I don’t know about you, but when I was significantly younger, a year felt like a very long time. Christmas was always so far away, the time to my next birthday always seemed to never pass and my parents always looked the same. They didn’t seem to get older.

Today, at the age of 38, I see things very differently. A year has only 52 weeks. And those 52 weeks seem to be passing by faster, year on year.

My day routine is pretty caught up with working in the hotel from 8:00 – 19:00 hrs, commuting, then spending time with my family from 19:30 – 21:30 hrs, exercising from 21:30 – 23:00 hrs and while I cool down after the workout, I usually write on my blog or for my side-gig, The Motley Fool. For most days I go to sleep after midnight at around 1:00 in the night.

Having such a tight schedule was something that I actually never wanted. When you go to school or even study, you really don’t realize how much personal free time you have just for yourself. You might hate to wake up early and to learn all about history, biology and politics for 6 hours a day, but when you get out from school the clock will tick at somewhere around 14:00 or 15:00 hrs. Even if you would go to sleep early at lets say 22:00 hrs, this still means that you got 7-8 hours a day just for yourself! Day-in, day-out. Oh, and of course you have the entire weekend on top of that. And those long summer holidays, which are much longer than any future vacation you will have in any contract.

In the past, time seemed to be abundant, because I was just so much less busy. So much less occupied. I didn’t realized at that time, that my parents were covering such a huge chunk of my responsibility, which would catch up to me as soon as I would try to make it on my own.

Paying rent, having healthcare, covering for any means of transportation and of course, all those small pleasures in life… all those need to be paid for. And as we grow into the system, we trade our time for money. Money, which we spend to ensure that we can worry a little less. Unfortunately, this is an on-going process and your sense of security by paying rent and paying of your health-insurance, it’s a subscription based model. If you miss a payment, this subscription will expire and your worries will be back on.

So I keep counting the weeks, I keep investing, saving. And I continue to count… until I reach the point that I can finally break out of this system. That I won’t need to trade of time for money, and that my worries about my family and myself will become a thing of the past.