A few year ago, I wasn't too concerned about working 8 hours a day at a job I enjoyed most of the time. It seemed like a decent way to spend the day and I didn't think much about it. But some things changed. One of the most significant things was actually the death of one of my dogs.
He had a long good life of 11 years, but I started thinking about how much of his life was spent locked in our bedroom and just waiting for us to come home. If I wouldn't have been at work he could have had thousands of more walks or laid in grass all afternoon in the hot sun every nice summer day. Sure we went home at lunch time, but that wasn't enough. I know dogs sleep most of the day anyway, but the time he was awake could have been more fun for him.
I have actually felt a lot of grief about this. It is a privilege to raise a dog and it is our responsibility to give them the best life we can. This does not include kenneling or locking them in a room for 1/3 of their life.
Another change in life that has pushed me to strive for FI is the thought of missing out on my kid's baseball games. For some reason this really bothers me. It is amazing watching your kid grow from a baby to a little human that plays with his friends. Within a handful of years he has gone from walking to being able to hit a pitch with a baseball bat and play ice hockey. This is the shit that matters. What could be better than sitting outside on a hot summer Tuesday afternoon watching your kids play ball? It sure beats the hell out of being inside stuck inside where the temperate never fluctuates above or below 70 degrees.
People sacrifice so much of their lives for their job. A job that buys them things that don't make them happy in the first place. There are thousands of reasons to FI, but for me it is all about time. I don't care about the money. I care about the time that the money can give me. Time that I can spend at my kids' games, learning new skills, working on side gigs or learning new hobbies.