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  • Daniele Gennara

LIVE WITHOUT WORK (or vices and virtues of the non-productive man)

Actualizado: 15 de ene de 2019

8th of January 2018: this date is noted in my Special days calendar.

It was the day I returned to the office after the Christmas holidays, it was also the day I turned 33, but above all it was the day I resigned.

A year has passed since that day, and today I feel that the time has come to write a quick report on what this decision meant.

Not working, it is easy to imagine that there are no more Monday crises, nor the relief of Friday night; there is no more Saint Paganini's Day - the saint par excellence of all workers - nor the nervousness of when he is late.

All this is easily imaginable by everyone, but it is also what is most easily forgotten.

The thing you don't forget is the feeling of experiencing a second adolescence. Above all, a better adolescence: already aware of how precious free time is, already mature, already experienced.


"Youth is made to be wasted: perhaps also for this reason I had chosen the faculty of Letters", so begins the short story Il rothiano by Luca Ricci, and I agree with him, whatever the faculty and its outcome.

After 8 years of working life, returning to summer between high school and the first year of university has the taste of the most delicious Christmas panettone: an unexpected and surprising gift.

And like any teenager, I began wasting my time again, starting with reading a youthful classic that I had missed at the time: Herry Potter. Beautiful.

But hold on, it is not as simple as it seems: wasting time is not easy to assimilate for a brain accustomed for years to always perform at its maximum power.

When all of a sudden I had so much free time, I automatically tried not to waste it - that's so precious, I told myself - that is, I applied work efficiency to my free time.

In the end, I understood that the real pleasure is indifference, exactly that adolescent indifference towards one's own possibilities; and when I conquered it was a real breath of freedom.

Suddenly I didn't care anymore to do something, or not to do anything, to stand still and think, or not to think about anything; because I was sovereign in my decision and this was the only thing that mattered.


And my decisions, in this world of free time, have guided me towards the rediscovery of my hobbies to which I have finally been able to devote the time they deserved: to return to learn, to explore the possibilities, and above all not to have any expectation because, after all, they are and remain simple hobbies.

I personally started writing regularly again, I took the time to read books that I had bought but that only accumulated dust, I was interested in literature, cinema, and psychology.

It doesn't matter if my ideas about these disciplines are clumsy and weak because they merely value for themselves.

Jean Paul Sartre wrote in Baudelaire "genius is like a childhood rediscovered with one's own talent"; so, even if I don't know where all this will take me, having Sartre on my side makes me feel better.

Another thing important to me was to face the change and get out of my routine: I had the chance to live in another country, in another house. But above all, to meet new people and to remain open to explore through them any new theme to which I have never spent too many thoughts: here came the political discussions, the exploration of education and of nutrition. Not to mention the focus on more conscious and regular physical activity, where flexibility and posture are more important than repetitions and physical appearance.

Every new thing carries surprises with it, and it is important to meet them openly.

In the end, I will never be as young as I am today, and I need my second youth to be as unexpected as my first.

They will also look alike because not working means not earning. My savings from my previous working life are allowing me the luxury of this new youth, and if I want it to last, financial compromises are an obligation. So I stopped buying anything that wasn't necessary, I also sold my car, and this helped me to get closer and closer to my idea of minimalism.

No experience enriches you without taking something away from you, you simply have to know what is most precious and what is free to let go.


To conclude the most important thing: if already a couple of years ago I thought about the dismissal and a period of pause, it is also true that I let myself be bought by an increase in salary. So I set aside the idea for a later moment, with the risk that this moment would never come.

Then I met Andrea, and things changed completely.

I left to be with her, to live with her and to know her as much as possible. I took advantage of this second youth to fall in love and make her fall in love, something that had not happened during the first one, and I am very happy to have the chance to be work-free and dedicate myself with 100% of my energy to the cause. It was an "All-in".

Until now I had the incredible fortune I hoped for, and every day I try to make the future the way it is today.

As she writes, in a moment when I moved away from the computer, "esa nueva juventud mental combinada con la madurez intelectual, resultaran totalmente irresistibles. Consiguen que no pueda dejar de pensar lo GENIAL que eres. Por atreverte a hacer lo que todo el mundo quiere y nadie se atreve. Por disfrutarlo. Por aprender de ello y por pensar sobre ello. Por querer compartirlo. Gracias por ser como eres y por compartir mis días felices".

And this is worth more than a thousand wages.