My Future Doesn't Exist
Managing our fulfliment, not our time, is the key to a better future.
DESSERT // BY ZACH IMHOLTE
I had more time, but I was less fulfilled. What was I missing?It's been a year and some change since the United States (US) closed its borders due to COVID-19. What a whirlwind. My wedding was planned for New York, not a week later. After frantically scrambling to find flights that would get me back in before the borders closed, I managed to catch a flight back to the US from South Africa for myself and one from Germany to the US for my fiancé. We landed in Chicago on March 13th at 4 PM, 8 hours before the borders closed. And, of course, the courthouse was closed, so we had to track down an officiant from Indiana on Google who could marry us. We got married (socially distant, of course) in the pouring rain in the middle of the parking lot of the science museum. Don’t tell me romance is dead. COVID slowed everything down. I realized I had been “homeless” for the past four years. And unlike my childhood, it was company-sponsored; I was being paid for it. My job had me in a different country every few months. So, naturally, I lived out of hotels for four years straight. In fact, in 2019, I spent 300 nights in Marriott hotels and 35 nights sleeping on overnight flights. I was so busy, and I optimized my life to save 20 minutes anywhere I could. I carried only a backpack and a small carry-on to avoid waiting for a suitcase at baggage claim. I carried my entire life around in my hands. To save time. To achieve more. COVID changed all that. Instead of moving to a new country every few months, I spent all of my time in the same place. All travel had stopped. I finally had leisure time, and yet I knew I was missing something. But what? What was I missing?
My wife, Catarina, and I holding our wedding licence. Chicago, IL.
Sixty years from now, the only person who will remember how many weekends I worked will be my spouse, not my boss.