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dirkn: Who am I to presume that I should be able to just go sit on a beach or fish in a mountain stream just because I feel like it? What makes ME so special?

If you achieve FI, then by all means do what makes you happy. No one is suggesting that you should sponge off others and ignore your responsibilities. If it makes you feel any better, when you are on that beach or by that stream there is a good possibility that there will be trash around you that needs to be picked up. That sure is productive. One morning a week we take our 3 and 6 year old to the beach and bring a few large trash bags with us. Now we live on an island so we have plenty of beaches to do this on, and the ocean is pretty unforgiving with trash and keeps on puking the refuse back up on the beach day after day, so we don't get bored with this. Primarily we do it to get our boys to understand that they have a responsibility to this commmunity and to this earth, that even at 3 they can make a difference. It is very empowering. Plus we collect great treasures at the same time, (sea glass and shells,) to make gifts with.

As a child, I grew up with the message from my parents that you needed to produce something or you weren't really doing your duty to society.

I never said I wasn't going to be productive in retirement! There are so many things I can do for the benefit of society in retirement. One of which will be for both my husband and myself to have more time to spend with our children, who hopefully will still be quite young when we retire. Then there is teaching the illiterate to read, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, growing great organic fruits and vegetables for our kids to eat. Productivity is not defined by a pay check. I know way too many people who receive great pay checks week to week, yet are the most unproductive people on this earth.

Love yourself. Loving others comes easily after that.


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