17 votes

What does your ideal life look like?

I'm curious. I know - or at least hear - that there are people who really do want fabulous wealth, several huge mansions, one or two yachts, et cetera, and that there are people who really do want to settle down with a single significant other in a large suburban house and raise 2 to 3 children. I don't understand either of these desires, and I'm sure there's a lot more variety out there, so:

What does your ideal life look like? If you know and can articulate it, why?

22 comments

  1. [2]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    I think this is the kind of question for which my answer changes every single day, but right now my answer is this: Preferably near Asheville, North Carolina, I'd want a modestly sized chalet...

    I think this is the kind of question for which my answer changes every single day, but right now my answer is this:

    Preferably near Asheville, North Carolina, I'd want a modestly sized chalet overlooking some mountains. It'd have a front porch and railing that you could just lean on in a cold morning, drink hot chocolate, and peer off into the mountains ahead. On the other side of the house, opposite to the mountain's edge, there'd be an expansive tract of land, ideally with a brook or creek somewhere on the property, but the rest of the space would just be open and ready to be used.

    I wouldn't use much of the land, just enough to have a small garden and a workshop, in addition to the house of course.

    I would share this place with someone special that I cared about.

    As for my labor, I'd like to design and program something, either a tool or something for entertainment, that people could use and enjoy. Ideally I would not sell it, I would just give it away, share it, and people would donate to me in return.

    It'd be a modest life, but I would have the freedom to toil and work at my leisure and take pride in the fact that I produced something that was, if not useful, at least entertaining.

    I'd have a garden to grow things and create life, access to some of the most beautiful geography on the planet where I could hike, hunt, fish, and take life. I'd have a workshop where I could build, break, and fix things. Smash my thumb under a hammer, and the only thing to receive my yelling and cursing would be the mountains.

    As for the house itself, I wouldn't want it to be too large, but I would like for it to have all the usual spaces. A bedroom, a bathroom, a dining room/kitchen, and a miscellaneous room, either as an office or for whatever my partner desired. The final thing I'd want would be a wood stove from which the entire house would be heated in the winter.


    During my time in North Carolina I had various friends who inhabited variations of this place, but none of them were everything that I'd want. Very few of them had more than one or two key features.

    This "imaginary" space though, it exists somewhere. Honestly, it doesn't have to be in North Carolina. At this rate, it doesn't have to even be in the United States. I just want to get there.


    As for why I'd want to inhabit a place like this, I think it really just comes down to peace.

    I have, over the past few years, become much more emphatic and tolerant of people, I think, but I am very much the kind of person who likes to jokingly say "I hate people".

    To an extent, I guess that's kind of true. I really do dread going into certain public places, like grocery stores or gas stations. I don't know, it's not like it's a big deal or anything, but I just prefer to deal with the public on my own time and not be, you know, surrounded by people. Living high up in the mountains is a great way to get away from all that. There are some amazingly secluded areas near where I used to live in North Carolina that I just absolutely love.

    As for what I'd want to do to sustain myself, my labor, I'd like to program some tool or develop a video game, something I could just create on my own, share with others, and live off the generosity of donations. It's a stretch, to be sure, but it's not like living off such an arrangement is impossible. The two game developers that I think I admire the most, Tarn and Zach Adams, not only survive on the generosity of others, they thrive.

    Of course, I'd consider other things as well, like being an author, artist, or even just working remotely would be perfectly tolerable, but the most ideal thing for me would be that I create something.

    I don't think I can sufficiently explain why I want to create something and have that thing sustain me. I think I just have a desire to feel like I contributed to the world in a good way. I made something, others enjoyed it, and it was hopefully pure and good.

    As for the other things, the workshop, the garden, and the wood stove:

    • I am a tinkerer and always will be. Having a space dedicated to tinkering, hacking, and craftsmanship would just be wonderful.

    • I've never had my own garden, but I view this as an extension of my desire to tinker. Except, instead of modifying, building, or breaking things, I'm growing them.

    • I'm a weirdo and I have always preferred imprecise methods of heating spaces. I'm much happier with a simple low/hot gas heater than I am with a precise thermostat. A friend in North Carolina had a wood stove for which I chopped plenty of wood. The stove is extremely effective, imprecise enough to be interesting, and chopping wood is fun.

    12 votes
    1. reese
      Link Parent
      I haven't visited Asheville yet, but I've stayed at other destinations along the Blue Ridge Mountains (in a chalet, one time). These mountains bring me a sense of peace unlike anywhere else I've...

      I haven't visited Asheville yet, but I've stayed at other destinations along the Blue Ridge Mountains (in a chalet, one time). These mountains bring me a sense of peace unlike anywhere else I've been. And living in a wood cabin nudged within is certainly affordable on a software developer's income—the challenge is that one's income follows irrespective of geography. I think this is an increasingly tractable problem in general, seeing as employers are increasingly distributed. GitLab, for example, is remote, if I understand correctly. Another alternative is traveling a lot as a consultant, but that would eliminate the point. Or, you know, make your own thing, which has my vote.

      There is a possibility I'll move to North Carolina within a matter of months. If that happens, I'll be a few hours out from Asheville, so then I will visit. If/when I visit, I'll let you know what I think.

      3 votes
  2. vivaria
    (edited )
    Link
    My ideal life: One where I'm so captivated and engaged that I never even think to ask whether the life I'm living is an ideal one. What this means practically: Lots of introspection! I like asking...

    My ideal life: One where I'm so captivated and engaged that I never even think to ask whether the life I'm living is an ideal one.

    What this means practically: Lots of introspection! I like asking questions about myself and learning about what my wants/needs/boundaries are. What makes me curious? More of that! What makes me cozy and comfortable? More of that! What stresses me out? Less of that! What can I do to give myself more resources (time/money/energy) to learn and explore? More of that!

    What I've learned so far:

    Long bullet point list incoming...
    • Understanding is so critical to me in personal relationships. I crave bonds where I understand the other person deeply, and they understand me. I want to get to know someone closely, to get their wants and needs on an intuitive level. I want to know what works for them in times of need. I want to understand the nuances of their tastes and interests. I just... know the distant feeling when this isn't there... when work or school or personal issues get in the way of getting to know someone... and I want to go further than that. I'd love to be part of a community where everyone spends enough time with each other that we all just grow familiar with each other in a deep kind of way.
    • I like rain, thunderstorms, and overcast weather.
    • I love combining sensory stimuli to create unique moods and memories. Interesting flavour combinations, interesting scents, interesting textures and physical sensations, interesting sounds and music. I live for little moments like catching a hint of a lovely perfume, or the smell of a bakery, or when an song hits you just right and it sparks a difficult, complicated emotion in you.
    • I value quiet and sound privacy and having personal space. I communicate in non-standard ways and have non-standard needs for in-person hangouts, so I'd love to find people who understand and can accommodate for that.
    • I like tangible representations of digital things. I feel such a joy holding a record in a record store, even though I've never been able to afford a collection. "Look! It's a big version of the little picture on my music player! The little picture I look at when I feel all the feelings I feel!" It's why "Album Art Gallery" view is so critical to how I browse music. Hard copies of online comics and books (so I can share them more easily) fit this too.
    • I love little dioramas and models and vivaria and water fountains and rock gardens and indoor plants. I want to fill my spaces with life.
    • I appreciate organization and minimalism. "Having exactly what you need, no more, no less." and "Everything should have a home." are very soothing mantras to me.
    • I like (personal, unique) traditions and schedules. In one of my past families, we used to have a weekly movie night where we would go to Blockbuster. I miss that kind of wholesome activity to routinely look forward to. Something on the horizon makes life a little more bearable.
    • I love penmanship and stationary and letter writing. One day, I'd love to learn how to write in a fancy, romantic style. (Both in prose and in the physical appearance of the letters!) I still keep the letters I received from an ex years ago because of how heartwarming they were.
    • I like exploring personal style and fashion. I'd love to one day dress in a way that reflects how I want to be perceived. I have some ideas, but I haven't had the time, money, or energy to explore them deeply.
    • I love passenger trains. I miss the UK dearly for that reason. I'd love to take some trips on them again, or just live somewhere where it's an integral part of commuting.
    • I adore the sound of a cello. If I could, I'd maybe like to learn how to play it (or another deeper stringed instrument) one day.
    • I like playing Magic: the Gathering, but I haven't had the time or space to get serious with it. It's a very on and off thing right now, but I might like to build a cube one day and host regular drafts with people I'm close with. Ditto with board game nights.
    • I want to continue to explore new media. I like things that dive deep into the niche and challenge my worldview and make me think about the world in interesting ways. I want to keep trying new things always, and hope to never stagnate by consuming surface-level, broadly-appealing media.
    • I like museums and libraries. Quiet sanctuaries for learning. (Documentaries and podcasts sort of fit this vibe, too?) Maybe one day I could travel to see interesting and famous ones all over the world with people I love.
    • I used to be (and I guess still am) really big on sex education and exploration. There's just so much more out there than most people are willing to settle for! But, I also have some hangups as a disabled person, and demisexuality is a relevant label, so I hope to one day again find someone I can feel at ease around. I miss having a healthy, comforting, and safe dynamic. It's been tougher these past few years than it used to be.
    • I don't really have a desire for kids. The traditional family narrative is hard for me to feel comfortable with considering how shaky things are in the world. I know firsthand how wrong raising a child can go, and that's just not a burden I trust myself to follow through on. I think I could still be a good influence in other people's lives, though. But, I think I'd be more comfortable in a mentoring/guidance role rather than raising a child from birth. I'd rather support people who are already in need than introduce new need into the world.
    • I don't really have a desire for typical "Big Purchases" (e.g. a house or a car). Most of what I've described can be accomplished with a small space and public transit.
    • I want a job that allows me the peace of mind to pursue the above. Fixed schedule, strong work-life balance, not too draining. My least favorite part of being a student who is still job-hunting is how much pressure there is to always be doing more. More studying, more projects, more job hunting prep. You can put in a 40-hour work week and still have an endless list of things to do. You can always be a more economically valuable human. I want to stop that. I want to move on with my life, and reclaim that mental space. I want to come home after work and be allowed to focus on what I want, and not what some external pressure imposes.
    • I like people who are playful and dorky and heartfelt and sweet and soft. I like people who can inject a little magic and wonder into life when it can be so cold and hard at times.
    • I wouldn't mind falling in love again. Those were good times, and I miss them.
    • I want a happy ending for my sister. I'm scared about what's going to happen when my mum dies. We don't have many people in our social sphere. My sister has a rare genetic disorder which severely impacted her mental and physical development, and she isn't capable of looking after herself in any capacity. Her physical condition worsens every year. She's receiving back surgery this year for her scoliosis and I hope it goes well. I don't know if I'm capable of being her caretaker. I'm so scared for her.
    6 votes
  3. asoftbird
    Link
    More free time and more space for creating things. Also not chronically fatigued, probably.

    More free time and more space for creating things. Also not chronically fatigued, probably.

    7 votes
  4. Whom
    Link
    Within the confines of reality, assuming I'm just a particularly lucky individual in the world as it is right now? I'm an English professor at a public university. Since we're talking about ideal...

    Within the confines of reality, assuming I'm just a particularly lucky individual in the world as it is right now?

    I'm an English professor at a public university. Since we're talking about ideal circumstances most of the reasons I'd want to leave the United States are irrelevant to me, so I'm probably fairly close to where I am right now, in a beautiful portion of the upper midwest. I live relatively far from the university, out away from all other people except the other residents of my communal living space, consisting of my partner and many of my friends. This living space is a place actively pointed toward creating creative community. A perfectly open art collective with people I trust, but still with the option to choose solitude.

    Complete fantasy?

    I live with that same partner and those same friends in a quiet church in a fantasy pre-industrial Scotland, living a life of study. We have easy access to the good things about modern life: my needed medication, a computer and internet connection, free access to books, the million advances in hygiene, etc. These things are tucked in a private room of ours, able to be accessed at will but preserving the rest of that environment. Let's just wipe out the barriers of prejudice and economics, so it's this idealized rural paradise. I spend most of my life studying arts of all kinds, and occasionally collaborate with the people around me on creative projects. But mostly we chill out, enjoy each other's company, and appreciate art till we die.

    I've gotten into my own head about all the ethical problems with having these things and not sharing them with the people around me, so I'm going to cut it off there lest I spend an hour trying to figure out a version of this where I'm not an asshole.

    Oh, also communism for both categories. I would say fully automated luxury gay space communism, but that kinda defeats the "pre-industrial" bit.

    6 votes
  5. cancycou
    Link
    To be honest, I'm quite happy with my life right now, but what I want right now is to have enough passive income to support my family. I also want enough not to worry about supporting my future...

    To be honest, I'm quite happy with my life right now, but what I want right now is to have enough passive income to support my family.

    I also want enough not to worry about supporting my future kids (planning on having one soon). Right now I worry at how much it's going to cost me in the near future, especially for their education. It's becoming really expensive nowadays.

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    mrbig
    Link
    Rich enough for money not to be a concern, poor enough for money not to be a concern. I'd most certainly drop everything I'm doing to dedicate myself completely to philosophy and logic. Going all...

    Rich enough for money not to be a concern, poor enough for money not to be a concern.

    I'd most certainly drop everything I'm doing to dedicate myself completely to philosophy and logic. Going all the way from undergraduate to PhD.

    I'd also have apartments all over the world, so I could spend a few months in each. Places like NYC, Chicago, London, São Paulo, Naples, Sidney and Barcelona.

    6 votes
    1. zara
      Link Parent
      I definitely relate to the first sentence. I'd want enough money to be relatively stable in terms of finances, but not too much that I'd be worrying about it all the time.

      I definitely relate to the first sentence. I'd want enough money to be relatively stable in terms of finances, but not too much that I'd be worrying about it all the time.

      3 votes
  7. cardigan
    Link
    I am living my ideal life, because I am living in pursuit of my ideals. That won't win me any points, so I'll elaborate. Forgive my freewheeling. There is a reason that ideals are something you...

    I am living my ideal life, because I am living in pursuit of my ideals. That won't win me any points, so I'll elaborate. Forgive my freewheeling.

    There is a reason that ideals are something you catch sight of rather than something you possess. Touching them would destroy your humanity; that's why all forms of spirituality are separated from everyday living by at least one degree. In discipline or cosmology, there's always one step beyond your current state. It's a necessary separation. Even Socrates never claimed to really grab it.

    Consciousness arises from desire. If you got everything you wanted, you would cease being conscious. There's a reason the story ends when people live "happily ever after," because there's no real living after that. There's just an atrophy, an afterlife. But please don't get me wrong, as I'm the opposite of a Buddhist. I have the highest esteem for consciousness, conscious life, and conscious living in the most general and everyday sense of those words.

    So what do I have? Money? No, the time of my next meal is often an open question. Secret knowledge? Again, no. Everyone who knows me can confirm that I'm a few flakes short of a bale. Am I in love? Absolutely not! God is more than love can ever be. Creativity? Not really. Yet I am happy because I do what I can do in service of my ideals. Making an enormous change in your life is unnecessary. All that you need to do is step a tenth of an inch in the right direction and the order of things will take care of the rest.

    Often, things are bad. Sometimes when you're swimming a wave will come and topple you over. But because I choose to do what's right, I'm anchored in love divine. Things rage on the surface, but in the depths of the ocean everything is still.

    Yet people want too much. The amount that they want can be correlated to their unhappiness; even more so if they try to do something great. It's a mistake to try anything. People try to do too many things. Instead, you should see that there's nothing you have to prove to yourself or others. I don't have to climb a mountain. I don't have to write an opera. That stuff's for the birds. I've never read Bukowski, but I know his grave says "don't try." That's good advice. A little green thing said something like that, too.

    The masculine, mechanistic mind is constantly trying to exert its will on the world. Let's drill the earth, let's build cars, let's go to outer space! Let's reach the Absolute! But why should it be that way? Whatever happened to inner space? And why do we want to go there when we don't have more than a clue of what's inside ourselves? Most of the scientific experiments worth doing are conducted from within. Among the Heraclitean fragments there is one that's just a single line: "I searched myself." Losing his book was a great tragedy for the world. Many people are too extensive; instead they should be inverted. Looking inward will teach you the right thing to do. Become a true psychic: study yourself!

    Do not think that I mean navel-gazing. I mean cogitating. You have to search yourself, but you shouldn't stay inside yourself. Hegel rightfully compared the interior life of the human being to a haunted house. No one wants to live in a haunted house, but walking through one gives you courage. Therefore you should buy a sleep mask and study your most frightening dreams, though keep the mark in mind. You have a duty to connect your own experiences to those of everything else on this planet, especially to those suffering: the mass throng of human beings that live hungry and the 90,000 cattle slaughtered for food each day. People often call merely pensive people "unrelatable." No matter what your disposition is, become relatable. Then go beyond relatable, utterly beyond relatable, until you truly feel the joys and sorrows of other creatures. Cultivate sensitivity to an extreme degree. Be passionate.

    Doing all this is to live correctly. The body suffers, withers, and dies, but the spirit is renewed with each passing day.

    I would like to close by quoting a poem.

    You’re only as young as your heart
    Though the years pass on and on
    If it’s new and you grow
    With each moment
    And the air and the vision
    You see out your eyes
    Change in a wonderful way
    Then the times are well spent
    And the gifts are all around
    And your eyes light up
    And the day is a new rendezvous
    Then you’re only as young as your heart
    Your steps are light as a feather
    You’re walking on clouds, you know
    You’ve gained and you’ve lost
    And you still come around
    With a gift and a word to the wise
    You’re only as young as your heart
    There’s times I know you feel lonely
    For the friends who’ve passed you on by
    But be free and you’ll see
    That it only comes to be
    Another way back to your heart
    And in that place you’ll find
    A happy way to exist
    Where this one and that one you meet
    Are a lot better off than before
    So be thankful for all that you’ve got
    And you’ll get much more than you had
    For there’s dreams, there’s schemes and things planned
    And they all have nothing in mind
    You’re only as young as your heart

    3 votes
  8. [2]
    3_3_2_LA
    Link
    I’m pretty much taking the path of a software engineer even though my heart is in making electronic music... In an ideal world, my parents wouldn’t mind me going into music full time (yessir, most...

    I’m pretty much taking the path of a software engineer even though my heart is in making electronic music...
    In an ideal world, my parents wouldn’t mind me going into music full time (yessir, most third world country parents don’t give you any leeway in terms of choosing a career).
    Every now and then, I listen to tracks that I love on expensive audio gear I’ve splurged secretly without my parents’ knowledge and sigh because I know that in another life I would’ve chose music any day over any any other field...

    5 votes
    1. 3_3_2_LA
      Link Parent
      My thoughts are a bit scattered so I apologise for that. TL;DR of above comment is, in an ideal world, I’d be in a field that I love!

      My thoughts are a bit scattered so I apologise for that. TL;DR of above comment is, in an ideal world, I’d be in a field that I love!

      4 votes
  9. moocow1452
    Link
    Timeless void in which everything I could possibly want is provided. Since that seems kind of unreasonable, I'd like to better be able to sublimate myself into whatever I wanted to work on without...

    Timeless void in which everything I could possibly want is provided. Since that seems kind of unreasonable, I'd like to better be able to sublimate myself into whatever I wanted to work on without having to manage my neuroses, putting a gun to my head, putting myself against a wall with a deadline, more of a ideal headspace then a living space.

    3 votes
  10. [3]
    jprich
    Link
    I'm going full on peaceful socialist star trek future here. WORK A four day 6 hour work week under a UBI system or a non-monetary system. Id love to do manual labor but my body doesn't like it any...

    I'm going full on peaceful socialist star trek future here.

    WORK
    A four day 6 hour work week under a UBI system or a non-monetary system.
    Id love to do manual labor but my body doesn't like it any more so I guess I could keep doing IT support.
    One volunteer day doing some type of community (re)building would probably get my manual labor fix in.

    HOME
    A well built (sound insulated) 1 bedroom with an office/den area apartment for me and the cats in a major city so I could take public transportation and have lots of diversity around me.

    RECREATION
    Digital recreation would include some light computer gaming along with finishing my book series.
    Outside would be hiking every other weekend, maybe even some camping here and there.

    Ahhh to dream.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Right on about the sound insulation! I feel like in the future, the crappy sound insulation most multi-unit dwellings currently have will be viewed with the same sort of disgust that we now view...

      Right on about the sound insulation! I feel like in the future, the crappy sound insulation most multi-unit dwellings currently have will be viewed with the same sort of disgust that we now view the original drinking fountains where people often put their mouth directly on the spigot.

      2 votes
      1. jprich
        Link Parent
        It's totally a profit over quality problem. Why take time and make something that will last when you can put up two cheaper versions in the same time frame for the same price. The upkeep on the...

        It's totally a profit over quality problem. Why take time and make something that will last when you can put up two cheaper versions in the same time frame for the same price. The upkeep on the two cheaper units will absolutely destroy your bottom line, but that's a problem for which ever sucker buys them from you.

        2 votes
  11. Arshan
    Link
    I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I don't have many specifics, but here are the few specifics that I do have: I would like to have between $500,000 to $20,000,000 USD in wealth. This...

    I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I don't have many specifics, but here are the few specifics that I do have:

    • I would like to have between $500,000 to $20,000,000 USD in wealth. This is the range of money that I know I can live off the interest from indefinately.

    • I need to either be self-employed or run my own business, which would have to be a worker cooperative. I feel myself slowly dying in the corporate environment.

    • I want to spend a significant period of time living a nomad life style. It is something I have dreamed about since I was kid, and I'd like to know one way or another if I enjoy it.

    3 votes
  12. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Definitely me, minus the children. I would live in some generic upper-middle class home (but without a lawn), probably in the US or UK to share the issues most of the people I presumably interact...

    there are people who really do want to settle down with a single significant other in a large suburban house and raise 2 to 3 children.

    Definitely me, minus the children.

    I would live in some generic upper-middle class home (but without a lawn), probably in the US or UK to share the issues most of the people I presumably interact with have with their nations and since that seems ideal to me (if most of the people I talk online to are English speakers living in the US or Europe, i would want to be one of them) ,with enough income to maintain it, myself and to buy hardware that only needs to be replaced every 5-10 years, support the youtubers and sites I enjoy (donate to Tildes, Wikipedia, many YouTube channels and game developers on patreon and even new social media competitors like WT.social since I firmly believe that if we want a Internet that prioritizes us we're gonna need to pay for it) and play all the games I enjoy like HoI4 and Eu4, Undertale, Deltarune, SMM 1&2 Detroit: become human, etc.

    I would have the free time to learn what I find important like economics, civics and geopolitics which seem like very important fields to learn if you want a good understanding of politics which to me is the most important field since politicians are the ones making the rules of the world and things I enjoy like software development, since making sites or games is definitely what I would want to do in my personal utopia.

    A girlfriend would be great, although I still have next to no idea what would 'my ideal GF' would be like other than 'vaguely introverted' and 'vaguely attractive' (this is the part where I inevitably need to clarify that I'm lonely, 14 and have next to no knowledge of love or relationships).

    If we're going to link this to reality, my job would be probably software developer at a small to medium-sized tech company, probably a company competing against a large social media platform like Twitter or YouTube (maybe Tildes in 5-10 years from now if this seriously takes off and doesn't face major issues) and I would probably live in a condominium somewhere around my city (São Paulo)

    3 votes
  13. papasquat
    Link
    Everyone's thinking about somewhat realistic goals, so I'll come a little out of left field. I want to live in a large automated capital-ship, millions of years further advanced than anything...

    Everyone's thinking about somewhat realistic goals, so I'll come a little out of left field.

    I want to live in a large automated capital-ship, millions of years further advanced than anything humanity has ever developed in low earth orbit with my wife and have a bunch of kids with her. I also want to have powers that enable the both of us and our kids to live as long as we wanted, and also imbued us with superhuman intelligence. Then I want to take over the world and rule it as a benevolent dictator. I would most likely have to make an example by blowing up an uninhabited island and destroying the incoming ICBMs that would try to destroy my ship in retaliation. Hopefully most of the larger and more rational nations would surrender after realizing how hopeless their situation would be in an all out war with me and I could get the whole thing over with minimal loss of life.

    I'd immediately set to work reversing the damage to the ecosystem, re-allocate resources to eliminate poverty and starvation, and heavily fund innovation to let us leave the earth, with the eventual goal of every human leaving permanent settlement of the planet for good, leaving it as a gigantic nature preserve and living museum that people are free to visit, but cannot stay. Everyone would eventually live in gigantic, utopic space stations orbiting the planet or in similar stations orbiting other celestial bodies.

    I'd put a stop to war and most forms of physical human suffering by directing humanity in singular purpose though my superior, superhuman intellect and foresight and crushing rebellions led by opportunistic would-be warlords. I'd build up our military just in case there's something more powerful than me out there, but they'd stay at the borders of our space, because I generally want people to be free from oppression in their day to day lives. I'd let small local councils govern the daily decision making processes of every day life, and only step in with my authority if they stray too far from the course, or I sense corruption. After 10,000 or so years, I imagine I would get bored of this, and I'd set up a resilient constitutional republic to rule in my place, using my superpowers to design the most efficient and corruption-resistant form of government ever created, but still with enough central control to direct the combined might to humanity towards combating individual, dire threats to existence if needed. Then my family and I would take to our capital ship and explore the great unknown together, acting as a forward diplomat for humanity, making friends among the alien races I encounter, but most likely eventually succumbing to the whims of some eldritch horror that I hope in my dying breath I've prepared humanity well enough for. If it turns out there's really nothing out there, after a thousand years of wandering, I'd dismantle our military and focus humanity on reducing as much suffering while maximizing self actualization and human pleasure as possible before firing myself into the sun while the untold trillions of humanity witness the spectacle.

    Basically I'd just be Leto II minus the gross worm-body.

    I realize that this is ridiculous and kind of stupid, but you did say "Ideal Life" and I'm not joking about any of this.

    3 votes
  14. reifyresonance
    Link
    Maybe a little circular, but a life that while living it I'm happy and content with and I don't have an ideal life other than the one I'm living? I feel this is achievable. If I had to guess what...

    Maybe a little circular, but a life that while living it I'm happy and content with and I don't have an ideal life other than the one I'm living?
    I feel this is achievable.

    If I had to guess what that might look like:
    I'd live near enough caring, supportive friends whose time I enjoy that I could say I'm part of a "community." Overall, we'd mostly be self-sustaining locally. I wouldn't be free of mental health or physical problems, but I'd accept them for what they are while still making progress where I can. I'd have one or two big projects I'm working on, some skilled trade that I'm able to contribute back to the community, and a hobby I enjoy. I'd go to sleep when I'm tired and wake up when I do. I'd cook somewhat often.

    Thinking about this has been helpful. I'm at a part of my life where I really need to figure out where I'm going. I dropped out of college after a year, worked the summer and until the end of the year, and now I've gotta figure out what's next. I'll try to make it something that helps me towards my goal!

    2 votes
  15. wervenyt
    Link
    I'd like to live in a small commune within an hour of a city, preferably in a temperate climate. The compound centered on a garden, with some uncultured land surrounding. Chickens or ducks, maybe...

    I'd like to live in a small commune within an hour of a city, preferably in a temperate climate. The compound centered on a garden, with some uncultured land surrounding. Chickens or ducks, maybe goats, as livestock. To be able to wake up, drink some tea or coffee, eat some eggs, and tend to the earth, the commons, or directly to those I love. Then to take the afternoon to read or write, and the evening for music, socializing, and some good whiskey or cannabis.

    Preparing a lot of meals, making things like vinegar and yogurt at home. Growing flowers and trees, maybe keep some bees. Build knives and tables, draw and photograph the beauty around me. Eat fruit and vegetables, the latter at least mostly homegrown. I only want everything.

    2 votes
  16. aphoenix
    Link
    Oof, got me. That's my life. I wouldn't change it too much, but if given the opportunity I would magically change the field that I work in. My original desire was to be a math professor. I assuage...

    there are people who really do want to settle down with a single significant other in a large suburban house and raise 2 to 3 children

    Oof, got me. That's my life. I wouldn't change it too much, but if given the opportunity I would magically change the field that I work in.

    My original desire was to be a math professor. I assuage my mathematical desires via Numberphile on YouTube, and by various puzzles, but I would have loved to have continued to work in set theory. This isn't something that I could reasonably work towards any longer; a career at this point in life is untenable. The main reason I would have worked towards this instead of being a developer are a bit complicated, but it mostly boils down to the fact that when people ask me what I'm proud of having accomplished now, I think about my kids, and not myself; it would be nice to have achieved something meaningful in a field that I care about so I could answer this question in a way that satisfies me.

    As for other ideals, there are a variety of things that I would like to have for an ideal life, and I work towards them constantly:

    • I would like to own a bigger house. Having 3 kids is wonderful, but it takes up space. I'd love to stay in the same neighbourhood and just live in one of the century homes near the park that we're close to; they all have smaller yards and more interior room, and are reasonably laid out for having guests and entertaining, which we would like to do more of. ETA: mid 2020
    • I would like to own an electric car. Buying gas is stupid, and Canada has an abundance of hydro electricity. I've reserved a Mach E. ETA: mid 2021
    • I am constantly trying to be healthier; in this case, I continue to lose weight. My goal weight is 115kg. ETA: mid 2021 at the rate my mass is adjusting.

    There are probably more things like this I could include in an ideal life, but those are the big ones. I've tried to explain why I want some of these things, but I haven't really addressed why the life I have is close to the one I want (ie - monogamous, 3 children, a house, etc). It mostly comes down to the fact that I was happy as a child and wanted to share that happiness with my own children. I also think that the "why" tends to be relatively unimportant, because humans tend to want what they want and then reason out why they want it later; this is the thing that my subconscious wants. It probably wants it because it reminds me of happy childhood, and also because of some deep seated evolutionary desire to spread my DNA. The reasons that I have mostly boil down to "I want it because it makes me happy and it makes me happy because I want it".

    1 vote
  17. gergir
    Link
    If anything goes, I'd only like to be about 2.5y back in the past and then stop time. If realistic: keep things as they are right now, on a "better the devil you know" basis.

    If anything goes, I'd only like to be about 2.5y back in the past and then stop time. If realistic: keep things as they are right now, on a "better the devil you know" basis.