LiquidSapphire's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
prognastat
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by prognastat »

1) Definitely a nice little Christmas bonus.

6) Once you start exceeding the average this becomes quite common. People will give you compliments, but caution you about not going to far/being too extreme etc. Also who is asking you if cutting out sugar is healthy? Most people by now seem to understand that sugar is not good. Good job on the progress though.

FBeyer
Posts: 1070
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by FBeyer »

If you can't squeeze in 5 mins before/after eating, you should go to bed 5 minutes earlier. I'll iterate: If you can't find 5 minutes in your everyday life, it's not your lack of 'spirituality' that is killing you. :D

The point of meditation/reflection is not to reach a certain goal. You're not going to become tranquil from meditation/gratitude. That's not how it works. The point of meditation is to see your life true, as true as you can. Could it be that when you sit down to reflect on your state of mind, that you're not feeling very well and you're subconsciously 'too busy' to make it happen, because it's really fuggin' unpleasant? There's a myriad of reasons why it's not working for you, but we're talking 5 minutes here. Hand on your heart: do you not have 5 minutes at any time during your day where you can sit still?

2lbs per week is a lot. So good job... I think. Vitamin deficiency was a problem for me until recently because I didn't monitor my nutrients properly. If you're losing that much weight, that fast, a supplement could be a good idea. To the best of my limited knowledge anyway.

Quadalupe
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:56 am
Location: the Netherlands

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by Quadalupe »

And if you'd like some more social help: I also want to start meditating again, so maybe we can motivate each other? :D

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

Thank you :) some old lady I am acquaintances with asked me if cutting out sugar and flour was really healthy and when I told her that yes, it was plenty healthy and, no, you don't need flour and sugar to be healthy, she was like "Okay I was just asking." Some other old lady was like, "You want to lose more weight? from where?" which is asinine because there are plenty of places "from where" - but people don't know what normalcy looks like anymore. and when I told my boss I hated restaurants and I was trying to drop 10 lbs when she started talking about all the restaurants she wants to go to when we travel together and told me about how there was no grocery store within any sort of walkable distance and how they wouldn't cover a cab to even just get to the grocery store, she told me that "Now is not the time to diet" because you know she is the diet police or something. Fuck em I took an Uber anyway.

I don't like to sit and meditate because either I feel too busy and like there are a million other things I should be doing instead and I can't relax and when i finally don't feel like that I am too tired to sit there and focus on anything so I fall asleep within like 30 seconds when I try. I have 5 minutes to sit still but I don't have 5 minutes where I can sit still and not be thinking about the next thing I need to be doing. Or it's just a weird environment. I am sitting here in an airport waiting for a flight and yes I could meditate here but no I don't really like I can totally check out and relax either. I take a multivitamin when I remember.... not every day but, enough that I don't worry about it. I'm eating lots of fruits and veggies too.

Sure social help might be nice :)

chenda
Posts: 1612
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by chenda »

I once tried to meditate on a bench on my lunch break and it began to rain, so I thought I'd just carry on and then a passing policeman stopped to ask me if I was ok and did I have a place to stay that evening. I mean I didn't think I looked THAT bad...

I'm going to start tomorrow doing a 5 minute chant every morning, because I think it's more tangible than just trying to think about not thinking, which is kinda how I see meditation which becomes frustrating.

FBeyer
Posts: 1070
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by FBeyer »

You people… That's exactly the point of the initial 5 minute meditations: To become aware of how often, and how forcefully, your mind wanders. Meditation is not supposed to be pleasant. It's supposed to be educating! It's like sitting through calculus class and complaining that you had to concentrate because your mind wandered every time integration got hard.
It's SUPPOSED to be like that!

I'll harp on this like mad later. :D

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

October Goals I wrote:

Financial
1) Pay off student loans and other minor debts (Should happen quickly)
2) Buy property, probably a condo, idk
3) Invest and Transition into more enjoyable work that promotes "Flow" and "Meaning" (this is sort of non-financial too)
4) Track my spending and choose a more sustainable lifestyle
5) Save enough to get to a 3% WR for that lifestyle

Non-Financial
1) Drop 20 lbs (haha)
2) Develop a daily Spirituality practice (haha)
Haha because I have written this several times and have not yet achieved these so. Something to review in the future as to why that is.

January Update/Rewrite on these
Financial 1 - Work gave me $10K, so I have like $2K left on the student loans and work is going to give me the other $2K or whatever it is in December. So these are functionally done. I've also paid off all other debt so I am calling this one done.

Financial 2 - So, I morphed this into, let's rent a condo and make sure we even like condos. And I spent time looking at condos this month and I'm realizing that to rent a condo like the one I'd like to buy is a minimum of $1700+utilities. and right now I am spending $615 including utilities basically. and it's a big swallow. and I'm having doubts and second thoughts. I can spend way less than $1200/mo to make my current situation tolerable and be equally happy. So. I don't know what to do with this yet.

Financial 3 - Oh I am really proud of myself! I started a self improvement book club. Last month we read A Man's Search for Meaning and this month we are reading The Go Giver. I am really glad that I am taking a step doing more activities that create flow and meaning for me even if they aren't paid, I actually don't care that they aren't paid I just want practice doing this sort of thing. BTW A man's search for meaning is an incredible book, it really changed me, and I recommend it to everyone here. I am going to work on infusing more meaning into my job and approaching the way I view life with the lens of "meaning" rather than success, or happiness.

Financial 4 - Mint says I spent about $2800. I spent about $250 on gifts, $110 on a passport renewal, and $300 for $400 of Botox credit. You know, I am okay with all that. I would rather feel like I can buy someone a gift because they will appreciate it and because I want to, than feel like I can't afford to do it. And I find myself frowning enough to get that line in between my eyebrows, and if I don't take care of it, I will have permanent angry face. Well fuck that. If it costs me $600/yr to not have permanent angry face, that is the way it is. Well, $500 now since I did the thing. I think I am still in observation mode on this. Seeing where my spending naturally falls right now without any restraint, since I've proven to myself I can get to $1150 when I am really motivated, I sort of know that's a lower boundary for me.

Financial 5 - doing it! I think one thing I didn't realize when I started work, is that really what I was doing was picking up a second job, because I never really got around to fully quitting my first job. So I am doing this job, but still working on the side way more than I anticipated. So that is really nice, it speeds things up.

NonFinancial 1 - doing it, I really cracked down mid-Nov thru Jan 3 on my eating, ate really cleanly. I didn't quite make it yet but I made a lot of progress. I am trying to transition away from being so harsh and strict and find a more sustainable way of eating so I am focusing a lot on tracking my food. will write more below about this.

NonFinancial 2 - doing it! yay! see below.

Okay so basically I found this journal online called the Best Self Journal and it is a $31 journal that is supposed to last you 13 weeks. Well I think that is a little nuts and it turns out they have a PDF of the journal online. So I have read it and tweaked it and made it work for me. and this journal is such a great habit for me! I feel much more focused and productive with it.

The way it works is: you come up with 3 goals. Then you come up with 3 progress goals per goal, and break those down into tasks. Then you journal daily, weekly, monthly, with those goals. Yeah, nothing earth shattering, and shit everyone here has heard before. But I am really appreciating the structure greatly and I've been doing it!

So I've decided my three main goals over the next 3 months are:
1) Meditate every day (I call it MRC - Meditate, (self)Reiki, Connect (with self))
2) Eat Mindfully
3) Journal every day

And this is the worksheet I created to fill out for myself every day to plan my day:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OwH ... sp=sharing

And it's working and I'm doing it! I feel so much more productive, I am making better use of my time, I am being more mindful of my time and my goals, and I am feeling more on track with things. It is helping me greatly.

One last note about time before I sign off. I was feeling severely time crunched this month. The newness of the job wore off and I was starting to get that 'grind' feeling and I was starting to severely regret my decision to go back to work. And then I had this weird 'fight/non-fight' with my boyfriend this week and all of a sudden I found myself with a lot of time in the evenings. And I actually found myself feeling rejuvenated and I actually am starting to feel like I can go back to work on Monday and accomplish some good stuff. and that was so eye opening! it wasn't necessarily all work's fault that work is a grind. I need to be really much better about how I spend my free time. If I spend my free time well, then work doesn't feel like a grind. And maybe this relationship isn't good for me. Truthfully it has been a large drain of time and energy, I thought it was worth it, but maybe it wasn't. And you know what else? When I was pursuing ERE hard in 2012, my relationship sucked then too! And I thought I was so unhappy because of my job. Well, I was, and that job sucked, but I guess the lesson is, I have to have a certain amount of mental resources to be happy at work, and if I am having an impossible time coping at work, it means something is off in my non-work life.

I am encountering typical normal challenges in that which is life but overall I feel like I'm doing well and making good progress.

thrifty++
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by thrifty++ »

Hey thanks for sharing your recent changes.
Sounds like a stressful period but awesome you got a 6 figure job just like that after 6 years out.

Interesting you have been early retired for 6 years. Your story is great as an example to people who dip in and out. Awesome that you have done it but gone back to a great job, might allay concerns people have thinking they will never have a job again if they drop out.

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

Thanks! Just keep your contacts - and have marketable skills. :) and you will be ok :)

latearlyFI
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:24 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by latearlyFI »

Hi LS! I just read your whole Journal! It was like reading a thriller, what will happen next? I like reading the journals that cover years to see how the goals turn out. I found MMM then ERE and these Journals are the best. Thank you for sharing. Once I move I'm going to start my own Journal, I'm so inspired by all of the successes and the realness of your challenges. Better than Reality TV! I wish you luck in your next move. The Condo idea sounds good or a small house maybe? (You seem to like animals). Maybe something that has a separate Mother in law apartment? Whatever it is, I'll be stopping by to cheer you on ;)

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

Thanks latearly :D I'd love to read your journal if you ever start it. :)
Spending so far
November: $~2500
December: $ ~2800
January: ~2200 --> kind of a normal month I guess? No big excuses

I'm going through a bunch of drama and shit in my relationship which I think is a surprise to no one given my last update. It's a massive distraction and I found myself wishing I could just compartmentalize my emotions and put them in a box and take them out and look at them when I want to rather than having them color everything. I guess that's what the meditation is for haha :) I did engage in some retail therapy. But I'm actually running out of things I want. I'm running out of things to buy for myself. My birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to tell people to get me because I've already bought everything.

OK so goal update from last year:
1) Pay off student loans: Hasn't happened literally yet (omg slooooow paperwork from government) but I am treating them as if they're functionally done. So gonna stop updating on this one.

2) Housing goals: I hit the magic $500K in assets. At 4% WR it'd give me $1667/mo which would likely be enough if I owned my own place outright. But I look around and everything I like is just so expensive. Starting around $250K or so. I'm casually keeping an eye out for the rental market for a 2BR that is palatable that has everything that I'd want. And then I'd rent out the second room to a roommate. But not in a hurry, current situation is sustainable for now, though if my roommate passes away (she's old) I'd have to move pretty fast so having cash on hand will be beneficial in that case. I'll keep updating on this one.

3)Finding "flow" and "meaning" in life's work: Book club still on going, happy. Work is still meaningless. I am struggling with that. But I think I am going to start a self improvement meetup group with one of my best friends later this month. I need to keep updating on this one.

4) Tracking my spending: Yeah I am not worrying about this right now - I am seeing where things shake out, maybe over 6 months, to get an appropriate average. I know I can cut, but I want to get a baseline for what life is like when I'm actively NOT cutting anything at all and actually spending out because "Why not I have lots of money now". I know, weird... but I really did experience frugal fatigue going through this process and I think I cut things that I wasn't really necessarily willing to cut out for a lifetime. I think it's a lot like weight loss and dieting - no point in going on a diet unless you're willing to do the thing for the rest of your life, because you'll just gain the weight back. So I am being more cautious in cutting and really optimizing happiness for the funds rather than rushing to get to some ERE finish line ASAP. I want to have my "flow" and "meaning" buttoned up before I really quit anyway and I anticipate that taking a couple of years so I'm actually not rushing to get my Savings Rate as high as possible anymore like I was last time I pursued this. If I quit my job now I will just be back where I was a year ago, without making much money and not really being sure what to do with myself. So there's no point in quitting early since I don't have anything specific to quit for. I will keep updating on this but not really address it for a while.

5) Save money for a sustainable WR: Yeah this is just kind of happening naturally since evidently I'm only spending about a third of my income and my NW is skyrocketing so I'm sort of locked and loaded into this one and I am already addressing it earlier. So I'm going to stop addressing this.

6) Drop 20 lbs - well I was doing great over the holidays and then stress. Blah. I need to refocus.

7) Spirituality focus - I am meditating most days. I'd say an average of 5-6 days per week. The days it doesn't happen are usually days I go straight from work to errands to social engagement to home and it's bed time. And when I meditate right before bedtime, I basically fall asleep in the middle. So that doesn't work. Also I am not finding my meditation to be particularly effective. I am taking an online class about it right now which I'm not getting a lot out of. I might look into "insight meditation" next. That sounds interesting.

I'm still journaling almost every day, I really like that habit. Gonna keep it. I'm still tweaking my 'worksheet' every week. I like that too.

So my current foci (OMG I am so impressed I got to use that word in a sentence):
Figure Out Housing
Figure Out Flow/Meaning
Figure Out Sustainable Spending Level
Lose 20 Lbs
Figure Out a Spiritual Practice that works for me and do it daily

So I'll write about those next month.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:49 pm
I'm gonna have to go back and read the rest of your journal now, thanks!
Marathon session completed.

Holy shit, your thoughts are so helpful! My GF was reading her book next to me, I had to interrupt her regularly and read aloud portions of your journal from 2011-2013ish. Literally the exact same shit going through my mind that I talk about with her. I'm glad to read you're back in a relationship because I think she was getting a bit jealous. :lol: Seriously though, very helpful stuff for me and I'm very appreciative that "past you" took the time to write out all of this stuff out, thanks!

FBeyer
Posts: 1070
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by FBeyer »

LiquidSapphire wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:22 pm
...7) Spirituality focus - I am meditating most days. I'd say an average of 5-6 days per week. The days it doesn't happen are usually days I go straight from work to errands to social engagement to home and it's bed time. And when I meditate right before bedtime, I basically fall asleep in the middle. So that doesn't work. Also I am not finding my meditation to be particularly effective. I am taking an online class about it right now which I'm not getting a lot out of. I might look into "insight meditation" next. That sounds interesting.
...
Figure Out a Spiritual Practice that works for me and do it daily...
1) How quickly do you/did you expect to feel and act differently as a result of recurrent meditation?
2) Why are 5-6 days per week not Good Enough(TM) for you?
3) What do you do, actively, to bring the meditative mindset with you when you 'leave the pillow'? IOW: have you compartmentalized your practice so that it has become disjoint from your daily life?

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

It always makes me so happy when I hear my journal helps someone or resonates with someone. Makes me want to write more, be here more. I'm like a flower and the engagement is like the sun. I appreciate it always and every single time. I need to read the journals of the people who comment. It's on my list. I do care and I want to be here more. I'm still struggling with time management. I want to contribute again. I'll figure it out.

Bigato omg yes so true such a good point. I'm working on self transcendence! I'm giving a self improvement speech in Toast masters this month. Nervous but excited.

Umm... 5-6 is not 7? :) I am a perfectionist? :) how quickly did i expect it to work... right away? I aint got time for unfruitful meditation? :D ha. Haha...hahaha...no I'm not taking my meditation away from the pillow. I have too many goals for the 15 minutes I allot for the practice. The clearing of the mind, the visualization piece, the self reiki, and I expect all of that to "make my life better" in some yet to be defined way. I need to refine my purpose.

FBeyer
Posts: 1070
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by FBeyer »

LiquidSapphire wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:59 pm
...Umm... 5-6 is not 7? :) I am a perfectionist? :) how quickly did i expect it to work... right away? I aint got time for unfruitful meditation? :D ha. Haha...hahaha...no I'm not taking my meditation away from the pillow. I have too many goals for the 15 minutes I allot for the practice. The clearing of the mind, the visualization piece, the self reiki, and I expect all of that to "make my life better" in some yet to be defined way. I need to refine my purpose.
Summary: When your life is 7/7 perfect, THEN you'll be happy, but not before. Until then you'll overload yourself with too many goals, too little time to do them, and too little mental energy spent appreciating the things you DO do for yourself, while spending plenty of mental energy on self-loathing for the too-many-things you don't get done?

Is that approximately right? And if so: how well does this strategy work for you currently? And how do you think that approach will pan out if you make it a solid part of your everyday life for the next year or two? ;)

Can you think of at least two alternative strategies and post them here? I want to see them in print :D

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

Well I wouldn't say that I'm unhappy now but I do feel stressed that there isn't time for all the things I want to do or feel to be important and I'm finding that difficult. I'm squeezing and multi tasking as much as I can but I can only do that so much and then I find myself burning 3 hours on a day off on metaphorical cat videos and being like why did I just do that that didn't add to my life at all. But there are people who red line it all day every day so how do get they do it? I think they take things one task at a time.

How does it work... I've actually accomplished a lot in life but when i look back I did my best when i focus a lot on one very big goal, ere is a good example. But I don't want to choose just one, it's all so important.

How will it pan out well maybe I'll accomplish more in less time? I am making pretty good progress on a large number of fronts I'm just mentally tired.

LiquidSapphire
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by LiquidSapphire »

Hi everyone!

It has been a while :)

I am still mostly executing my 5-year plan. My job that I took about two years ago ended up being the worst of my possible expectations. It became a pretty toxic environment. Thankfully I started applying for new work in the spring and I was able to transition to the new job last month. I don't think I could have gotten that job without having the first 18 months of employment under my belt so that worked out well. I am still new, and I am learning the rules at the new place, but so far, the pace seems so much slower, the work so much easier. It's the first job where I see myself actually being able to stay a substantial amount of time. However, it's only been a month, so. We'll see.

I will say that even with how awful that job turned out to be, I was, and still am, thankful to be working during this pandemic. I am currently living in my 1-bedroom apartment with my little cat alone which, is great. But I would have gone nuts being very socially isolated without work to distract me, especially since I, and my social circle, are trying to be good citizens and pretty cautious.

Financially my savings are doing great - I don't really have to work anymore if I don't want to, but right now if I were to quit, I would just sit around on the internet all day and I know it wouldn't be good for me. I have a FIRE'd friend who does not seem too intrinsically motivated and he's really struggling with the isolation; exactly what I am trying to avoid.

I am casually searching for a two entrance home (basically a duplex or a SFR with a mother in law unit) where the halves are unequally split in terms of size. My intention would be to live in the "small" half and rent out the "big" half. I put one offer down a couple months ago but it was not accepted - I didn't offer enough above asking price. I found another this past week but the neighborhood it was in just didn't feel safe enough. I'll keep looking and as time goes on I might increase the amount of money I'm willing to sink into this project. At this moment the intersection between my desires and the market is quite slim. The Denver housing market continues to be red hot. I know people want security in this time of uncertainty but. It just blows my mind. I have also considered either buying a SFR house (zoned SFR) with an accessory dwelling unit or buying a house where it would make sense to build one. However most local municipalities seem to require that you must live on site, and if you ever move out, you must sell (you cannot rent out both halves, not even to one person.) I would like the flexibility to be able to leave and rent both halves so at the moment not favoring that option. I also considered buying a SFR on land zoned for duplex or mixed use to get around that. However it turns out ADU's are pretty expensive to build from scratch and I don't really have interest in learning how to do it myself. At the moment finding a space that already has two entrances and two separate spaces (or could easily be converted to such) but where the city is not requiring ADU certification seems to be the way I'd like to go.

However, once I locate a house like this and purchase it, it will basically "solve' my housing problem for me and reduce my housing expenses enough for me to become FI by most senses of the definition. Not sure what my WR would be; I'm spending less these days but also I am struggling to find motivation to track my expenses because these times are not "normal". Also it would be dependent on how much the mortgage was and how much the tenants would offset it. But probably 4%, very possibly less.

Currently my project of the moment is actually looking at my impact on the environment and trying to do my (small) part to reduce climate change. Reducing my energy use and my waste. I am already pretty much vegan (7 years and counting) and childless so in the grand scheme doing pretty well but. These stories that are coming out about climate change are starting to really get to me. I can do better than I have been. I am going to attempt vermicomposting I think and when I need to make new purchases, looking at trying to buy things with minimal packaging and packaging that is recycleable or compostable. I bought bamboo floss... it actually works just the same as regular and I can put it in the compost bin. I will miss my plackers though! I am probably going to have to mostly break up with Amazon :'( the amount of packaging they tend to use is obscene and I have recently noticed those bubble mailers are not recycleable. I decided to pay extra to my local utility so that all of my power would come from Wind (well it's more complicated than that but basically you're funding wind projects), in looking at my bill that should only increase it by $5 at the maximum in the winter.

I suppose there is one more thing - to take the new job - I had to break my student loan contract at my old job. Currently they want me to pay all $12000 back. I am researching my options and requesting waivers or at least proration which is currently not in their policy but. We'll see. It was a tough decision - being willing to write a $12,000 check to leave. But ultimately I realized that that was the power of this ERE business. I don't have to work the job that pays the most. I can choose the job that pays just a little bit less, but is much more palatable. It's such a foreign concept to me, and I'm not gonna lie, writing this check is going to suck but. So far very worth it.

Hope you are all well and doing very well on your journeys. I hope to spend some time reading journals and threads and catching up now that I seem to have the mental space. :)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Thank you for the update. Much of your reasoning regarding work resonates.....definitely one of my favorite journals on these forums.

rube
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by rube »

Thanks for the update LS.

chenda
Posts: 1612
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: LiquidSapphire's Journal

Post by chenda »

Great to hear from you liquid, hope the house purchase is a success 🙂

Post Reply