My view of work is pretty straight forward. It is an exchange of my time for money. I used to think it was the only work that mattered--which led to many years of angst as I struggle with meaning in my life. As with most people, we are not what we do and paid work isn't all that it's cut out to be mentally or emotionally.
Even though I attain a great amount of satisfaction from my career , I find that I do wish to try something different at times even though my profession may seem like an 'ultimate career'. It is difficult to do the same things day in and day out for decades and not suffer boredom and guilt for wanting something different. The time and money spent to attain my profession can be a hindrance because when it is difficult to strive for any more than what you have right now, I often feel trapped. I guess that's what they call the golden handcuffs.
Once I saw how I can use work to attain my goal of early retirement, I had a renewed sense of purpose. I want more time to myself. I want to pursue a liberal arts education again. I want a slower pace of life. I want to surround myself with beauty. I want to help people but for a smaller fraction of my day. I want to travel. I want to cook more. I want to breath deeply. I want more freedom.
With a preliminary list, I began to built what is to be my ideal life. More later.