Too Old To Retire "Young"

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FBeyer
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by FBeyer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:43 am

How's your magazine-aholicolism coming along?

Also I don't really like the first world problems denigration. If you're down because you're missing your loved one, then it's a real issue that is wearing on you. It's not something to sweep under the rug as inconsequential/vapid.

Seeing your mother struggle through no fault of her own, should remind you to live NOW, and not postpone life until you're FI. If you can't make the accumulation phase even remotely rewarding I think there are grounds for building some more robustness into your mental outlook on life.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:39 pm

How's your magazine-aholicolism coming along?

Also I don't really like the first world problems denigration. If you're down because you're missing your loved one, then it's a real issue that is wearing on you. It's not something to sweep under the rug as inconsequential/vapid.

Seeing your mother struggle through no fault of her own, should remind you to live NOW, and not postpone life until you're FI. If you can't make the accumulation phase even remotely rewarding I think there are grounds for building some more robustness into your mental outlook on life.
Well, I compromised with myself on my magazine addiction. I bought subscriptions to my top three, and have barred myself from the rest. Having a subscription is way cheaper than buying in the check out, and I justified it because I pass them on to my mom to enjoy, and when she's done I share them at work. All in all, I'm satisfied with this.

Yeah, the first world problems thing.... mostly when I say that it's to remind myself that a lot of people have it really rough--they've lost their homes in a hurricane, they've had loved ones die... and I'm just moaning because we haven't seen each other in a while. I get what you're saying, and I think I've just been in a low phase when it comes to both love life and family life (my mom). I will say it's just hard right now--I feel like I really can't do a lot of the things I want to do because of the situation with my mom. In a very real sense, a lot of the elements of my life ARE on hold because of my family situation, and wishing for that to change is equivalent to wishing my mom was gone--which I don't. I took the day off yesterday and took her lunch and hung out for a while--all we did was watch TV and chat about inconsequential things, but I'm glad to be able to do that. I will miss her terribly when she's gone. And I do feel very guilty sometimes when I think things like "after she's gone I can...." I think it's natural to think stuff like that, but I don't feel good about it. I also feel a little resentful about DBF lately, too--he doesn't work at a 9-5, and he's got a lot more flexibility to come see me than I do him. I wish he would, and I've expressed that to him, but I hear a lot of excuses, some of which are reasonable.

So, more robustness on my outlook on life--yeah. I could use that, I suppose. Actually, I feel good about life in general.... I do feel a little trapped by circumstances just now, though.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:36 am

I think many middle-aged women find themselves in similar situations. I am currently re-reading "Princess Bitch: The Sassy Guide to Relationships, Power, and Success." I am also trying to design a sort of modular elder-care housekeeping system that I can keep tabs on from a distance. My mother has mental health issues that have prevented her from consistently being able to do basic housekeeping since I was around age 10, and she currently has mobility issues (blown knee combined with excess weight and complete unwillingness to do her physical therapy exercises.) It's amazing how expensive it becomes to try to replace the basic functions of personal care and home care when an individual is no longer able or willing to perform these tasks themselves.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:03 pm

IMHO, that "there are starving kids in Africa" line of argument just doesn't work, at least for me. Yes, there is some kid in Africa at this moment who is too exhausted to swat a fly off his fuckin forehead but on that same token, there is a Prince in Dubai right now in Penthouse with a harem of chicks taking turns blowing him. And let's face it, once you give that starving kid a cheeseburger and he finds the energy to swat that fucking fly off his forehead he's going to want a shake and fries as well because that's what people are like. Or that's at least what I'm like and even if they are not like me people are prone to extrapolating the world from their own selfish position. And soon enough that too tired to swat a fuckin fly off his fucking forehead kid is going to hear about that Prince in Dubai getting blown by a harem of chicks and he's going to want that along with his cheeseburger, shake and fries. Well, at least if that fucking kid is like me which I am assuming he is, being the extrapolating selfish prick I am.

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Sclass
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Sclass » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:36 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:39 pm
, and wishing for that to change is equivalent to wishing my mom was gone--which I don't. I took the day off yesterday and took her lunch and hung out for a while--all we did was watch TV and chat about inconsequential things, but I'm glad to be able to do that. I will miss her terribly when she's gone. And I do feel very guilty sometimes when I think things like "after she's gone I can...." I think it's natural to think stuff like that, but I don't feel good about it.
Hang in there. I have dark thoughts about my mom. I know they're wrong and I fight it, but I think it is natural to want to be freed from this kind of thing. There really shouldn't be any guilt for wanting mental torment to come to an end. I love my mom too and will really miss her, but I catch myself in the shower saying "die die die already please!" I feel the guilt.

It'll happen on its own. I try to live in little bits and pieces of time I can take. Today nobody called (caregiver worried about mom's breathing, caregiver wanting an advance on her pay, caregiver wanting time off with pay.) just a day I was left alone. I was free. And I barely realized it but I managed to grab it.

Come to think of it last night was free too and I didn't even appreciate it. Our lives are passing us by too. Try to catch those fragments of the good stuff. They make up life.

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Ego
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Ego » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:58 am

Sclass wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:36 am
EdithKeeler wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:39 pm
, and wishing for that to change is equivalent to wishing my mom was gone--which I don't. I took the day off yesterday and took her lunch and hung out for a while--all we did was watch TV and chat about inconsequential things, but I'm glad to be able to do that. I will miss her terribly when she's gone. And I do feel very guilty sometimes when I think things like "after she's gone I can...." I think it's natural to think stuff like that, but I don't feel good about it.
Hang in there. I have dark thoughts about my mom. I know they're wrong and I fight it, but I think it is natural to want to be freed from this kind of thing. There really shouldn't be any guilt for wanting mental torment to come to an end. I love my mom too and will really miss her, but I catch myself in the shower saying "die die die already please!" I feel the guilt.
The comedian/writer Sandra Tsing Loh wrote a wonderful but massively controversial article in The Atlantic about this exact topic.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... es/308890/

Recently, a colleague at my radio station asked me, in the most cursory way, as we were waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, how I was. To my surprise, in a motion as automatic as the reflex of a mussel being poked, my body bent double and I heard myself screaming:

“I WAAAAAAAANT MY FATHERRRRRR TO DIEEEEE!!!”

Startled, and subtly stepping back to put a bit more distance between us, my co-worker asked what I meant.

“What I mean, Rob, is that even if, while howling like a banshee, I tore my 91-year-old father limb from limb with my own hands in the town square, I believe no jury of my peers would convict me. Indeed, if they knew all the facts, I believe any group of sensible, sane individuals would actually roll up their shirtsleeves and pitch in.”


She did a longform interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation about it here.

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/29/147654739 ... nt-collide

A few other articles followed the Tsing Loh article. They came out just after my parents passed away. At the time I remember it being helpful to know that we were not alone in these thoughts and feelings. Here are a few others....

http://nymag.com/news/features/parent-h ... re-2012-5/

and

www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,91 ... 37,00.html

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Sclass
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Sclass » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:53 pm

Ahh, Sandra Loh, the most notorious Caltech grad. I recall meeting her through a Caltech connection.

Yeah I've spent some time talking to a friend who did hospice for his wife as she slowly wasted away with cancer. He confessed to me he wanted to triple up her morphine dose on occasion when he just couldn't take it anymore. It all passed without any of that action. The cancer was pernicious enough. He really felt guilty about it.

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Sclass
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Sclass » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:44 pm

Ego, thanks for the articles. I gained some perspective.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:20 pm

Ego, thanks for posting the link to the Loh piece. I can relate to it.

Also interesting are the comments by readers that follow, showing both sympathy "been there, felt that way" and those holier-than-thou people who call her a narcissist and worse and tout out the "I cared for my dying mother joyfully, blah blah blah." I find it hard to believe that anyone caring for an elderly parent, an ill or disabled child, or someone else doesn't have those moments when they wish circumstances were different. Even those people that express it still pick up their pack and soldier on. They may never express those feelings, but I have to believe they exist.

All in all, it's OK right now, though sometimes it just feels like a lot that's all ON ME. This week I've had a terrible cold and it would be nice to have someone bring me some chicken soup. Instead I went over there and brought dinner, fetched (and paid for) expensive drugs at the pharmacy, fielded irritating nudges to try to get into a fight ("So what do you think about those rich kneeling asshole football players?" "Mom, there is no way I'm going to discuss that with you." Actually shut her down quite nicely!).

I do not know how people pay for everything. In the Loh piece she talked about paying $5K a month for in-home care. There is NO WAY i can afford that, and I'm the only person in my small family with any money whatsoever. I'm sure when the time comes she's gong to have to be in a dismal Medicaid nursing home, and that just makes me sad. But at the same time, I don't see any other choices. Those worries keep me up at night, but there's little point because I can't do anything about it.

George the original one
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by George the original one » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:34 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:20 pm
I'm sure when the time comes she's gong to have to be in a dismal Medicaid nursing home, and that just makes me sad. But at the same time, I don't see any other choices. Those worries keep me up at night, but there's little point because I can't do anything about it.
Do yourself a favor and tour facilities now, while the pressure is off, so you can choose wisely when the time comes. Ask how long the waiting lists are and what it takes to get to the top of a list.

In both my parent's cases, they lived in retirement facilities that had progressive care and could cater to their declining conditions. Dad needed a nursing home for his final few months (terminal brain cancer) and mom was placed in hospice care for her final week (pneumonia). My brother's wife had Alzheimer's and spent a bit over a decade in a locked down ward before she passed away; he moved her a couple times to find the best care.

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Ego
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Ego » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:39 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:20 pm
I do not know how people pay for everything. In the Loh piece she talked about paying $5K a month for in-home care. There is NO WAY i can afford that, and I'm the only person in my small family with any money whatsoever. I'm sure when the time comes she's gong to have to be in a dismal Medicaid nursing home, and that just makes me sad. But at the same time, I don't see any other choices. Those worries keep me up at night, but there's little point because I can't do anything about it.
I hesitated to post this for that exact reason. $5k a month is crazy. And yet she gets criticized in the comments. Ugh!

You can start now in planning the next phase. That planning may help alleviate some of the stress involved with the unknown, "What am I going to do when...." You might visit a few of the nursing homes in the area and ask them how it works. Talk to them about the circumstances that trigger someone with your mother's condition to qualify for their facility. Be sure to include some of the non-profits and religious homes regardless of their online reviews. Make an appointment with the Admissions department. They generally employ people who are adept at working the system and more than willing to share their wisdom with a kind person who is willing to listen.

Years ago when my mother was trying to get my grandmother into a Catholic home for those with Alzheimer's, the admissions people were very good at explaining which symptom-boxes had to be checked for her to qualify. My mother could then be sure to mention those to the doctor at granny's next checkup. I'm not saying she was dishonest. Far from it. Their problem was that they were not complainers so they minimized the symptoms. Up till then doctor figured my mom had a handle on the situation so there was no need to go to the next level, when, in fact, there was.

ETA: I see that GTOO and I were typing much the same things at the same time. :)

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:59 am

As someone who has taken care of an elderly family member and also has a special needs child, I can see the caregiver issue from different perspectives. It’s amazing how similar the situations are and how differently they are handled. Parents of special needs kids will be caregivers for the rest of their lives, so they are forced — and encouraged — to develop a healthy attitude, coping strategies, and support network as soon as possible and there are abundant resources available. Not so with elder care. Look into those trigger words Ego talked about and mention them to your mother’s doctor. I don’t know what her medical coverage is, but maybe you can get a script for some counseling for her and make it a family counseling session so you can get some too. Ask your own doctor as well.

Also interesting are the comments by readers that follow, showing both sympathy "been there, felt that way" and those holier-than-thou people who call her a narcissist and worse and tout out the "I cared for my dying mother joyfully, blah blah blah." I find it hard to believe that anyone caring for an elderly parent, an ill or disabled child, or someone else doesn't have those moments when they wish circumstances were different. Even those people that express it still pick up their pack and soldier on. They may never express those feelings, but I have to believe they exist.
It’s common to have disturbing thoughts. Many parents of special needs kids have the same horrible thoughts. That’s usually what finally lands them in a counselor’s office — they think they’ve lost it and are going to hurt their child. It’s a perfectly normal reaction for your brain to search for any and all possible ways out of a horribly stressful situation.

btw … I never trust those people who wear their caregiving status like a badge of honor, including the religious ones who act like God gave them their caregiver role because they are the most qualified for it. Maybe it’s just a ‘type’ thing and as an INTP I don’t get it, but it strikes me as a little Munchausen by proxy-ish. There’s a difference between being a good caregiver and getting a buzz out of it. Tune them out.


To me, the built-in time limit on caregiving for the elderly is a negative, not a positive. It appears to be a relief of sorts … I only have to do this for X amount of time … but in reality, I think it lets people avoid setting appropriate boundaries and learning effective coping strategies. It also deludes them into continuing with overly stressful situations because they tell themselves it won’t be forever. Unwitting friends and medical professionals reinforce that perspective with advice that’s mostly of the ‘hang in there’ variety.

Another mistake people make is that they see these crises--taking care of a family member, dealing with an illness--as an interruption to their life. They presume that when the crisis is over they will be able to ‘get back to’ their life. This IS your life. Caregiving is just another season of it which most of us experience unfortunately. That doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely difficult and exhausting, but accepting it and making peace with it can help reduce some of the mental burden. It also gives you permission to fold it into your own life instead of feeling like it has taken over your life and you’re just biding your time until you get your life back.


I’m not saying you’re doing any of this EK, only making general comments. I do think you should find a support group, whether through AARP, a local hospital, or a church (you usually don’t have to be a member to attend a church group of that type). Caregiving isn’t just draining but also isolating, and IIRC you have a brother that will need ongoing supervision of some sort. You need to plan for that as well. {{hugs}}

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Sclass
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Sclass » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:28 am

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:59 am

To me, the built-in time limit on caregiving for the elderly is a negative, not a positive. It appears to be a relief of sorts … I only have to do this for X amount of time … but in reality, I think it lets people avoid setting appropriate boundaries and learning effective coping strategies. It also deludes them into continuing with overly stressful situations because they tell themselves it won’t be forever. Unwitting friends and medical professionals reinforce that perspective with advice that’s mostly of the ‘hang in there’ variety.

Another mistake people make is that they see these crises--taking care of a family member, dealing with an illness--as an interruption to their life. They presume that when the crisis is over they will be able to ‘get back to’ their life. This IS your life.
Thanks for this JP. I've slipped into this line of thinking. As I read this I asked myself what would I do if this caregiving requirement ended? I don't know. The image of one of my past landlords, a WWII POW, getting drunk every afternoon in the garage comes to mind. Not that I want that, it's just a fear.

At least EK has an idea of what she'd like to do instead.

I'm only recently understanding this is a part of my life and I just have to mix it in and enjoy what little bits of good stuff I can sporadically grab.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:02 am

I kinda think the healthiest way to look at it is to say 'how would I do this if I had to do it forever?' If that were the case, you'd be more willing to acknowledge your limitations and try to come up with a plan that was less likely to swallow you whole.

Save the 'it won't last forever' salve for the really bad days.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:52 pm

So, an update. Warning: I'm feeling a little hacked off about work just now.

Completed my (hopefully!!) last work trip for a while. I'm absolutely SICK AND FUCKING TIRED of traveling for work... and I don't even do it nearly as much as some other people in my company. My horoscope said today:Consistency in your daily life has been disrupted by chaos. Although you anticipate returning to a normal routine, it might seem like a dream that's fading into the past. Fortunately, your wish may come true sooner than you think. You are at a turning point today where you can begin to recapture a simpler lifestyle without sacrificing your recent gains. Avoid overreacting to the current tension; it will settle down on its own, leaving you in a better state of mind to make choices that will impact your future. If I believed in horoscopes, that would be about right. Probably 6 months from now I'll be complaining about being bored and wishing I could get out of the office.

I had a 2 day trip shortly before Thanksgiving, and 2 days yesterday and today, and also took Thanksgiving week off work. That was really nice--DBF came and stayed the week, and we had a truly GREAT time. Great enough that I'm really missing him and trying to figure out how we can move to the next phase of our relationship. Frankly, I think he needs to move here, but I get why he won't--he's got business interests in his state, and while he's tired of them (dealing with rental property that he owns), I don't think he can give it up. Still, I'm not entirely satisfied with spending time together for just days here and there. We've spent a grand total of 2 week and 5 days together this year, and that's simply not satisfactory. We talk or email pretty much every day, but when we get together in person, there's sort of a whole "getting used to each other" thing that we have to get through every time, and I'm just... tired of it. I'm not going to give him an ultimatum, and I'm not going to step out on him, and I'm not in a position to move so I guess I'll just put up with it for now.

I had to put one of my dogs to sleep three weeks ago. Very, very sad and I miss her a lot. I'd had her for 15 years; she came to my house as a stray puppy, sick and pitiful. She's been a constant companion. That's actually the third dog I've had to put to sleep this year; that's enough of that for a while.

So back to being hacked off about work. A five hour drive and overnight stay (and $150 dog boarding bill), to spend 4 hours talking about how to build relationships with customers, then a 5 hour drive back. A day and a half out of the office (and I'm out 3 days next week for mother's surgery). I've been doing my job for just under 30 years, and I'm really good at it. I don't need to hear about how to build relationships and have it culled down into "the three C's" and the "five D's" or whatever. My disillusionment with corporate America continues while I simultaneously feather my nest with its donations. Just feeling super burned out right now--hopefully now that all this travel is over, and once I get thru the end of the year my outlook will improve.

Lost 18 pounds on the diet. Actually got a lot of exercise while DBF was here. I think we both realize that being together is good for both of us, just how to make it happen is the question.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:37 pm

I'm really sorry about your dog EK. :(

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:24 pm

Thank you. I miss her so much.

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End of Year Wrap Up

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:22 pm

As I collapsed the columns on my spreadsheet to make December 2017 line up nicely against 2016, I thought of that scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” After George Bailey tries to avert a run on the bank, they’re happily left with $2, I think, and the bank employees sort of dance around and they put the remaining money in the vault, and someone says “we’ll save ‘em for seed,” and George tells the money they need to make babies really quick, and someone else says “too bad they’re not rabbits.”

It’s been a fun year to watch my net worth increase as my little dollars have multiplied like rabbits in their index fund. Thank you, stock market and real estate market. I think Jason wrote in his journal or another thread someplace about that magic $300K mark or so, where your money really starts to work for you, and I think it’s true… and the current market conditions don’t hurt, either.

Net worth is up just a little over $100K since last year, which is truly amazing since that’s actually more than my gross income for the year. (How crazy is that, really? I'm just a girl who grew up sort of lower middle class, and now my money is making money. I feel like a Rockefeller, I tell ya!!). That number includes house values (rental plus the one I live in), 401K value, savings and the lump sum of my cash balance pension plan.

All the more amazing because it’s been a terribly expensive year for me. Lots of travel with my work, lots of dog boarding expenses, a lot of family expenses with my mom, and other stuff here and there. I don’t have it down to the penny, but my day-to-day expenses (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc.) totaled around the $20K mark, and that’s without trying too terribly hard to save money. The rest was spent on those other things I just mentioned. So I really could have saved a lot more, but for those extraneous things, most of which will go away when I’m no longer working (and hopefully most of those work travel expenses will not be an issue in 2018), or when my family situation changes.

So, plugging along. Absolutely no complaints on the money end of things.

Eating out continues to be a source of a lot of spending for me. I think I write that every year. I’m not quite as worried about it lately (well, not worried…. more embarrassed, actually). I sort of have a new diet system in place that I’m sticking too much better; I think for 2018 I may finally see some improvements in my spending--and what I’m eating in terms of health--in the “food” category. I’m monitoring it better and I’ll report back when I have more data.

Job is going OK. Don’t love it, don’t hate it. When I think about how miserable I was about 6 years or so ago, I get some perspective. My boss is a good guy. The work is sometimes tedious, sometimes interesting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes fun. I guess that’s why it’s “work” and not “play.” We may have some changes coming up at our location in the next year or so; we’ll see. I find that I’m not too worried about it. Several of my coworkers are wringing their hands over what might happen; based on my observation, good workers don’t have much to worry about, and while I think management thinks I’m a good worker, if they decide to purge me or something, I’ll be OK financially. It’s good to be able to feel like that, you know? In a way it feels like owning my own life a little bit more. I think Dominguez and Robin wrote about that feeling in “Your Money or Your LIfe,” and it’s really true. For me

Health-wise, things are OK. I’m finally taking better care of myself, which is good. I could also do better, and that’s a goal for 2018. Eating better, as noted above--the next major area is exercise. Finally doing all those check-up types of things that I hate--mammogram done, colonoscopy done, skin check done (friend was diagnosed with melanoma this year, and things aren’t looking good… she’s a lot younger than me).

Creatively, could be better. Wrote couple short stories this year, haven’t really done much to get them “out there.” Working on some other stuff. Another goal for 2018--write more, get it published.

I’m inspired make sure my little garden gets done this year; I always start too late, and then rain makes me even later, and then I end up with about 2 tomatoes. I’ve already added an extra raised bed, and I’m thinking about another one, and I’ve upped my composting game AND added 2 buckets of horse manure so far… so I’m gonna be ready this spring!

There are other things I could write about, and I have some other goals/things going on that I might write about later. All in all, 2017 has been a good year for me, and I hope it’s been just as good to all of you. Here’s to 2018!

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FBeyer
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Re: End of Year Wrap Up

Post by FBeyer » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:23 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:22 pm
...
Net worth is up just a little over $100K since last year...

Another goal for 2018--write more, get it published.
Jeez! I'd be FI in two years if I could scrape together money like that! Good for you!

So uhm about that writing:
1) Why does it make you feel accomplished to write? Who gains? How do they gain?
2) How would it make you feel if you go through 2018 without writing what you intended to?
3) What pastime are you going to give up to make room for writing?
4) How are you going to ensure that you work on that writing and not just postpone it again?
5) What potential obstacles could come in your way, and are there ways to handle them before they become an issue?
6) How are you going to measure your progress and how are you going to build a habit/system that helps you write more?

Happy 2018 EK.

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daylen
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by daylen » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:54 am

We are in a similar situation with the writing thing. Hopefully we can both get published in 2018! Perhaps we need to set some intermediate goals.

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