval required. Yet many of us would welcome innovative changes within a system that advocates for our personal happiness at the same level that we try to advocate for those service recipients we work with.

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Something Covid life taught my partner and I is that life’s too short to slave away as a number. When we were laid off during the closure, we were the happiest and closest we have been in years! We gardened, cooked together, worked on projects around the house, and ultimately found the joy of life without slaving or stressing over money. We lived simply and really found that happiness comes from living life and ultimately, we work to live, not the other way around.

Post pandemic, we don’t exactly have hybrid flexibility with work (both career bartenders) but we are confident in only working 3-4 shifts a week (25-30hrs) and being able to take off for trips or vacations when we like. It’s a nice change of pace compared to working 40-50hrs a week pre-pandemic.

Our Long term goal is to simplify our living expenses and debt so that we can reduce even more. We both lost someone too young and very quickly during 2020, this experience really gave light to amount we spend our money on things and they mean nothing after we die. True happiness is in our experiences and memories!

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Great article

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The bright spot was Lars Bo Nielson’s photo of the man on his motorcycle; it looked as if he was traveling with all his worldly goods!

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Just going to share a link written by another Medium contributor who I’ve followed for years.


I hope you find it as enlightening as I did. It’s a slightly different take on Musk’s takeover.

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