in reply to (OT): Human Multi-tasking

I have a few thoughts on this. 5-7 years ago, the telecommuting idea looked like a good way to realize this. Today, I think an employer is more likely to hire cheap overseas telecommuting labor over someone who wants to live out his dream in a country farm house. At least here in the U.S. That's just the economics of the thing. Of all the telecommuters I know, only a few are left. Some kind of got stranded by moving too far out. If the company you telecommute for goes under or cuts your job you may be hard pressed to find something if you've moved too far out.

A few of my relatives have kind of "dropped out" to varying degrees. One moved to a remote area and has a farm in addition to a regular job. Another one grows a lot of his own food, built his own house, and doesn't have a regular full time job. Some of them tire of this though. Getting up at 5am to feed the chickens may seem glamourous at first, but that glamour can wear off after a while. Or having the car break down and having to make do and take the time to fix it yourself when it's 10 degrees out might make a bigger paycheck look better than it did when you traded it in for the dream.

My first house was old and somewhat remote, and therefore cheap. But after 10 years of commuting an hour or so each way it got pretty old. I did manage to telecommute 2-3 days a week part of that time. But I eventually moved closer to things and it's been so much better. One thing you have to consider is that if it's more time you're after, you may end up just trading time, doing other things out of necessity (such as commuting or growing food) that take as much or even more time out of your day.

My new goal would be to cash in enough stock at my current job to pay off my house and not have to worry so much about how much I make. The writing's on the wall anyway. I'm in my forties and it seems likely I'll be traded in for a cheaper model, particularly since the overseas moves have started at my current job in a small way. Being able to move closer was actually that sort of dream realized in a much smaller way: I was at a job a short time that paid me both in stock and in cash as incentive for staying through a sale. That lump sum, while relatively small, made a huge difference in what we could shop for in terms of a new house. So one advantage I see of having a regular job is getting the opportunity to cash in like this, at least in small ways. But I would say that there's always that appeal of doing something that's all my own. I think that would be even more appealing if it were something the whole family could get involved in. But my caution there is also experience. I had another relative start two businesses and get out of each one due to all the hours and the small amount of payback.