Axel Heyst's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:41 pm
oof, this entire post has been a call-out. did you have to?? did you really :lol: lmao

...When it comes to ERE, it's useful to remind ourselves what the goal is: self-mastery, not being tightly coupled. that pesky maximum life enjoyment you wrote about. Sorting out the psychological shit is essential to the ere project.
Ha! And -- well put, thanks for the backup.
RoamingFrancis wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:02 pm
Metta...

In my opinion, the whole point of ERE is to gain the time and space to figure out the whole happiness question. FI, by itself, does not guarantee freedom from suffering. Remember the Buddha started his life as a prince, but that didn't answer his deeper question: why the fuck is there so much suffering? I see ERE as an excellent way to gain "freedom from" hindrances that impede happiness (e.g. soul-crushing jobs, environmentally destructive lifestyles, the illusion that consumption will lead to lasting happiness), but does not guarantee "freedom to" live a good life. ERE gives you autonomy with the brush and the canvas, but you still have to paint the damn thing yourself.


JMG says magic in the forms of blessings and curses only work if the recipient is informed of the curse/blessing. Thanks brother.

Hmm yes that's a good point. The Buddha's life of a prince was the beginning of the story. Makes me think of how Jacob has said (somewhere) he considers L7/Internalized ERE to be the starting point, aka achieving your first black belt, which just means you're now baseline useful and your real education can commence. And yes - I definitely feel like the past decade of my life has been, to some extent, "Man, I wish I had more time to root through some of this stuff, but I'm going too fast and I don't know how to catch a break." And then I found ERE and -- oh, it's not that hard actually.
Vaikeasti wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:02 am
I think it's really hard to come to terms that even if I would have failed in everything I have tried in life, I'd still be as worthy as a human being as I am today. Society and the GDP might disagree but the opinions of others can't change my value.
Whoa... that's a big idea there. It's one thing to repeat "i am enough" over and over again... it's another level to say "i am enough even if I fail at literally everything I ever try". Thank you for that, I'm going to carry it around for a while.
disk_poet wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:35 am
I also feel like introspection is super important because the one constant that shows up in all the equations of my life is "me". Funnily enough I used to not see it that way for most of my life. I only looked at the other factors but didn't really appreciate the impact of "me". I feel a bit stupid not being able to formulate it earlier and I am sure it's been beaten to death on the internet but it took a loong time to really click for me and I am probably still not there most of the time. I spend a lot of time cultivating habits and skills improving the outside but not enough dealing with myself even though it is the one constant that scales everything up. Describing it that way is the mental trick that I use to get over the you're not worth it, don't waste time on yourself inner voice that sometimes comes up. It also forced me to take therapy serious. I don't know if that makes any sense.

Re setting boundaries: I am a but burned out by work because I never set boundaries too. Funnily enough this finally led to a kind of "don't care' attitude which in turn led to me setting firmer boundaries by accident which then in turn actually commended more respect and a healthier work/life balance from my colleagues and clients. +1 on setting boundaries not only being good for yourself but also for others. The climate at work really changed. Maybe being more independent through ERE can make it easier to set boundaries because you feel less pressured. Again.. I feel it's this complex interconnected web and deciding which node to start working on is probably hugely dependent on personality, situation, etc. but I find working on it hugely satisfying. Which I never thought I would.
Wow thanks for the comment, and welcome! *cough*pleasestartajournali'llreadthehelloutofit*cough* :D

First paragraph - I think I'm with you there, but I also might be getting something else. In which case, congrats, I think you just made art. I have a feeling Jacob's comments around the focus of "doing" or "being" is related? I can do this, I can do that vs. I can be me, I can be this version of myself.

And - thank you, excellent point about setting boundaries being good for others as well. Because it takes >1 to tango in these relationships, and then you're feeding a drama triangle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

I'm definitely feeling that effect, of being able to set better boundaries due to my semiERE status (>5years of FU stash).

mooretrees
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by mooretrees »

Everyone above has posted some version of what I wanted to write more eloquently than I, but I still want to say something. You've done the work to give yourself the time and space to finally deal with this reality. Since this seems to be quite a large undertaking, congrats on putting yourself in the position to work through it! Or with it? Bring on the emo-navel gazing, there's lots of flavors to this ERE pie.

It did take me a second read to see what you had done.....

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:18 pm
If you can't even approach the question "What do you actually want? What do you enjoy?" without honest confusion (it's not a trick fucking question dude!!) and if it's literally impossible for you to ask other people for help, of any sort, because your brain can't even formulate a thought in the "ask-for-help" pattern, then you got some shit to work out before you can start to live *your* actual life, instead of someone else's.

And, as I've discovered, it's going to be difficult for you to hold your boundaries around things like spending money on stuff, because a) you don't actually have a solid "I want semiERE/FI/freedom/whatever" vision and b) if spending some money seems like it'll help someone out, you'll do that instead even if it's against your ERE frugality ethic, because the validation hit you get from helping/caretaking someone is stronger than the self-validation hit you get from doing your own thing, executing your own vision.
Addressing this specifically, I'm going to take a bit of a practical approach. Now, the final portion I bolded is probably a co-dependant thing because it seems insane to me. "Helping" someone else by going against your own ethics seems foolish. I mean, sometimes we may need to do some things for others that aren't directly in our self-interest, but it shouldn't go against our core values. If this is something that's happening regularly, obviously it's a big issue. I can't help there, this is in the realm of therapy.

The rest though, it seems pretty normal by ERE standards. Using that invisible fence analogy again, it's pretty hard to know what you want to do outside the yard if you've never really been there. To have formulated an entire vision based on that unknown before even venturing out is really impossible. This was what i meant upthread by advising you to do whatever you feel like doing for awhile. You're simply exploring the new territory. A personal example, nowadays I spend an average of two hours a day on a bike. 18 months ago I hadn't been on a bike in 20 years, and it had never even crossed my mind that I'd enjoy it. Now it's my main form of transport, main form of cardio, and main "go to" when I'm feeling a bit bored or down.

I started biking, well, just because I had the time and others seem to rave about it. I really think trying to take the time to experiment and just do "whatever floats your boat" is a huge part of the discovery process. When you find something that does really excite you, then it's time to go all ERE on it and figure out how to best incorporate it into your life.

So really, my practical advice here, is to simply do shit. Like, shit you never thought of doing before, shit you always wished you had time to do but didn't, shit that other people suggest, shit that randomly sounds coolsies. Pretty quickly you'll learn if it's gonna stick (as shit often does :P ). Then roll with what you like. Integrate it, see if you can ERE-ize it, maybe even start to create longer term vision around some of it.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

I dig the advice to do whatever I feel like doing, I just (for posterity) want to underscore that as someone recovering from codependent behaviors, it takes work to 'simply do shit' and it is far from simple, because my brain's had a short circuit for a long time. If I don't take some very specific measures, then "what I feel like doing" = "I wonder what DW's up to, maybe she needs a hand with something... I wonder what's going on at work, maybe there's something that needs my attention..." etc and I keep my life filled up with other people's shit, which I'm too tired/overwhelmed from to do my own thing. There's no difference in kind between spending money against my frugality ethic and any other caretaking activity I do, because it comes from the space source of external validation seeking. In other words, it's not about the actual action, it's about the psychology behind the action.

I've actually always become infuriated whenever someone tells me to 'just do whatever I want', probably because it pokes at that tender/wounded part of me that feels shame that I actually don't even know what that means, and suspects (but hates to admit consciously) that my ineptitude at desire means I'm failing at this whole "being a human being" shtick and wasting my short precious chance at a life. And also, if someone tells me to do whatever I want, am I really then doing whatever I want? Or am I just playacting at doing whatever I want because I've sensed that doing "whatever I want" will make this person approve of me? It's some bullshit in there.[1]

So I had to really think this over in my mind, to craft an approach to "doing what I want" in a way that seemed like it'd work for me. Here's what I've come up with so far as a basic daily practice:

1. Every day I do something that is purely for me, involves no one else, and is just any random thing that will bring me joy/pleasure/"because it feels good". Bonus points if it's not productive at all. At the beginning of the day I write something down, and then do it anytime that day. The hardest part is thinking up what to write. It feels stupid, and selfish, and silly. But I'm starting to get the hang of it. :)
2. Every day I write something that I want in a "desire journal". Could be actual things, experiences, stuff I want to build, relationships I want to have, etc. I write it in present/past tense ("I circumnavigated the world without flying", "I own a Filson jacket", "I can do 100 pushups in a row"). The point is to exercise my brain to answer the question "what do I want? what do I desire, for me?" This is also difficult, but fun.
3. Every day I try to ask DW for at least one thing. A two minute back rub, hey could you hand me the flour, would you mind picking up eggs on your way from the market.
4. Try to change my automatic response when asked for help from "sure" to "uhhmm....[stall!]" (think: is this person perfectly capable of doing this themselves? are they in a jam? do I actually want to help with this? am I in the middle of something?) "Can I think about it and get back to you?/No/Sure." Point is just to be intentional about my relationship with requests for help.

Coming up with this, and digging through old shit in my life, was a rough couple of days, but I feel *much* better now. I've gone from sleeping 9-10 hours a day and feeling groggy all day, to only needing 6-7 hours and feeling energetic all day. I couldn't tell if I was coming down with something, or if the psychological slog was manifesting physiologically.

I've also been ticking off tasks and projects that have been in the backlog for weeks or months, and I'm just now starting to feel like the "have to do" stuff is thinning out and I've got more space for "want to do" stuff.

Some of it's just basic, do the overdue oil change in my truck, some maintenence on my moto, pay some bills, shuffle some paperwork. But I also renegotiated some obligations, aka said "no", to a bunch of stuff I had hanging over me. I also shipped the last few bits of freelance work I had on my plate.

I've done 3-4 consistent weekly reviews in a row now (GTD), and in the last one went through and cleared out a bunch of "gunk" - my Next Action tag went from 161 to 23. I feel more in control of what I'm doing.

I read this post: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/not-e ... ement.html yesterday and it struck some chords. Here's a list of activities that are either free, cheap, or have a possibility to be renumerative, that I'm excited to spend more time on in the next few months:
Biking, freediving, body weight exercise, yoga, druidry, cooking, writing, making videos, photography, hand-tool woodworking, digital art, traditional drawing, motorcycle camping/overlanding, bushcraft/ancestral skills, reading, photography.

August is turning out to be a 4jafi month. :( That's become a trend, which I'm quite unhappy about. Some of that number was ~$1.2k in annual insurance and registration fees, supporting DW, etc, but also some of it was just lazy practices.

So, September is going to be a No-Buy Month, I'm creating a $200 meal plan, and I'm targeting 1jafi expenses. I've also built a system for amortizing those particular annual expenses, so they're now actually built in to every month.

____
[1]I'm done talking about codependent shit for now. Dwelling too much on the mechanisms of dysfunction behaviors can lead to over-identification with them, and getting stuck (ask my 20yo self how I know that). My mind and actions are now in the space of feeding my dreams and my solid sense of self: I'm identifying as a healthy-esteem person in integrity with myself and pursuing my place in the world.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 729
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Jin+Guice »

The struggle is real dawg. Seriously, knowing what you want is hard!

I think this is what most people mean when they say "do what you want:"
AxelHeyst wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:29 am
1. Every day I do something that is purely for me, involves no one else, and is just any random thing that will bring me joy/pleasure/"because it feels good". Bonus points if it's not productive at all. At the beginning of the day I write something down, and then do it anytime that day. The hardest part is thinking up what to write. It feels stupid, and selfish, and silly. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.
2. Every day I write something that I want in a "desire journal". Could be actual things, experiences, stuff I want to build, relationships I want to have, etc. I write it in present/past tense ("I circumnavigated the world without flying", "I own a Filson jacket", "I can do 100 pushups in a row"). The point is to exercise my brain to answer the question "what do I want? what do I desire, for me?" This is also difficult, but fun.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:29 am
I've actually always become infuriated whenever someone tells me to 'just do whatever I want', probably because it pokes at that tender/wounded part of me that feels shame that I actually don't even know what that means, and suspects (but hates to admit consciously) that my ineptitude at desire means I'm failing at this whole "being a human being" shtick and wasting my short precious chance at a life.
Sorry about that :oops: , I didn't mean to make you feel worse.

Good luck man!!!

PS I could use some help... :lol:

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:52 pm
Sorry about that :oops: , I didn't mean to make you feel worse.

Good luck man!!!

PS I could use some help... :lol:
Nah I knew you were being good-hearted about it; my reaction is my shit, not yours. :)

Ha! If the help you're referring to is your decisions around marriage, you're barking up the wroooong tree. I'm following along with great interest in your journal but I've got little to offer.

Vaikeasti
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:02 pm

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by Vaikeasti »

Axel Heyst wrote:4. Try to change my automatic response when asked for help from "sure" to "uhhmm....[stall!]" (think: is this person perfectly capable of doing this themselves? are they in a jam? do I actually want to help with this? am I in the middle of something?) "Can I think about it and get back to you?/No/Sure." Point is just to be intentional about my relationship with requests for help.
I think this sounds like a really healthy plan. It's important not to sway to the other side of the pendulum and be only completely "selfish".

There's nothing wrong in wishing well for others and wanting to help others. It's the motivation that makes it healthy or not, not the action itself.

Whew, I'm learning and getting new insights at a fast pace lately. :)

ertyu
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Having scripts is a smart idea also. Automating the responses is likelier to bring success about. You're still doing it tho. Check out the order of these questions:
is this person perfectly capable of doing this themselves? are they in a jam? do I actually want to help with this?
"do i actually want to" comes third, after supposedly "objective" criteria for whether you choose to help.

i'd say, practice listening to your inner yes/no. knowing whether you want to do something or don't want to do something is physical. I experience it as a tightening and a turning-away in my chest, sort of a spiritual "ugh" and wanting to be somewhere else. Your inner no is there, and it might be a different sensation, but you can find it and listen to it by staying in touch with your body and being open to actually sensing its sensations, if that makes any sense.

I suggest turning these questions around. "Am I an inner yes or an inner no? If I am an inner no, is there a rational reason to override this and do the thing anyway?"

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

@Vaikeasti - yes, it's that fine line that's difficult to find. In the /codependent sub on reddit, someone asked "what was your best coping mechanism for breaking codep behaviors?" and someone responded "pathologically saying no to literally everything :)" I could see needing to do that at a depth of ingrained-ness, but hopefully I'll not have to resort to it! But there is going to be a pendulum effect, as I find the right balance and relationship to requests and desires.

@ertyu - good catch, thank you. Listening to my inner yes/no should always be step 1. "A spiritual "ugh"" :lol: perfect description!

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:11 pm
If the help you're referring to is your decisions around marriage, you're barking up the wroooong tree.
You were supposed to just say "NO!" :lol: But I guess you did in a roundabout way.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Here’s my help: Google “single at heart” and find some of Bella DePaulo’s stuff. Unfortunately a lot of her material reads like it was dumbed down for a mass appeal publication column (because it was); get past that. If any of it resonates with you and a light bulb goes off, my obvious advice is to run like hell and you’re welcome. If not.... good luck bro!!

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

August Financials

Image
Analysis: :shock:
The biggest hits were due to my insurance and registration coming due for both my vehicles, and lacking a proper amortization system for them. (I've since created one). I also spent a couple hundred dollars on motorcycle tires and parts, oil for my truck, etc. I spent $1,600 on transportation, $750 on DW, $525 on food. And I noticed that once I'm already in a high-spend month, I get sloppy with other expenses.

Obviously the "expenses" line is trending in the very wrong direction. So September is a No-Buy Month, and I'm going to be spending $200 on food. My target spend for September is $655.

The $200 on Food Project
I know this isn't an "extreme" target by this crowd's standards. The closest I've gotten in the past six months is $330. I struggled to figure out how to actually determine how much I spent on food a month - yeah, I can just add up how much I spent at the grocery store in February, but that doesn't actually tell me that much because (a) DW and I's food expenses are all mixed together, and (b) that doesn't take in to account bulk foods.

So I'm going to track the cost of everything per serving that I actually consume at every meal. This has the benefit of not penalizing me for e.g. buying a big bag of beans that will last me a few months - it encourages me to buy in bulk so I can get the cost/calorie down. So I might end up spending more than $200 this month at the grocery store. Fine, as long as I only consumed $200 of food. This is the only way I thought up to put bounds on the project that were simple enough.

My approach was to figure out basic $/serving for a base meal plan that I know how to prepare that aligns to $200/mo. As I get bored, that'll motivate me to figure out other meals that also conform.

The base meal plan, and daily tracker:
Image

The database I started:
Image
ETA: Basically everything is organic, grainfed+finished, etc. I don't eat CAFO, and if someone dumped poison on it at some point I don't want to eat it - even if 100% of the poison just, y'know, when into the watertable or the ocean or some shit, because I don't want any part of that.


No-Buy September
I need to just do a hard "no" on all expenses this month to get myself back on track. So:
Food: $200
Health Insurance: $278
Transportation: $167 (that's $69 truck insurance, $38 moto insurance, $10reg, $50 fuel (450miles truck or 1,500miles moto.... I'll likely come underbudget here). I realize that there is a better overall strategic approach to transportation I could implement, just, not this month.
Website: $10

DW shouldn't need any support this month as her jobs are kicking in.

ertyu
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

I'm joining in on the no-buy september... really blew my budget last month.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1120
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I'm getting hungry just looking at your meal plan. Are you trying to lose weight?

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Ha! No, I don't have much weight to lose (5'10", 165lb [178cm, 75kg], ~12%bf) but I'm also not lifting or doing much else physical at the moment. Actually now that I think of it, I wouldn't might losing a couple pounds as I'm coming up on a climbing trip...

I'll have to get more creative when my caloric needs get closer to 4k based on activity... but forcing myself to get more creative is the whole point of the exercise!

ETA: the quantities are all uncoooked/raw, so, .5cup uncooked rice, .25cup uncooked beans, etc.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

I'm now two months in to semiERE. The first month, July, was mostly spent driving around, boondocking, and dealing with logistics. The second month was spent settling in to being in one place here in Michigan.

Most mornings I wake between 6 and 8, make coffee, and sit in a chair in a quiet corner of the house and journal[1] and read for an hour or two. I've been journaling a lot, 3-5 pages a day, mostly working through ideas for what I want to do with my life, and reflections on the mechanisms of my behavior patterns and what to do about them.

The rest of my days are some combination of forest walks, going to the beach and trying to get comfortable in the water (I'm easing in to the idea of taking up freediving, which is attractive to me partly because I've always been afraid the water, and because the activity (not the sport) is so attractively portrayed in Deep, by James Nestor), working on my motorcycle, reading, work, meditation, yoga, druid stuff, and staying in touch with friends.

I'm currently mostly reading Honoring the Self, by Nathanial Branden, and Where the Wasteland Ends, by Roszak. Also some Stoic philosophy (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius), I'm re-reading Deep, and I'm listening to a sci-fi con man novel (The Quantum Magician).

I'm not working out at all. I don't spend much time on my phone, but more than I'd like still, so I try to leave it in a desk.

I'm working through a lot of "stuff", meaning, sorting out my past events and behaviors, trying to get at the source of things. This book Honoring the Self has been really impactful, although I just got to the part where he reveals he's a huge Randian Objectivist and his whole chapter on Ethics is unfavorably reminding me of a gentler version of her rage-filled prose[2]. Now I'm conflicted, because I set aside Objectivism in my early to mid 20's (a common story, methinks), but the first part of the book has been very helpful. I'm going to finish the book out and then decide whether it's worth it to dive back in to Objectivism to re-remember why I set it aside (ugh), or just take the useful bits and let go of the rest (most likely scenario).

Egoism might be a very useful framework for someone who is attempting to recover his sense of self-assertion and reforge a relationship with his own internal desires. My early experiences with religion, combined with a pretty intense personality, caused me to very deeply internalize the message of original sin and self-sacrifice, to the point that self-hate and an aversion to doing anything "for myself" became really ingrained. Flipping the script and elevating pursuing my own desires to a point of ethics is an interesting thought -- one that might suit my personality better, as I seem to take to "imperatives" rather strongly. It feels dangerous, though. Like my coping mechanisms of the past 10 years (workaholism, distraction, codependence) have been ways of putting my intense personality to sleep, and I have to be very careful in selecting which way to point myself once I let the reigns off again.

After the horror-show of last months expenses, September is going well. No-Buy is on track, and I'm also on track for a <$200 level of food consumption.
Image
It occurred to me that the point of No-Buy isn't to learn how to go without, or to get in a couple months of low spending before "going back to normal". The point is to stimulate creativity and force oneself to consider non-financial solutions to problems. [3] I know this has been said in as many words over and over, but the light-bulb just clicked for me.

No-Buy also motivated me to spend more time with yoga and meditation practice.

An update on Shelter/Location
DW and I identified a possible change in circumstances that would make our current housing situation intolerable. We needed a Plan B for where to live that could be executed quickly if that situation occurred. Our Plan B became "huh... that sounds kinda nice actually... why don't we just do that anyway?"

Long story short, we haven't committed yet, but we're sitting with the idea of caravanning back out West in mid October, DW selling her van (getting her own little FU stash in the process), and moving to a friend's land who offered to let us build out a spare shipping container he has on site. This plan is attractive for a couple reasons:
.the land is beautiful
.the friend is great, a really special human we're both excited to spend more time with
.the climate is mild, it rarely gets below 20F in the winter, doesn't dump snow like Tahoe
.a shipping container is enough space for both of us to have our own private space and a shared living situation

In my morning journaling, I've identified that what I want is some privacy, my own space, and a shop to build stuff. Previous attempts at living situations have failed due to the following reasons:
-Not enough space for me to work
-Not enough space for DW to work
-Not enough privacy (/proximity to persons who one or both of us finds challenging to cohabitate with)
-Too far from friends
-Climate too extreme (too hot, too cold, or too goddamned snowy)

This isn't necessarily a place we plan on living 12 months out of the year, but it could function quite nicely as a home base for us, as it passes the above tests well. We'll see, we have yet to decide and fully commit.


[1]I've journaled since I was twelve, and am on journal #27 or so.

[2] Funny story: while reading his chapter on the Ethics of selfishness and the immorality of altruism, I thought to myself, "this is reminding me a lot of philosophical/LaVeyian Satanism for some reason", and sure enough LaVey cites Rand as a big influence in his work. Speaking of books that one has to pick and choose the useful bits out of, I'd really like to read the Satanic Bible for the intellectual diversity, but it's pretty unpalatable to read anything that unabashedly draws so heavily on Arthur Desmond. There are limits to the "take what's useful and discard the rest" approach - some things leave a stain no matter how carefully you scalpel them out.

[3]For example, I was planning a long motorcycle trip. My motorcycle is equipped with an SAE-type plug coming off the battery. I need an SAE-to-USB device (that also steps the voltage from 12v to 5v) so I can keep my phone charged. Such devices can be had for ~$10. I spent 30+ minutes finding the cheapest option and figuring out how to acquire it without paying for shipping. Then I realized it was September 1st, so I didn't buy it.

The next day, it occurred to me that I have a cigarrette lighter to USB plug that I'm not using in my truck. I could crack the case and hack the leads from the 12v-in to the SAE plug, or snip the SAE plug and replace with some other 12v plug-type that I could find lying around my various bins of electrical parts. If I wasn't willing to do that, I could at least wait until after No-Buy and pick up just an SAE plug type, and connect that to my USB, dropping my cost to a couple bucks. Without No-Buy, I wouldn't have pursued the thought past finding a good deal on an SAE-to-USB device.

ertyu
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by ertyu »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:20 am

Egoism might be a very useful framework for someone who is attempting to recover his sense of self-assertion and reforge a relationship with his own internal desires. My early experiences with religion, combined with a pretty intense personality, caused me to very deeply internalize the message of original sin and self-sacrifice, to the point that self-hate and an aversion to doing anything "for myself" became really ingrained.
There was a quote from one pop-buddhism book or another.

Student says, master, you are full of shit. I've been watching you give advice to all these people, and you tell them all different stuff; you're inconsistent, what is your message anyway, how could you be speaking the Truth if you flip-flop all the time.

Master answers: well, i see where each of these people is going, and if i see a pothole on their right, i tell them to go left. If i see a pothole on their right, i tell them to go left

tl;dr: flipping the script might not be a half-bad idea. I think you're smart enough to mind the pothole on the right. Take what's useful and let go.
my coping mechanisms of the past 10 years (workaholism, distraction, codependence) have been ways of putting my intense personality to sleep
a good question for this sort of shit is to sit in a quiet place and ask yourself, what (do i think) would happen if i am my intense self? Then just wait. Subconscious would waste no time supplying instances where someone hinted you would be Disapproved Of when you hinted at it, or where you were it and someone (usually a parent, at least for me), was cruel to you until you let it go and stopped rocking the boat/competing for resources, etc. --- or instances where you were rewarded with approval only when you sacrificed yourself and your desires, for that matter. Looking forward to what it's gonna end up being if you decide you feel like talking about it.

Re-reading journals 1-26 with this in mind might yield useful shit too.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

^That was gold, by the way, thank you @ertyu.

NoBuy is going... fine... except for the fact that I decided to build a camper shell for my truck, because I decided to move up my itinerary and drive out West sooner, and I need to haul some stuff that can't get wet, so I need a camper shell that will fit my motorcycle. :roll: So I'm spending some money on building materials. So far I've only purchased framing (1x3's), and haven't decided yet how I'm going to roof/side the thing.

$200 food is on track. I'm actually averaging a $180 month so far. I think it'd be pretty easy to push just little harder and get $150, but to get to or below $100 will require tactics/strategies beyond just smarter buying of food (aka diving, gardening, exchanging time/expertise for food, working part time at a farm or market). I haven't gotten bored yet, so I haven't pushed my cooking creativity much, although there's definitely room to improve. I think I'll continue precise tracking of food expenses next month as well, and perhaps set a lower target, to cement low-cost practices, before letting go of the tracking of every single meal.

The biggest changes I've made:
.I now only eat .25lbs of meat a day, at $4-7/lb. Before I would just eat however much I wanted, maybe .5lb or more sometimes.
.I've almost entirely cut out cheese - I'm just going to stop buying it, this month I've been chipping away at a block I purchased last month.
.I use coconut oil almost exclusively now for oil (878cal/%) and only rarely use butter (251cal/$).
.I eat a half cup of lentils a day. (1112cal/$!!!)
.and a half cup of steel cut oats (1138cal/$!!!)
.I stopped buying bell peppers, and try to find better deals on "nutrition/$". This is my weakest point, getting enough good veggies. I'm currently mostly eating onions, kale, and free peppers from FIL's garden.
.Started looking at foods in terms of cal/$, and knowing that in order to spend under $200/mo I need to average around 400cal/$. Anything above that - fair game. Anything below that - easy does it.

Room for improvement:
.Need to figure out how to get nutrition/veggies for cheaper. I haven't really tried yet, to be honest.
.Included in the figure is a $.50 coffee. I'm going to look in to teas, see if any are <$.50/day (e.g. a big cake of puerh), and potentially alternate between tea and coffee.
.Make more stuff out of flour (1550cal/$). I made hand pies, which were tasty but a lot of work, and I've been making a big batch of tortillas, which I'm going to continue doing. Actually, I've been making them with butter, and I'm going to try swapping out with coco oil. The internet tells me they aren't as good, but jokes on them, I have low standards.

Mainly I want to habituate a <$200 food expense for now, as it's been all over the place in past months. I can revisit food in a push to $100/mo later if/when I feel like it (but I think that'll mostly be a result of pursuing related interests, such as gardening, hunting, foraging, livestock, etc). With food locked in <$200 I can turn my attention to other low-hanging fruit, like my Transportation module. :shock:

In other news, I'm spending time building a side hustle I've had in the back of my mind for a year or so. It's fun, and could turn in to a very low-effort stream of income if it works out.

horsewoman
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by horsewoman »

Apparently food is very cheap in Germany. We eat a pretty balanced (vegetarian) diet and average €260 (307 USD) a month for 2 adults and 1 teenager. Full disclosure, said teenager mostly subsides on pasta, chocolate and bread rolls... Last month I had another adult to feed which made my spending go up to 360 USD. So roughly 100 USD per person is realistic.
We do grow some veggies and my husband can take some home from work, but I buy lots of frozen veggies year round.
I don't think that I do anything "extreme" so I really don't get how people spend hundreds on food each month - a lot of the stuff I buy is even organic.

I think I taught myself to cook so cheaply by setting a fixed amount of money, putting it in an extra wallet and sticking with it, no matter what. Leftover money could be used next month to stock up. I did this for a year, after that it was a habit. Is meat really this expensive, maybe thats where we have the huge savings?

Post Reply