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

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sun May 04, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi DutchGirl!

He has a lot of trouble physically, he's had a couple strokes and related circulation problems that nearly cost him one foot, then recently developed sciatic nerve/back issues requiring surgery that partly alleviated the discomfort. For him just moving place to place is the big difficulty. Hopefully yes, he will find something to get engaged in, at least mentally and emotionally. He has a tenacious attitude in general, so I think he'll do good.

I started off with almost exactly the same approach you describe. At a certain point I realized that once I reached full retirement age (67 for me) I would be fine--actually, rather wealthy by my standards if I worked and saved the whole time. So, when for different reasons I started looking at early retirement, it was the year X to age 67 or so I had to focus on. I named it the "Bridge Period" just to have a short handle for it.

So most of my planning focused on that bridge period and how I might get through it. Long story short, working to 55 would comfortably get me there. But after having spent some time here on this site and engaging in some introspection, I'm now looking at how I can move things up, which may require moving some of my full retirement assets forward in time and upsetting the "check" I had in the > 67 column.

So I reverted to just looking at 3% of the total. It's highly likely to be a sustainable level and much easier than recalculating all the various scenarios to try and determine how close I am. I'm trusting I can find a solution to the details once the time comes.

Thanks fro making me feel better about my grocery bill. :) I did my first weekend shopping for May and got out of there for about $35, so it's a pretty good start. I count my household supplies and personal care items separately, so considering that and two of you versus one of me, we're probably not all that far off. Your item B) is what really drives up my bill more than anything. It plus ice cream.

Barlotti
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Barlotti » Mon May 05, 2014 1:57 pm

There's a lot of social pressure, explicit and implicit, to not save. Takes a strong person to resist that pressure.

Here's something interesting to consider. When I first talk about savings and frugality with some person, the negative responses vary, from hostility to mockery to condescension. But then a year or two later, that person comes to me seeking financial advice or expresses their enthusiasm about their own frugal victory or to share helpful information with me. This indicates to me that even people who react negatively internalize some of what they're hearing. They may become part of your ER support network once they've had opportunity to mull over what you've said.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Mon May 05, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi Barlotti,

You are right, I have seen some of my friends and colleagues begin to make some changes in their lives. Fortunately, I have a good group I interact with regularly who don't really have either "E" going, but at least they are starting to reign things in so that "R" is not a train wreck for them. Many are committed to living free of debt, and their camaraderie and encouragement had a lot to do with my winding up here.

Even among the resistant, I've seen some small changes. Less so about frugality per se, but at least some awareness that it is possible to rectify the ledger and live life in the black. Relative strangers are the ones who generally nasty about it, in all three of the ways you describe. I've yet to have someone come back later with a change of heart, but it has not been very long yet.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Mon May 05, 2014 7:35 pm

Am I weird?

Increasingly I've been drawn to finding a life somewhere on a remote corner of the map where there aren't anymore words. When I have trouble sleeping (fortunately a rare occurrence) I can easily rectify the problem by imagining myself in such a setting, in the dead of winter, in a small dry place with a fire and something warm to eat. Uncanny how soothing that is to me. Primal, I suppose.

I don't talk about it much, or let my thoughts dwell on it. I'm conflicted with a sense of duty, both to be near my aging parents and at least available to my kids. Yet somewhere with loons, clean lakes, and a river full of brook trout calls to me quite insistently. I've really had a slippery few weeks, but I'm increasingly tempted to throw out everything that won't fit in a pack and go to a place where I can stand still and see it all for the first time.

I would feel as though I was betraying my family in a way, but at the same time I have increasing doubts I could go to other than wherever it is that calls me, and call myself alive.

Weird, huh? Seems like freedom is every bit as elusive with money in my pocket as it is with empty pockets.

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Dragline » Mon May 05, 2014 9:21 pm

I don't think it is so strange. It sounds more like your consciousness is expanding as you see more possibilities -- even ones you might not choose.

Yet, as I often say, you should attempt to choose both, or all, when possible. Nothing would prevent you from going on such a trip, quest or retreat for a short period of time that would not interfere with the other things in your life.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Wed May 07, 2014 4:23 am

Dragline, it is possible that if I make it all the way to 55 at my job I'll have the option of dual residency--possibly. I like the term you used, "retreat". That captures a nuance of it I need to think about some more. I've been viewing it as a full-time thing, but maybe there's a compromise.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Fri May 09, 2014 8:01 am

So Today I turn 50

Hard to argue I'm not a grownup now.

A life lesson that proves itself more true every day--you don't find time, you make it. All those things I never found the time for--they must not be important no matter what I "thought" about them. That's a harsh realization.

The only real significance of the day is that even from the most conservative perspective I can muster, I won't have to continue down my present course for more than 5 years. There's a fairly substantial probability that at this point, aside from what fraction of my current income covers day-to-day living expenses, I'm working for my heirs rather than myself. That doesn't bother me. I was apparently born without the gene that controls a need to "enjoy" money. I look at money as stored work, work I've already done that I'll use to avoid work later.

There was a discussion in another journal about dating (sorry, don't remember which one). I thought about but opted not to chime in on it because I'm substantially older than the journaler, and I would have appeared deliberately obtuse.

I have a younger female friend who encourages me to "get out there and meet people" on a fairly consistent basis. Now I can use my age as an excuse! I've concluded that the chances of me finding a compatible female are absurdly remote. I wouldn't wish myself on anyone, even someone I disliked, much less someone who would meet all my high standards!

I'm not dead set on perpetual bachelorhood, life has a funny way of dishing up curveballs, but for the present my plans include only me.

I have a keen appreciation of the distinction between solitude and loneliness. So I guess it's okay if I wind up alone somewhere in the Northwoods for the long haul. Speaking of which, I still can't kick that urge. I dug out an old CD of recorded loon calls I have and played it at dusk last night. Very real internal tension I have going on between what my "responsible" side planned up until now, and what the selfish side of me thinks it wants to do.

Good thing that plans, like money, are fungible.

That was a weird meandering rabbit trail to get down, and I wound up just repeating myself in the end. Hopefully most of you did not read this far! Contemplating the passage of time does strange things to a guy.

So yeah, I'm getting old. But knowing that I'm inside of 5 years is a pretty good feeling. Five years goes by quickly these days.

I'm thinking of celebrating by calling up my DSL provider and firing them. My old desktop computer died last fall and I bought a new laptop to replace it. I can do my essential online functions at local businesses that offer wifi, although I do have some security concerns with that, and it would mean I would participate here and some other favorite places less frequently. But $50/month cost avoidance adds 12.5 cents/month each month to my FI income!

George the original one
Posts: 4593
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by George the original one » Fri May 09, 2014 10:05 am

> There was a discussion in another journal about dating (sorry, don't remember which one). I
> thought about but opted not to chime in on it because I'm substantially older than the journaler,
> and I would have appeared deliberately obtuse.

Wait a minute... I'm a bit over a year older than you and probably participated in the thread, so you can't use age as an excuse!

User avatar
ebast
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by ebast » Fri May 09, 2014 12:13 pm

Dave - on the DSL side, if your data needs are modest and you're in coverage areas, you might think about a mobile hotspot. I've found myself using https://www.freedompop.com/ where you get the first 500 MB or so free. You have to pay for the device (I hit a promotion where they were giving the USB 'freedom stick' away for free but they have wireless hubs and other things too) but after that, it's hard to beat free and you can take it with you if you're unsure about wifi access.

on the other side - here's secretly hoping for a curveball. in my own experience they can hit you in the unlikeliest of places, if you can just manage to put yourself there.

saving-10-years
Posts: 512
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by saving-10-years » Fri May 09, 2014 12:44 pm

Happy Birthday Dave. I hope there are some nice things happening today - not just change in DSL provider.

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Dragline » Fri May 09, 2014 2:06 pm

Happy Birthday, I-D! '64 was a great vintage, wasn't it? I'm about 5 months behind you, enjoying the fact that I'm now entitled to make so-called "catch-up" contributions to the 401(k), which I have renamed the "overstuffed mattress" contributions.

As for meeting women, your young friend is right that you would need to get out "there", but just make sure the "there" is with the types you might want to meet. And remember, you don't really choose women or at least have no real way of "persuading" one to go with you -- woo-ing is a myth. It's women who really do the choosing in our society. The ones that find ways to keep magically appearing nearby are the ones who may be choosing you. Your invitation to them for coffee or a walk in the woods is merely an acceptance of the choice they have already made.

Oddly enough, your chances are going to improve with age if you can keep yourself in reasonably active physical shape and are otherwise presentable. Men have a huge and favorable survivor-ship bias, because most of the "competition" is overweight, diseased or worse at our age. So you'll be done working and healthy while others are stressed out, eating crap and dropping dead. Play your cards right and you'll be in high demand the older you get. ;-)

EdithKeeler
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri May 09, 2014 7:04 pm

Happy birthday! (And I like your poem, posted a few entries ago). I have the big 5-0 coming up in 5 months, and am not looking forward to it. Sorry, as a woman, I have no advice on the dating scene; it's been 4 years since my last relationship, and I find most men I meet have a lot of financial baggage that I don't want to get wrapped up in. I've been single for so long the thought of sharing a home full time with someone is a little scary... I miss my old relationship--it was the right mix of intimacy and distance, and he was financially independent, so no worries in that regard. We remain good friends to this day. Too many women I know get sucked into relationships because they're lonely or they think they "need" to be with someone. A good friend married a man with a ton of debt that she's trying to clean up; another friend married a man who promptly quit his job and hasn't worked since (and they couldn't afford for that to happen). You sound like you'd be a real catch!

Anyway, if I lived near you I'd take you out for a drink and celebrate your natal day!

jennypenny
Posts: 5930
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by jennypenny » Fri May 09, 2014 7:20 pm

IlliniDave wrote:But $50/month cost avoidance adds 12.5 cents/month each month to my FI income!
I love that you calculated that. :)


Happy Birthday! There seem to be quite a few of us in this age group. (I'll be 48 in a couple of weeks) Funny, it looks like IlliniDave and I are the only ones not born in October. :lol:

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10429
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by jacob » Fri May 09, 2014 8:48 pm

jennypenny wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:But $50/month cost avoidance adds 12.5 cents/month each month to my FI income!
I love that you calculated that. :)
Wait, What?! Doesn't everybody? (Divide by 400 ~ the 3% WR)

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sat May 10, 2014 10:33 am

Wow, a lot of great responses! Thanks for all the wishes, it was an unremarkable day but good nonetheless. I'm using the occasion as an opportunity to ramp up my focus. In all likelihood, as far as the financial side of things go, increased intensity won't make a material difference over simply coasting along at this point. But I'd like to hone my reflexes.

Entering the new decade does feel different. There's no logical reason for it, yet the sense of urgency is definitely more palpable.

Lots of thought-provoking discussion on the subject of dating. I'd like to follow up on that.
ebast:on the other side - here's secretly hoping for a curveball. in my own experience they can hit you in the unlikeliest of places, if you can just manage to put yourself there.
ebast, that's pretty much how it always is for me--just when I least expect it. That's why I never completely close the door on the topic.
Dragline:And remember, you don't really choose women or at least have no real way of "persuading" one to go with you -- woo-ing is a myth. It's women who really do the choosing in our society. The ones that find ways to keep magically appearing nearby are the ones who may be choosing you. Your invitation to them for coffee or a walk in the woods is merely an acceptance of the choice they have already made.
Dragline, all I can say to that is, "Nail, meet hammer." The degree of subtle manipulation in that dance is amazing, but there's little doubt who's leading most of the time. I'm happy to see someone else who's had the same observation. Dunno if it's fortunate or unfortunate, but at this point in time I appear to be flying under the radar. Stealth is my salvation. I like your other idea too. In thirty years I'll be an utter stud in the old folks home :)
EdithKeeler:...and I find most men I meet have a lot of financial baggage that I don't want to get wrapped up in. I've been single for so long the thought of sharing a home full time with someone is a little scary... I miss my old relationship--it was the right mix of intimacy and distance, and he was financially independent, so no worries in that regard. We remain good friends to this day. Too many women I know get sucked into relationships because they're lonely or they think they "need" to be with someone. A good friend married a man with a ton of debt that she's trying to clean up; another friend married a man who promptly quit his job and hasn't worked since (and they couldn't afford for that to happen)
Edith, I have to say that sadly, your observations are common enough to be the norm (in our age cohort anyway) and really, it works in both directions. We probably see the symptoms more in the opposite gender (or most generally, the gender we're interested in pairing up with). I see my single guy friends targeted by some amazingly financially and emotionally needy people. As an observer I can see the train wrecks coming 100 miles away. Warning doesn't help, nothing to do but just sorta wince and watch it happen.

It's harsh thing to say because I have to include myself in the group, and many are in it through no fault of their own, but at this point in life the pond is pretty well fished over, and the distinct majority of the folks running around "available" at this stage of life are single for a reason (sometimes several reasons).

Thanks for the thought regarding the drink! I'm in the south but a long way from Texas (most of Texas is a long way from Texas!). As it played out I had a quiet evening at home. I did splurge on Pizza and Ben and Jerry's!


********************


So aside from hitting an age where it just seems most likely I'll be flying solo, here's my thoughts on the matter. I'm not so old that the physiological aspect of boy-girl interaction has gone dormant and fled from my awareness (I'm trying not to be too crude here), so there's a certain amount of inner conflict regarding the topic.

I really haven't had what I'd call a "relationship" in the time since I was divorced, which is about 6 years now. I've dated some, (and have some howlers of stories maybe I'll share someday) but always there comes a point beyond which I don't want to share my life. Initially it was because my youngest daughter was still living at home with me, but even after she got out on her own there's a moat around my castle.

It's awful to admit this, but part of it's financial. Divorces can be very, very, expensive; and financially devastating. My climb up out of the bomb crater has been difficult, and I really don't want to put my teetering little rebuilt life at risk.

Also, in case it isn't apparent, I'm not your archetypical Stepford guy. I dislike being judged. My ex- worked very hard at fixing me. I don't want to get fixed. I actually kind of like me.

I also don't want to plug gaps in the line and fill holes in other people's lives. Financially or emotionally. One thing that I've learned is that happiness comes from within. It's not something you address by filling voids with external things. I can't make an unhappy person happy in the long run. Maybe in the short run, but in the end the inherent unhappiness will return, and this time I'll be deemed the cause. I spent many years being accused of ruining someone else's life. Never again.

I find there's relatively few happy people out there. Is it just a faulty observation on my part?

So, I'm quite selfish at this stage. It's not something I'm proud of, but there's no point in trying to deny it.

Of course, I had a somewhat analogous palette of attitudes many years back, and then wound up married not terribly long after. I've always been susceptible to those darn curveballs :)

I do sometimes wonder about what kind of person I could conceivably wind up with. I always end up with a notion that it will be someone who is outwardly very different, almost completely opposite,yet somehow inwardly there would be some sort of jigsaw puzzle piece kind of fit. Curveballs again.

So anyway, after that little rant it should be apparent why I predict I'll be going solo for the long haul :D My attitude is distinctly suboptimal.

It's not so awful a fate. And if I'm wrong and wind up discarding my bachelorhood, well, I've been wrong before. Just because something seems likely doesn't mean that the other options are not possible.

I promise to get back on topic next entry.

User avatar
bigato
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by bigato » Sat May 10, 2014 11:24 am

I think you should ask Edith for her email address.

henrik
Posts: 732
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by henrik » Sun May 11, 2014 4:31 am

Thanks for an interesting journal, I like the ones that read like a story with real character development:) Also, happy birthday!

Two bits I liked from your first few posts:
I feel sometimes like I've turned into a big flow diagram over the years, and my job over the next 5 years is to become a blank page.
Also another reason to keep a simple ER lifestyle, less stuff to go wrong.
Also,
I can do my essential online functions at local businesses that offer wifi, although I do have some security concerns with that, and it would mean I would participate here and some other favorite places less frequently. But $50/month cost avoidance adds 12.5 cents/month each month to my FI income!
If security is your only concern, you can solve that to a reasonable degree by subscribing to a VPN tunnelling service, shouldn't run you more than $5/month.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sun May 11, 2014 7:22 am

Tricked by Time

I was doing some thinking last night and was reminded I tend to fall into the trap of looking towards the future for some key ingredient for contentedness. Just a little more money, then I won't need my current job, then I can move, then I can be happy. There are a lot of variations to that chain of thought. But it's always something out there that I don't have today that once I get will be the key to peace. Fortunately, I no longer look at material possessions in this light, but it seems I've maybe just transferred the fallacy to a different arena.

This wasn't an epiphany, because it's a concept I've understood for some time on an intellectual level. I just lose track of it fairly often. It seems like once a month I have to "rededicate" myself to cultivate a focused and mindful path, and to do my best to being fully aware of what's happening in the now. Having just entered a new decade should be enough to remind me that life as a linear concept has finite length. Where you can really make something of it is in it's breadth, and that requires being present.

So today's exhortation is: "IlliniDave, get your head out of the clouds. Don't wait for the future to save you. Look around you now to find your smiles. There's a thousand of them at hand if you just take the time to see them and reach for them."

DutchGirl
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by DutchGirl » Sun May 11, 2014 7:27 am

I have this with changing my habits. "When I have gone through this small patch of rough and busy weeks, I'll be stress-free and then I can start eating healthy / working out / doing volunteer work , etc". But I guess I'll always be relatively busy and that there will always be stress...

IlliniDave
Posts: 2203
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sun May 11, 2014 2:25 pm

Dutchgirl, that made me smile, only because I couldn't begin to count up how many times I've told myself I'd take up or restore some positive behavior right after the weekend, or next time I have a couple days off work, or right after the holidays. In the School of Hard Knocks I've earned my PhD in Applied Procrastination cum laude.

Post Reply