A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Time to drop a deuce and get on with it! How's that?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Better!

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

My answer to yesterday’s philosophical qotd: I’m going to vote no because among all the items in a hypothetical ere value hierarchy, primacy appears to be given to low monetary usage (it’s basically the main consumption knob).

Today's philosophical question of the day, inspired by Qazwer: where should planning specifically for the reduced capacity part of old age be in the list of considerations when initiating an ER system?

This entry feels rambling and aimless. I suggest skipping it!

Starting with a candidate RMS (resource management system) with resources grouped broadly as realized resources, unrealized resources, and panic button resources; there’re some other types of resource to think about. One is social resources. It poses a dilemma to my planning gland. It can be a substantial resource, but I believe that it’s not enough of a systematic thing to be counted on from my starting point. I will group the category in the unrealized resources bucket as a nod to them having been considered, but I’ll treat it more like deux ex machina. I treat people with kindness and try to be helpful, but I find approaching that as accruing expectation of unspecified future payments distasteful.

Another resource is physical capacity. It’s already waning so it’s a matter of preserving it as long as possible. Since it underpins a number of unrealized resources and is similar to skill I’ll put it there.

Resource management is a significant consideration in my mind. But restating what I said prior, I consider it an overhead function. As top priorities I want good resource security and good resource availability at the lowest cost (cost being money but also lost time and hassle).

As it happens, resource availability and security shouldn’t be difficult to maintain. It’s worth noting that by resource security I’m thinking primarily in terms of sufficiency of resources to get me to the finish line, not fending off robbers and swindlers.

Resources are also there to be drawn on to advance my leisure pursuits. “Leisure” here isn’t restricted to lounging around and having fun, btw, even though some of that will happen. It’s just the word I use for time and freedom linked to ditching paid employment. Some will be productive, some will be enjoyable, some will be restorative, and I suspect much will be more than one of those.

As an aside, time is a resource as well but too metaphysical for this sort of exercise.

As far as I can see, most resource management really boils down to a decision-making trade space. My options seem to be just relying on intuition and gut feel or coming up with some sort of currency converter. A currency converter would answer questions like, “How many hours is a bugout plan with a 1% probability of being needed and, if needed, maybe has a 10% chance of being successful, worth giving up?” I think that’s a bit too nerdy even for me. Intuition and gut feel have served me well, and may be my approach in the end, but for this thought experiment I want to look at some of the plans I have in place from a resource perspective and see what conclusions I can draw.

Note to self, mostly. Always subject consideration of incurring a significant cost to the question, “Why?” Then, make sure the expense is gated by receipt of a convincing answer.

Per plan, fishing will be an appreciable part of my leisure. From a resource perspective:
1. Requires getting up and moving around, sometimes moderate exercise (pro)
2. Outdoors, good for the immune system (pro)
3. Hones an unrealized resource (pro)
4. Will result in occasional realized resources (pro)
5. Takes time (cost)
6. Requires some amount of ongoing material and travel consumption (cost)
7. I like to do it. A lot. (pro)

If it weren’t for item 7), which isn’t really a resource consideration, it’s a dubious activity short of a high probability of food scarcity. I can play around at the margins. Per plan I’ll have a superabundance of leaf and tree litter and I could farm nightcrawlers in the back yard to reduce consumption. The effort would also provide an excellent input to any gardening/horticulture I opt to do. Fishing from a kayak in the N. Illinois/S. Wisconsin rivers would increase the activity level and physical capacity bonuses, and for some upfront cost would be expected to reduce long-term consumption. Also provides opportunities for “quality time” with my dad, brother, and some of my cousins. So from a web of goals or even yields and flows viewpoint there are ways to mitigate the negative and accentuate the positive. Unfortunately, it’s all stuff occurring at the margin meaning an optimization at a local maximum.

But jettisoning fishing as a retirement activity threatens the C in CLL (contented leisure lifestyle).

It’s already apparent that starting from a bottom-up approach and imposing order is going to be complicated and I suspect “because I want to” is going to drive a lot. At minimum I’ll need to evaluate potential branches on 2 or probably more criteria. That’ll force me to adopt a visualization technique which will be awkward in this medium.

I guess another way to frame the whole situation is do I want to stay iDave and within the inherent constraints drive for a optimum iDave? Or do I want to throw iDave in the trash and build an, I dunno, iStephen that everyone here would approve of and be him for the rest of my days despite the chafing?

In the background I’m going to keep looking at some of the key facets of the existing plan in the resource domain, but I think next time I might focus more on the contentedness domain. Maybe that will give some insight to resource management insofar as understanding it’s limits.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Random thought of the day. The word "homeotelic" has appeared relatively frequently in the forums lately. "Common goal" (?). I take it as applied to actions/resources. The meaning in context is summarized as: two birds/one stone, which the way my obtuse brain works would be "multitelic" (doubt that's a word outside of neologistic jargon). Homeotelic would suggest two stones/one bird, or redundancy. What I've envisioned as an ideal would be an array of multitelic actions that if "sliced" in any dimension would reduce to a homeotelic structure. I absolutely do not think in those terms, btw, just typing that gave me a headache. I would tend to envision it as having a set of M goals/needs to be met by N actions/resources with the game being to minimize N (because fundamentally lazy, I suppose).

Thanks to a big "Duh!" moment recently I don't need to pull on the thread I'd been pulling on in the last two posts and can jump ahead. It's still interesting to me in a navel-gazing sense to develop a way visualize all the things that might be going on in a retired guy's life and how they work together as overlapping systems in a system of systems. But I think I'll take the sausage making offline. Likely I'll edit the most recent one down to nothing.

What I've laid out for myself as an infrastructure for ER lifestyle is not conducive to maximum efficiency. Emotional and spiritual/psychological considerations were given more significant priority. It was necessary to restore balance after letting math rule the roost for a long time. And in part the planing itself was an outlet for that side of me while I was deferring gratitude. Trying to draw some energy from the future by keeping the dream alive, I suppose. That probably sounds a tad melodramatic, but setting up the "mess" I have for myself wasn't done from lack of awareness or thoughtlessly. There's definitely a facet of selfishness to it though.

What it boils down to is there are four (was three) places I would like to be on an ongoing basis that are all 400+ miles apart from each other. One is a region on the map I've been drawn to for a long time. My Happy Place. The other three are where family live. It can be reduced further to a binary thing, I want to maximize my time in my Happy Place and minimize the cost of that in terms of access to family. Coincidentally the geography roughly forms a wheel with my growing up home town at the center. Reinforcing that is that it has the highest population density of family, the most urgent family considerations, and I've just plain wanted to return for an extended time for several decades. Having home base there does limit time in the Happy Place, but peak usage of the Happy Place is seasonal so there's plenty of room for compromise.

Back when I was engaged in formulating the plan/architecture and trying to do trade studies I spent a lot of time searching for a way to visualize all the considerations, but it was for naught. I just didn't have the bandwidth at the time. Revisiting the endeavor is likely to emerge as a Phase III cold winter day activity.

Where I'm going is that while the plan/architecture was conceived using principles common to at least the grade school levels of ere, it is not a very ere-ish plan. Where I fail at ere is that the carrot loses power. The incentive of rapid FI and withdrawal from the hamster wheel I'm totally on board with. I often wonder how I might have turned out if I'd encountered the ideas before I was 80% of the way to the goal with a strong tailwind.

Now that the carrot is in my pocket and I'm decelerating on the offramp priorities are shifting towards those that I outlined above as driving my geographic considerations. In building towards those I've made some anti-ere decisions. An example is owning two dwellings, with one of them (technically still pending) likely larger/nicer than is strictly necessary. And that's the kind of stuff I want to look at going forward. Is there any room for conditional ere? In other words, given some significant un-ere "in ink" aspects of life architecture, can there be any meaningful alignment with ere?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think that maybe it is kind of like asking whether Bill Gates can make positive contribution to climate change problem.

Anyways, I will be interested to see how you proceed because I think we share problem of integration with extended family. For instance, my new city-mouse spot is located approximately halfway between my Happy Place and my Home Town where my kids and my mother reside. This also coincidentally happens to be a good location if choice was long term on basis of climate change/resource depletion. My theory is that “integration of tribe” will initially increase my expenses, but in the medium to long run will reduce them. For instance, creating a compound with my sisters in our Happy Place may greatly reduce our joint elder care expenses “after all our men have died”, given current final size of 3rd generation and likely low birth rate in 4th generation.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:13 am
I think that maybe it is kind of like asking whether Bill Gates can make positive contribution to climate change problem.
...
When someone responds to something a wrote, I reread what I wrote again. I was off my game this morning, had a hard time understanding it and I half way knew what I was trying to say.

I think Gates could make an impact, though of uncertain significance. But his status of oligarch won't change and he himself almost certainly remain outside what he's planning for the rest of us.

A famous voice said (paraphrase), "If you want to be perfect, sell all you have and give it to the poor," and also "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." That parallels me with ere. Engineering the climate does not make my top five list of passions. I certainly don't want to be Rodney Dangerfield's character in Caddyshack, but much beyond contributing to patching up an ecosystem and keeping its more immediate threats at bay I'm afraid I'm not much use.

The cabin is my most egregious sin, followed by the caliber of house I'm looking at. I've talked ad nauseam about those things, but the next thing I was planning to do was look at those again and refresh/summarize the pros and cons. And that will force me to think about the impact of spending money. There are cheaper ways to spend time in the northwoods and live in my home town. I'm trying to scoop in some comforts and luxuries simply because I can.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Aaaargh, I think you took what I typed the wrong way because I didn’t connect the dots to the fact that I am currently reading Bill Gates book on the topic of climate change and I also noted that Jacob mentioned him as “live player.”

So, what I was suggesting was more along the lines that with larger resource bases come larger expenses, but also different strategies towards shared goal. Simplest example would be ability to purchase carbon credits, if that was in alignment with your take on climate change and how best to prevent it. This is analogous to how you and I have the shared goal of maintaining extended family ties, but you are approaching it with larger financial resource base. So, for instance, my sisters and I pitch in financially towards solution to “summers at our Happy Place”, but our father would pick up the whole bill himself.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:16 am
So, what I was suggesting was more along the lines that with larger resource bases come larger expenses, but also different strategies towards shared goal.
Okay, I don't think I was too far off base from what you meant. My goal of minimizing consumption/spending (which is a weak proxy for carbon footprint, if one wants to frame it that way) is subordinate to other goals like ongoing family connection and Happy Place. So it becomes constrained. I want to minimize spending so long as it doesn't impinge on the higher level personal goals being met in a way that pleases me.

If I hadn't accumulated a sum, the Happy Place would probably have fallen by the wayside in the planning. So it's that I already have money that corrupts my behavior, you could say. That's what the quotes were about. Extending the analogy the kingdom of Heaven would correspond to "working towards the greater good (carbon, whatever)." The rich man spoken to walked away troubled. Maybe he had a Happy Place and family logistics to overcome too. :D

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Gotcha. Part of what I was getting at is that there is more than one way of working towards the greater good. For instance, I could call it a day at somewhat more than carbon equity level of spending, but also volunteer to teach math to poor children in order to salve my conscience.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Oh, I agree. Unfortunately I aim to operate from inside out, sort of the put your own oxygen mask on first. The vision is to get myself in a good place and do what I can to spread it outward from there. I don't think I have it in me to jump straight to the widest scales and try to go top down the way a Gates might attempt. I suppose I'm stuck in a position where I can borrow some of the implementations ere leverages, but the aimpoint will always be something non-ere.

Switching subjects, I've ramped up some of the closing down of this household activities. Stuff is indeed a prison. I've got about 3.5 months until employment will run out. If I look at that number, it seems like I have plenty of time. But if I look at the rate at which it feels like time is passing, it feels like I've only got a third of the time I need. I also have only a fuzzy plan regarding what happens when the last stake here is pulled. Better than no plan but there are some decisions that need to be made which have bearing on nearer-term decisions like how much I disposition stuff.

My daughter who lives locally is back with her husband which is a good thing. I spent the afternoon with them yesterday. Aside from the fact it will be hard to move 680 miles away from them, their situation financially is not good. For now they seem to be skating by under the cover of foreclosure moratoriums from on high. Of course I could make their short-term financial bind go away, but I'm too much of a bastard to do that while they seem to have no real plan/path to getting their shit together. My daughter has taken on some extra work a few days per week, but her husband seems content dabbling with a home business that's not much of a money-maker while waiting on the results of a personal injury lawsuit, and is going to wind up losing a decent gig at USPS (out on "disability" now). So anything I threw into the situation would only delay the pending collapse and essentially be thrown away.

I've almost run out of whatever reservoir of rocket sauce I was born with to allow me to juggle my problems and other peoples' problems through a major life change. I guess that's why my instincts have been insisting on ER and quiet places, hoping some sort of recharge is possible.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Yeah, other people’s problems is a problem. Fixing up a thoroughly dilapidated she shed as private recharge station is relatively easier.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Here's a quick list of pros and cons regarding the house I'm thinking about purchasing from my aunt.

Pro
Proximity to Dad
Price $50K+ below mkt
Flexible/convenient timeline for purchase
Safest neighborhood in town
Attached Garage
Usable Basement
Decent Privacy
1 acre (2 lots)
In good repair

Con
High Taxes
Little biking/walking utility
Larger than necessary (~2400 sq ft)
Some expectation of hosting family gatherings
Moderate landscaping upkeep if I want to maintain existing woodland garden

Complicated
Mostly wooded
Well water

The ones I list as "complicated" are ones that I haven't decided yet if they are net pro or con.

Having a well makes me independent of the city water, but means water availability dependent on electric power. Would probably want some sort of backup system. It also means some treatment of drinking water is preferred because iron. I don't mind the taste all that much tbh. And there's also some treatment prior to the the water heater. So, some amount of ongoing maintenance/attention required. It does seem like with some investment it could have some short/medium-term shelter-in-place capability.

A mostly wooded lot with some very mature trees means a bit of seasonal maintenance (raking). It also means I don't really have a good spot for a garden due to shade. Balancing that is the coolness of semi-being in the woods (just in my prior visits I've seen deer, turkeys, and a barred owl on the property). Removing a couple trees from the yard could provide a garden spot, but it would be pricey due to their size. And if things go as planned I won't be there a lot during the summer to keep up with a garden anyway. Then there's the deer.

The living room and dining room are very pleasant rooms. Otherwise the house is relatively unremarkable.Its not a great place to be really old in simply due to the size of the property unless all the outdoor work was hired out. It is all one one level though (basement aside).

I'm inclined to buy it at this point and give it 5 years or so. Next is refining my goals into a more comprehensive set and explore mappings with this house.

Scott 2
Posts: 1831
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Scott 2 »

Around me, housing inventory is so low, you'd never do better. Homes are going before they are listed. Given the below market price, I think any financial concerns are moot.

With that said - upkeep on property that size is significant. Is that how you want to spend your time? Would you hire help?

Stasher
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:23 am
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Contact:

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Stasher »

I like how you have analyzed the fishing, that is the same approach I take to all my cycling and backpacking. The pros far far far outweigh any cons.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Scott 2 wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:33 am
Around me, housing inventory is so low, you'd never do better. Homes are going before they are listed. Given the below market price, I think any financial concerns are moot.

With that said - upkeep on property that size is significant. Is that how you want to spend your time? Would you hire help?
The market is relatively warm for a city/state that has been bleeding residents for quite a while due largely to tax/business climate. This especially hit the above-median category of housing. Attributed to people going WFH and wanting extra space. Where I'm selling it's pretty nuts. Growing area + low interest rates. Houses going above asking price frequently. So the overall swap could leave me enough to cover 10-12 years of taxes, plus a slightly larger house on an aesthetically nicer lot. Lots going for it.

At least half is wooded, which is relatively low maintenance most of the time, especially if I let the "woodland garden" aspect just go wild. I think one of the conditions of the sale is that I will have to let her come around and take care of "her" plants for as long as she feels up to it. She's a hosta enthusiast and brought a lot of her specimens when she retired from Syracuse, combined them with a significant number already on the property, and has spent the last 6 years adding more. The hardest part is that my plan is to be mostly absent from May to October. I don't mind the mowing but am probably looking at hiring that out. I'd make a decision on the leaf part of it after the first autumn. It's a chore that gets aggravating when when it fills most of your time off from work (i.e., weekends) but when every day is Saturday it might not be bad.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Stasher wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:02 am
I like how you have analyzed the fishing, that is the same approach I take to all my cycling and backpacking. The pros far far far outweigh any cons.
There are pros and cons to most things, and it tends to be their relative weighting that drives the decision. Typically there is a lot of subjectivity to that, which I think is fair when a person is making lifestyle decisions. At the end of the day I fish because I find the overall experience enjoyable. But there is more to it than just "having fun".

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7235
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Pro: Hostas are marginally edible.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 5193
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Ego »

Does the purchase of the house at a discount make you somehow more obliged than others to care for your aunt? Does it change the dynamic so that others would feel okay about leaving the entire burden on you because you are after all living in her house?

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:57 am
Pro: Hostas are marginally edible.
Hmm. The deer won't eat 'em. Was thinking about some cinnamon ferns though. :)

IlliniDave
Posts: 3281
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Ego wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:00 pm
Does the purchase of the house at a discount make you somehow more obliged than others to care for your aunt? Does it change the dynamic so that others would feel okay about leaving the entire burden on you because you are after all living in her house?
In my mind it probably will, but I'm not sure I'd feel much different if I don't buy it or paid market. In a way it goes back to what I was saying in the resurrected parental TARP thread. I think she sees it as a way she can "cheat" on how she distributes the portion of her estate going to me and my siblings, steering more to me because she deemed me a wise steward of money. Not as frugal as she is but I tend in tat direction.

Also, I think she just really wants me to buy it so she doesn't lose her hostas. I've been discussing my plans with her for a while and what she threw out initially was what I'd said before was the upper limit of what I thought I could comfortably swing at the time, but in the same sentence said that wasn't firm, clearly implying she'd go lower if I was uncomfortable with the initial number.

In case I was unclear, she won't be living there too, she's going to buy a condo in a senior-oriented development in anticipation of deteriorating health, which is what prompted her to offer to sell the house to me.

Post Reply