Kevin Maguire is the envy of the anti-work movement
He lives in Spain and works three days a week, need I say more?
I’ve been something of a mess lately.
The job I have loved for so long has steadily become more stressful and demanding, my time steadily dwindling — this has been a slow seeping thing. After the beautiful slumber of 2020, a steady current of urgency rifled through 2021 until, by the end of it, I found myself completely and thoroughly depleted.
Standing in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle in January I found myself struck by anxiety, plagued by overwork, contorting my mind into infuriating states of agony about my health, the number of emails in my inbox, the fires still to put out, and the creative projects left on the table because of it.
I am not the sort of person to handle stress well — it sinks into my joints and makes them ache. It pours into my mind and turns to anxiety. It wants to while into depression if I let it get that far — but I don’t. Most of the time I am expert at maintaining my monkish peace.
Still, I have failed as of late. I had actually resolved to slow this newsletter down and focus on my day job and returning it to its former peaceful rhythm when I was accepted into the Substack fellowship program and resolved to not let this opportunity pass me by. It was wonderful, truly — if a rather hurried affair.
And within it, a beacon. One of my fellow fellowshippers is Kevin Maguire who writes The New Fatherhood. I’m not even a father and I read his newsletter for its simultaneous emotional strength and precarity. One one of our fellowship calls he mentioned not really having goals for the future of his newsletter, apart from helping other dads. He had a peaceful life, he said, living in Spain with his family, working 20 hours a week, and indulging in his newsletter as a creative pursuit on the side.
I was hooked, I wanted to reverse-engineer his life and make it mine, and thankfully he agreed to let me interview him about his shift from Google employee/Bay Area folk to remote creative in Spain — with all the balance and creativity and a bit less of the work. In short, goals. Here is our interview in full. (Made free for all subscribers!)