Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Seeming Life of Leisure

While I am very fortunate and lead a comfortable life, I am not a wealthy man. The areas in my life that seem to be lived on a scale of decadence are balanced by frugality, sacrifice and perhaps even short-sightedness when it comes to personal finance. One thing my wife and I have discovered is that when we both work full-time, our family suffers. Since she makes twice what I make, and likes what she does, she's now the main bread winner. The jobs for which I'm qualified to do other than make films, if I'm even qualified to do that professionally, have a very low net return after paying taxes and babysitters. Not to mention my total lack of connection to that work. I've tried over the years to earn a living in various aspects of the film industry. I really didn't enjoy it. I hate working on commercials and corpo schlock.
So when I'm trying to make films and be a daddy to three small children I feel compromised on both sides much of the time. Whereas now that I've concentrated my focus on home and fit in some cycling and skiing, things are in better balance. One to three hours of hiking or pilates is a complete activity on a daily basis. Getting up to the mountain for a day or two each week, especially when one of my children is with me, feels like a real treat.
With the film stuff, a few hours a few days and one or two full days a week mainly reminds me of how much there is to do rather than accomplishes much. I'm still plugging away, but I've lowered my expectations considerably. And I won't work on more than one project at a time. Nor will I do much of anything entirely on my own anymore.
As my kids grow older and more independent and I get back into my body, things may change, I don't know. But the dream of making it in Hollyweird no longer burns brightly. Nor do I want to scratch and claw through one no-budget project after another. Perhaps a happy medium will emerge in the future. Perhaps not. Either way, I'm going to enjoy my life. My happiness is no longer tethered to success as a filmmaker.

Signore Direttore

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