Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Where are you and where are you going?
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Demosthenes
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Location: Ontario

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Demosthenes » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:56 pm

It looks like you have over $20,000 in misc spending. It might be worthwhile to break it down a bit more to identify where all the money is going.
Amazon: $5,562.49
Cash: $1,417.00
Merchandise: $15,647.53
Debit and Checks: $2,876.25

Then there's the curious expenditures
Grocery: $11,542.96 - How is this so expensive? You could argue that it's because you never go out but you're also spending 4,648.08 on dining.
Entertainment: $4,463.64 - Are you purchasing new instruments every year? Financing your jet ski?

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:22 pm

@jacob

Lotta itunes stuff both years, but wife bought a macbook pro in 2016. Yeah, I have no idea what was purchased on Amazon and I don't know if I want to look. I know I bought a six pack of deodorant! The skiing was double in 2016 since it was two years worth (prepaid for 2017 season in 2016) and it was for 4 people. Down to 3 people for the 2018 season. The martial arts is 3 kids (down to 2) since we told them they had to do SOMETHING, and only 1 something. The 3rd decided he'd prefer soccer.

Wife did force the boys to clean their rooms and get rid of shit they haven't used in a year. Gave it away to Veterans Something or Other rather than ebay. One nice thing from that was that she emerged from that and stated "I am never buying them anything ever again." A small victory, but a victory nonetheless!

Yeah, don't know what to do about the alcohol and there are some REALLY good breweries in the area. It helps with the kids, so...

@demo

Entertainment breaks down:

2016

Culture (museums, theater) 1226.33
Movies 732.6 :o
Kids Activities (swim, rock climbing, trampoline, etc) 910.02
Running Events (wife's tough mudder and other races) 852.27
Golf 385.03

2017

Movies 469.18
Culture 387.3
Kids Activities (same as above, plus some summer camps) 2185.6
Casino 212.99
Video Games 216.33

Upon a closer look, the merchandise category included some home improvement purchases, Barnes&Noble (wife loves the books), Joanns or Michaels, Marshalls, Old Navy, Lands End, Men's Wearhouse (work clothes for me), kids instrument rentals, pet supplies, REI/Cabelas, Walmart and Target mostly. Some other random crap here and there like Staples or Dollar Tree. Debit and checks were mostly under $50, so I think those are mostly kids field trips and dumb shit like that. Who knows where the cash went - chipping in for a group meal here or there or paying someone back or contributing to the secretary's christmas envelope, etc.

Is $200/per person/per month egregious food costs? It didn't strike me as too gross. I mean, there's 5 of us, and, granted, we buy too many pre-packaged foods but the boys like them and they're easy and don't generate fights. And also, I mean - 3 boys. They eat and eat yet they don't put on any weight! I actually don't expect this cost to go down until the oldest leaves for college.

As I said before, there's plenty of fat to trim for a motivated couple...but I'm not going to fight about it. I hope the wife is moving a bit towards me with her "never again" comment, but we shall see. I have plenty of my own fat to trim (see, e.g., liquor) before harping on her even if she is responsible for 70%+ of the total spent amount.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:56 am

As a follow-up, we had a conversation about the numbers (actually egged on by my 13 year old telling us he needed winter boots for a boy-scout winter camping event tonight) and together decided to "be more mindful" of our purchases, especially the ones involving "make it easy/convenient" regarding the kids. So, that could (dare I prophesy should?) reduce dining, entertainment and merchandise (including Amazon and Apple).

She seemed to be more open to the idea about "not using money as an easy fix to perceived problems". In other words, if the kids somewhat thoughtlessly say "I have a problem" such as "needing winter boots" and the knee-jerk reaction is to just go buy some because "they need it and we can afford it", I argued that we are 1) wasting money but more importantly 2) robbing them of the opportunity to learn the skills of a) figuring out a work-around, either together or on their own, b) learning what a true "need" is and c) learning to do without, to be uncomfortable. I think she's on board with that? Maybe? We've broached the frugality mindset a few times, but the discussions never went too well because I approached it from the money angle. But now, with "money as a solved problem", I feel more free to approach it from a more relaxed position of "yes we have the money, but what are we teaching our children?" point of view. I make her sound like a diva, and she's not. As she says she's frugal compared to her peer group. It's just that my philosophical peer group is you who live on 1-2 jacobs (I guess we're at 3 jacobs per person, so not completely out of the range here?! I do wonder where I would actually be at if I were single. Pretty damn close to 1 jacob per person in college and law school (other than tuition/books), but I've gotten soft), so our definitions of "need" are fairly wide apart.

Home should also come down since all of our piecemeal kitchen renos are now done with the purchase of a new fridge. Of course, if we move...Doctor/dentist will remain high for the foreseeable future since when one kid rolls off braces, the next will roll into them. Skiing/taekwando/soccer/musical instruments or some similar activities will also continue for the foreseeable future. Man, kids are expensive. We had a few years there when they were out of diapers and content to just be thrown outside for hours at a time. The halcyon days of post toddler / pre teen. Alas, no more.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:46 am

I wanted to copy this post into my journal as a reminder.
suomalainen wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:55 am
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:03 am
This Month’s Big Idea
Although I knew this intuitively, this month really threw the fact that financial independence only solves a set of life issues into my face. Health is not guaranteed with FI, relationships are not grown through FI, the question of where to spend your time is not solved through FI. I am also confident in saying DW and I have moved into a stage of personal finances where the number is background to the lifestyle we desire. FI is now so much a habit (plus we are good at making money) the next question is, ok, now how about the rest of life?!
Amen to this. Personally, I have found that once you get to three kids (mmmmmmaybe two), “the rest of life” gets swallowed by the kids. They just chew up time, money and energy. Some days it’s wonderful and some days it sucks ass. I was reminded of this yesterday at a town-hall style meeting at work where one of the business leads said he was a recent empty-nester (in August) and he and his wife really enjoyed the time to “reconnect and rekindle” and “to learn a few things about myself”. He then said that the kids were back home for the holidays and when they left, he was way more exhausted than at any prior holiday season! When you’re in the thick of it, you sometimes don’t notice the energy requirement because you habituate and it becomes “what’s normal”.
I have a love/hate relationship with my children. I love them in a true "Christ-like" manner. I give them everything I can, for their benefit, to the best of my abilities, but unfortunately and unalterably filtered through my weaknesses - they get my best and my shit. I also love them as in liking them, discovering who they are and seeing them become little people, watching their quirks and personalities develop and smiling as they shine through in unexpected moments.

But I hate parenting. As a side-gig, it sucks ass. The hours are horrible, the pay is non-existent, the stress is off the charts and the ROI is variable. When they were little, the ROI was huge. Snuggling them while they slept on my chest; reading books to them while they sat on my lap; wrestling with them; playing "daddy mountain" (I'd hide under a blanket on my hands and knees and they'd either ride me like a horse and I'd try to knock them off or they'd try to sneak in under the blanket); talking to them as they babbled their way through new words. Now that they are big, the ROI sucks. Do your homework. Take out the trash. Scoop up the cat shit. No you can't play another hour of video games. No you still can't play another hour of video games. Nope, still can't play. Nope, not now either. Still no. Roll those eyes right on up to bed.

This too shall pass.

Edit: Re-reading this, I need to find a sense of humor about this teenage stuff. Letting it get under my skin is not going to be healthy. Any advice out there on dealing with teens? Or suggested reference materials?

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jennypenny
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by jennypenny » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:04 pm

I thought the middle school years were horrible but once they got to high school I liked my teenagers. I've always treated them like adults though under the guise that 'people used to get married at that age' yada yada. Lots of other parents have criticized me for it, so I'm always hesitant to mention it. I figure by the time they get to high school age they regularly see people drinking, doing drugs, smoking, cursing, having sex, dealing with unwanted pregnancies/abortions, etc. All of my kids have known other kids who've OD'd or committed suicide, too. That's a lot to deal with and I remind myself of that when they are driving me crazy with the constant emoting. Given what they deal with, I try to treat them like adults and give them some autonomy, albeit with some clearly defined boundaries.

A related discussion in 1task's journal from a while back (jumps right to my post but there are a couple of pages related to this topic) ... viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4660&start=50#p77714

suomalainen
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Bug or Feature?

Post by suomalainen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:39 pm

I'm sure the idea of "is it a bug or is it a feature?" has been well-known amongst the tech crowd for many years, and I'm not entirely certain when it entered the popular lexicon, but I've enjoyed that turn of phrase and the interesting take on perspective it raises for a few years now.

I've been feeling stressed about my kids for about two years now, in particular their transition from babies, infants, toddlers, kids to tweens and teens. I don't know what I'm doing; it's uncomfortable; it's challenging. As I was discussing this with my shrink, he made the interesting observation that I seem to view my kids as a rock in my shoe. He contrasted this with my experience doing an Ironman triathlon a few years ago. "You know pain is part of the long-distance triathlon, right? So why is that particular pain or discomfort just part of the experience, something that is expected and 'the way it should be' and the discomfort or pain of raising children is a rock in your shoe, something that 'shouldn't be there'?" In other words, is the stress of raising kids a bug...or a feature? Or, more specifically, HOW/WHY did the stress of raising kids transform from feature into bug? It's not like they're doing anything developmentally inappropriate, so what's changed with you?

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a single 40-something friend who was quizzing me about my marriage and wistfully spoke about "going home to your best friend" as if I was fucking a rainbow defecating unicorn every night. I was floored. Where I saw normal, every-day marriage with both ups and downs (some features, some bugs) he saw nothing but unicorn (all features). I guess it's all in how you look at it. A similar question can be asked when I'm feeling distressed about work. Is work a bug or a feature?

Another thing that happened at my last session was that I started to get emotional when my shrink was saying something, I forget exactly what, it's not important, but what was important was this gesture he was making with his hands to emphasize the point he was making - a gesture starting with his hands close together near his chest and then moving upward and outward. It brought to my mind something to the effect of "life spring" or "wellspring" or something like that. As I struggled to find words to describe what I was feeling, I said something like "I want to be at peace. I want to be someone who can say 'I love my life' and I'm just not." For some reason, it was important for me to be able to recognize that and/or to say it out loud. Like, it freed me to accept it about myself. For so long, for SO long, life was about achieving, about growing, becoming, perfecting. It's a big thing in Mormonism for sure, but even in my atheistic household growing up, life was never about acceptance.

Someone on this forum once said something like "At some point, money becomes a story that you tell about yourself or your life." And it’s true, my stress about life being meaningless or about saving every penny or about buying just the perfect house was really about using money to write a meaningful story about my life. I guess with the statement that I want to love my life and I want peace, I admitted that I no longer want to be a narrator who comes up with a story line and then works to achieve, become, develop, perfect the outlined character - the fantasy. I certainly don't want to adopt an outline of a character foisted or suggested on me by others. No more sturm und drang. Just peace and acceptance.

Since then, the focus of my mindfulness project has really sharpened. I deliberately try to eschew stress, both at home and at work. "Nothing has any meaning" no longer is a source of stress, but actually is a potent lens through which to view the bugs of life. Stressful at work? No worries, just let it go, it doesn't matter anyway! Worried about the kids becoming ungrateful, entitled, lazy, spoiled little assholes? No worries, just let it go, this particular little thing you're stressing about is not as big a deal as you think (and a thank you to @jp and derivatively to @1task for writing their experiences and the pointer to them - very, very helpful perspective).

The point was driven home later on a long walk in a local park. As I was walking and thinking and enjoying the peace and solitude in the woods, I thought about something like "If only I had more time and could go on a meditation retreat" and I thought about a story I'd read about a lawyer who took a sabbatical and did some cool things in order to gain some perspective about his life and career and I thought about @c40 and his vanlife and how that's now coming to at least a temporary halt. While pondering those examples, the thought hit me - I don't need to embrace my desire for these cool "slowing down" experiences by focusing on when I'm not working or when the kids are gone. That kind of over-focus on "after" turns my desire into a kind of violent desire - it achieves exactly the opposite of what I'm aiming for! Rather, I can delete the "by" clause! Just embrace my desire for these cool "slowing down" experiences NOW. It's not like I would want to hobby or meditate or walk in the woods 40 hours a week once I quit working and once the kids leave. Embrace that these things are part of a "web of pleasant distractions" that will only form single strands of said web, whether I'm working or not, whether I have kids at home or not. No one strand deserves the spotlight. You want to do X? Make room for 30 minutes of it during the week. If it sticks, great! Expand the time slot. If it falls by the wayside, great! Time slot is open to try something new.

There's a joke or relationship advice or something directed at younger men that goes like this: don't put the pussy on a pedestal. If you're not familiar with it, I think you get the point. Well, don't put the retirement on a pedestal. In other words, embrace the features of the life that you actually, currently have and accept that bugs will be part of it. It's not that the bugs "shouldn't be there", but more likely that the bugs exist to help you appreciate the features.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:52 am

The more intrusive you remain in the lives of your children as they grow into adulthood, the more fly back you will have to deal with. The less intrusive you become in the lives of your children as they grow into adulthood, the more you will have to do the work of creating structure in the expanse of your own ego space formerly filled with the tasks of fatherhood. Now that my children are in their late 20s, I don't even know whether I should call them more often to express interest and loving concern and arrange to meet for lunch, or not? If I slipped on the ice and broke my skull open tomorrow, I am certain they would be grief-stricken, but I am equally sure that their lives as adults would go on without me. So, maybe ask yourself "How important do I want to be?"

Jason
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Re: Bug or Feature?

Post by Jason » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:26 am

suomalainen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:39 pm
as if I was fucking a rainbow defecating unicorn every night.
Being that there is Sasquatch porn (I have a friend...) I am assuming there is a pornographic exploration of this mythological ectype out there. In any event your angst is entertaining. My only concern is that it kills you prematurely and I won't be able to continue to enjoy it.

Perfectionism is also found in other religious expressions, such as Methodism. IMHO it's one of the more dangerous doctrines. It conflates the declaration of complete innocence (status) with a life of complete innocence (condition). I think it's best and actually correct to separate the two and realize that they exist simultaneously. It's like telling your kids that you love them unconditionally (because you do) while you wonder if they are really just ultimately future assholes (because they probably are).

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Family father
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Re: Bug or Feature?

Post by Family father » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:58 am

I'm way behind you in raising children (my oldest is still 7) so when it comes to kids, reading your journal is something like looking into the future.. ;)
suomalainen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:39 pm
I've been feeling stressed about my kids for about two years now, in particular their transition from babies, infants, toddlers, kids to tweens and teens. I don't know what I'm doing; it's uncomfortable; it's challenging. As I was discussing this with my shrink, he made the interesting observation that I seem to view my kids as a rock in my shoe. He contrasted this with my experience doing an Ironman triathlon a few years ago. "You know pain is part of the long-distance triathlon, right? So why is that particular pain or discomfort just part of the experience, something that is expected and 'the way it should be' and the discomfort or pain of raising children is a rock in your shoe, something that 'shouldn't be there'?" In other words, is the stress of raising kids a bug...or a feature? Or, more specifically, HOW/WHY did the stress of raising kids transform from feature into bug? It's not like they're doing anything developmentally inappropriate, so what's changed with you?
When I read about the toddler-kid transition you made me think, but your shrink's observation was like a slap on my face too... one of the things I like of this forum is how often I get chances to learn about myself: thanks for sharing!
suomalainen wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:39 pm
As I struggled to find words to describe what I was feeling, I said something like "I want to be at peace. I want to be someone who can say 'I love my life' and I'm just not." For some reason, it was important for me to be able to recognize that and/or to say it out loud. Like, it freed me to accept it about myself. For so long, for SO long, life was about achieving, about growing, becoming, perfecting. It's a big thing in Mormonism for sure, but even in my atheistic household growing up, life was never about acceptance.
Congratulations on your WOW moment!

I've recognized the only barrier to my happiness is that "achieving, growing, becoming, perfecting" wall I built myself for some time now.

It is still there, but both the wall and I know it, and we both know some day i'll get over it: it's just that the path is a bit longer than desired.

However, I never was able to define it so precisely, and to point so clearly the path through it: acceptance.

I knew of that path because of my interest in zen and meditation, but I didn't realize the strong link between them..

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:48 pm

@7 I've taken the view that I am objectively not important. In fact, seeing myself as and acting in my children's lives as if I were important robs them of the experiences they need to develop the skills to become fully functional/actualized/whatever adults. We might be thinking of it in the same way, I dunno, but I view myself as a mere tool or guide along their path. As an example, a friend of mine took care of everything for her daughter after a car crash (insurance, towing, new car, lawyer, etc). I would’ve said “Glad you’re ok. Call me if you need help with anything.” Maybe importance is the wrong word/concept.

@Jason Agree that perfectionism is a dangerous doctrine - destructive, even.

@ff
reading your journal is something like looking into the future
God forbid.

I kid, but I get it. There's something...powerfully different between "knowing about" something and "knowing" something. The former can be done vicariously, the latter only experientially, but only the latter is really lasting somehow. Strange, in a way, how all these lessons are out there and well known but must be lived to be rediscovered time and time again. For me, it really felt like a struggle between “what i should do” and “what i want to do”. I thought I wanted what i should want, but the aha moment was allowing myself to let go of the shoulds and accept that I’m not the should. In that moment, I realized I wanted peace more than I wanted the should - I don’t want to accomplish anything; I just am and want to be a schlub. And there has been peace in that.

Since then, the kids still have driven me nuts from time to time, but it’s just normal bullshit. No need to get so super angsty about it. Their eternal assholishness does not hang in the balance in every interaction; they’re just being dumbass kids. When I notice the blood pressure spike, I just deliberately pull it back down.

I went cross country skiing in the “backcountry” (local park) after some fresh snow recently for the first time ever. I love being in the woods. There and elsewhere in the last couple of months, the moments of “flow” have noticeably increased in frequency - reading, skiing, walking, running, playing guitar, have all been triggers of or contexts within which flow has appeared. It’s been nice.

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Fish
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Fish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:18 am

I really enjoyed the "Bug or feature?" post and found it helpful for improving my attitude towards my kids... I don't get stressed, but they're good at triggering thoughts of "I'd rather be doing something else" when they don't behave as I would prefer. :| I try to keep my feelings honest but at the same time I can't let them get to me because I'm trying really hard to appreciate this unique phase of their lives and mine. :D
suomalainen wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:48 pm
I don’t want to accomplish anything; I just am and want to be a schlub. And there has been peace in that.
I'm somewhat younger than you, but while I can understand being a schlub I can't see how someone could find lasting peace *wanting* to be one. From experience ambition-suppression seems to work about 95% of the time, but there will be an occasional trigger, e.g. seeing what other more accomplished people have done with their lives, which then makes me feel bad for not having made the attempt. Not because I want what they have, but because deep down, I do have a little bit of that fire in me (and I don't know what to do with it).

Instead, let me drop some Viktor Frankl into your journal (from the Man's Search for Meaning thread). This reflects my experience thus far in life:
VF wrote:I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what a man needs in the first place is equilibrium, or as it is called in biology, "homeostasis," i.e. a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.
I am curious, how did you convince yourself that it was ok to stop striving for the "should?" I have no trouble accepting what I am today, but I have only made peace with the past, and not with the future. When the time comes, I will unconditionally accept what then is past, but I always look to the future with a sense of possibility.

Since we are on a retirement forum I assume it is acceptable not to have career ambitions... but if we are also going to call money a "solved problem" then I think something (or preferably, a web of somethings) needs to replace the FI/RE goal. If your job and your kids are winding you up, perhaps in the moment it is enough to make time for a "slowing down" experience. What I question is whether the web of pleasant distractions, i.e. the occasional relaxing nonproductive activity, is enough to find lasting peace. Is the striving and struggling necessary for fulfillment? Was jacob right all along by declaring the preferred structure as a web of *goals*?

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:56 pm

Fish wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:18 am
From experience ambition-suppression seems to work about 95% of the time, but there will be an occasional trigger, e.g. seeing what other more accomplished people have done with their lives, which then makes me feel bad for not having made the attempt.
...
(Viktor Frankl wrote:)
VF wrote:I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what a man needs in the first place is equilibrium, or as it is called in biology, "homeostasis," i.e. a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.
I am curious, how did you convince yourself that it was ok to stop striving for the "should?"
...
Since we are on a retirement forum I assume it is acceptable not to have career ambitions... but if we are also going to call money a "solved problem" then I think something (or preferably, a web of somethings) needs to replace the FI/RE goal. If your job and your kids are winding you up, perhaps in the moment it is enough to make time for a "slowing down" experience. What I question is whether the web of pleasant distractions, i.e. the occasional relaxing nonproductive activity, is enough to find lasting peace. Is the striving and struggling necessary for fulfillment? Was jacob right all along by declaring the preferred structure as a web of *goals*?
I don't see this as ambition-suppression. It was more like...look, I'm just gonna write it out, recognizing that my problems pale in comparison to many people's, but my problems are real enough to me. I've heard the idea before that if you're a drug addict, you will never change until you hit rock bottom. In that moment, I hit rock bottom. It wasn't like I was lying in a ditch after getting beaten half to death by some guy after sucking his dick for money to buy some blow or some similar as-rock-bottom-as-you-can-get-story. It was just rock bottom in the sense that it was a naked moment - a moment where I confronted my naked self without the bullshit we typically layer onto ourselves as defense mechanisms. It was quite literally (to my feeling now) the 1-second culmination of about 4 years of therapy (in addition to years and years of self-flagellation). I just....let go. All the shit I was fighting for, just poof, a fart in the wind. The only thing left was just: "I want peace." And that's the thing about therapy - it was just this bizarre little happenstance. My therapist made this stupid thoughtless gesture with his hands and that's the thing around which my thoughts and emotions clicked. Like when you drop a mentos into a coke bottle and you get those nucleation sites around which the fizziness happens and boom the thing fizzes out of control. Just one of those things. I didn't choose to let go, in a way, it just happened. I can't explain it.

I didn't convince myself that it was ok to stop striving for the should*. In one session, my therapist instructed me to do what I wanted rather than what I should do. So, I did. Shoulds used to be all external for me - my dad, my religion, etc. But I realized that some of my shoulds had been internalized as well, like when I'd compare myself or my life to other people who live "better" lives or a life that I wanted. So, it was more like I made the conscious decision to recognize the internal tension when I didn't really want to do what I felt like I should do, and then I just decided "fuck it, I'm gonna do what I want to do, which is not what I should do." It was more like developing a skill - the more you deliberately practice it, the easier it becomes. Circling back on ambition, if I wake up one day and want to achieve something**, GREAT! I will go do that. In the meantime, I want to be a nobody who putters around in peace in relative obscurity. I think for me that that's what "I want peace" means. It doesn't mean "I want peace and quiet" as in "I want the kids to just STFU for an evening" although I do desperately want that sometimes also, what it means is that I don't want to continue struggling to be something I'm not. I don't want to keep wanting things I can't have. I can't keep chasing fantasies that are just so fucking unrealistic (many of them centering around me not having kids! Too late! I already have them!).

* And let's be clear about definitions here: I don't mean that should = responsible and want = irresponsible. "Want" means, all things considered, including the long-view, what you want, which for me includes being responsible; "should" is cultural or other pressures to do certain things or to do them a certain way. An example relevant in this forum might be: should = skinny expenses down to 1-2 Jacobs; want = spend what is comfortable for the 5 people in my decidedly non-jacob family.

** In fairness, the stress w/r/t my kids is because I *am* ambitious - I want to be a good father and teach my kids to be kind, competent, independent people. I just don't have the passion to be anything else - cycling, woodworking, any other hobby or work I've tried...I just don't give a shit. They all become a should after a while.

And note that I don't think my "I want peace" is universal by any stretch. That was just the way I phrased this culmination of me and my problems and my journey and my status. Everyone has to find their own self. You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do.

I read Man's Search for Meaning a few months back, actually. I remember really enjoying parts of it and not agreeing with some of it. I guess I'd disagree with the quote. I don't think my "I want peace" equates to "I want a tensionless state". What I'm looking for is what I think all of you ERE-ers are looking for: a state "when life is fairly carefree and yet not altogether carefree" (Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, page 114). That's what it means that "money is a solved problem" to me. Among the problems I have, how to deal with money is "solved" such that I no longer need to spend any significant mental resources on it. I can go and solve other problems or go and do other things. Things I want to do. Such as skiing in the local woods when I've never done it before.

If goals are your thing, by all means, go achieve them. But if they are not your thing (or not your thing right now), then why adopt the Frankl sentiment that you SHOULD have a "worthwhile" goal? What makes a goal "worthwhile" anyhow? In addition, broad statements about "what man actually needs" is too generic to be correct or even useful. Everything has its time and place. You can have worthwhile goals some days and tensionless states other days. It may be that after my period of eschewing stress, I will pick up with some stressful, worthwhile thing...but I will still be at peace, and if I'm not, then I'm doing it wrong. Being at peace with myself means that I accept who I am, even when it's a schlub or a 14-jacob family or a guy that just needs a weekend away from his kids (which, by the way, CHECK! pretty sure I'm headed to VT this weekend if I can get over my "ugh a 4 hour drive" feeling).

And not that it's reassuring to you (or @ff), but I wasn't stressed about my kids until mid-middle school either. I LOVED the kids when they were younger. It was exhausting and challenging and all that, but it wasn't stressful. I still love them, but more and more they're people, not kids. It's just different. I dunno. Your mileage WILL vary.

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Edit: Another example of this should/want or fantasy/reality inner struggle is:

should/fantasy - "I don't want to work, so I should retire, so I should think about retirement and read about it, all the time! What will I do when I'm retired? Oh, the things I can do! Just look at all the cool things some of these retired people do! How do I get there? Well, let's tally up expenses and think about how to cut those. Let's chart asset accumulation progress also. Oooh, look, an extra thousand bucks! Sweet, let's see...carry the one...YES! I'm .01% closer to my goal!" Etc.

want/reality - "I want to work. But I thought you just said you don't want to work. Well, fact is that I want to work because: work provides my family health insurance and I definitely want health insurance for 5 people and can't afford it without work no matter how many thousand bucks I can find in the couch cushions. I also want money to avoid fights about how to not spend money with the 4 people for whom my dream is not their dream. Plus, it looks like everyone - literally everyone - that you read about retiring gets bored with their own fantasy and goes back to work in some capacity. So, skip the fantasy buildup and get to doing what you really want now."

solution - let go of the fantasy. Accept my reality. Accept that I actually want to work, all things considered. Stop fighting it. That's what I mean by "I want peace."

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Fish
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Fish » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks for clarifying and explaining your thoughts on the matter. For me this whole FI/RE thing has been like waking up at the end of a long list of “shoulds” (good grades, college, career, marriage, house, kids, ...) and trying to enjoy the newfound perspective and freedom without losing what was built up over the past 20+ years.

Reinterpreting the VF quote, I think there is already plenty of struggle and striving wrt career and family, and so long as you are able to derive some sort of meaning from either then it’s not in vain. As for the nonproductive “slowing down” experiences, I’m fully in agreement. Your life is already full of “shoulds” and there’s no need to struggle 24/7 if it’s avoidable. With life already so full as it is, I also seek and cherish opportunities to slow down.

There was a lot for me to process and consider in your last few posts, thanks for sharing. Enjoy your weekend away from the kids. ;)

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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:17 pm

Yes, I think that's a way to look at it if needing meaning is a part of you. For me, I think I just sort of let go of the desire for meaning. I just had so much angst. Wanting "slowing down" experiences was, I think, my shallow way of trying to fill a hole that was in my soul. Like...I kept trying to find external solutions to internal problems. Does that make sense?

- I felt angsty about meaning - "What does it mean? What does it mean?". I would try to find meaning in everything from a look to a chance meeting to missed opportunities from years ago, etc.
- I felt angsty about work - solution: change jobs! stay in the same job! retire! work less! work more! take a sabbatical!
- I felt angsty about kids - solution: wish I never had kids! get divorced! stay together! do more with the kids! do less with the kids! spend more to make it easy! spend less and teach them responsibility!
- and on went the anxiety spiral

It just got so exhausting. Cognitive dissonance every which way I turned. That's why I sort of am trying to say: don't read too much into my little anecdote. It's psychotic. Or neurotic at the very least. No need to try to extrapolate from my little rabbit hole to yours. Turns out that I didn't need an external "slowing down experience"; I needed an internal "choose peace". I didn't need a little break; I needed a major shift of mindset. It wasn't a paint job; it was an engine overhaul. The kids weren't the problem, the job wasn't the problem; the problem was me and the broken lenses through which I viewed my life.

I have a friend who used to say "I choose happiness" (his life's a mess now so he's stopped saying it!). I thought it was a neat little phrase. I tweaked it for myself recently because happiness is a funny thing. But peace...that I could get my arms around, and it was something I could choose. So, "I choose peace." I choose to stop chasing these external things in the hopes that they can fill the hole I feel in my soul. So while I am finding these little "slowing down experiences" (walks, skiing, etc), I am doing so simply because I like them, not because they mean anything or because they will give me peace. The peace comes from letting go of the wrong approach to my main problem.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...you do you. If the "life is SO FULL right now" feeling resonates with you, then maybe all you need is a chance to slow down in this part of life or that so you're not burning the candle at both ends (like not filling up on kids activities too much). If you're not as neurotic a ball of anxiety as I was, you may not need years of therapy. Maybe you do, only you know. But for me...I couldn't do anything right because it was all built on this faulty foundation of trying to solve an emotional problem with money or other external things and that's the core thing that needed and needs to change. If I can rebuild this foundation and become a healthily actualized adult, perhaps I can then take another look at my life to see if I want to make any changes -- not because they will mean something or that they will "make me" anything (happy, satisfied, whatever), but just because I want to. No more, no less.

And I didn't leave after all. Weather forecast was too shitty. And as I type this, my 11 year old is sleeping on our bedroom floor after puking his guts out for about an hour. :roll: Ah the joys of parenthood. Oddly enough, I can't get my wife to be amorous with me. :shock:

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:25 am

Well, for what it's worth, I would definitely not want to speak after you if we were attending the same 12 step meeting.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:41 am

Thanks? I've never been to one, so not sure what you mean. I did find individual therapy very helpful even though I resisted starting for years. And just generally talking through my thoughts with friends to try to make sense of them has been somewhat helpful as well, a pressure-release valve as it were. Writing here and in an offline journal from time to time has also been helpful in a similar way. In my limited experience, though, it's just so personal, I'm not sure how a group setting would allow you to get into the vulnerable specifics enough to really root out the problems. YMMV.

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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:03 am

I'm merely stating that whether it was in a room of drug addicts, degenerate gamblers or sexual perverts speaking on their existential angst, you would easily be the Cicero of the group.

So, yes, you are very welcome.

suomalainen
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An Extraordinary Life

Post by suomalainen » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:42 pm

It's been a busy couple of weeks at work what with a number of deal closings and other matters, most of which were on the short track which require a lot of scurrying around. Deal docs need to be read and negotiated quickly, which requires foregoing most of the typical lawyering around and just focusing on the parts that actually matter. It can be quite stressful because it doesn't give you the chance to really understand how all the documents and all the provisions hang together and you worry that what the right hand giveth the left hand taketh away. In short - it can be hectic and stressful. But in the end, it's important to remember that it's only money. And not even your money.

Anyway, in the hustle and bustle of "accomplishing things", it can be easy to get carried away, to bring work home with you and to not disengage fully. It's been an interesting exercise to try to actively manage this first stressful period since my decision to deliberately eschew stress. It was nice to come home and proactively engage in some confirmation bias by continuing to read my current book The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang. I think I ran across a reference to it here somewhere, but I don't remember where. There is a subtitle-ish phrase on the cover The Classic Bestseller That Introduced Millions to the Noble Art of Leaving Things Undone. There has been a lot of wisdom in it so far and a lot of quotable sentences, but the gist for me so far has been this confirmation bias, if you will, that sometimes it's important to get things done, and the rest of the time it's important to not do anything. Another great book in this area that I've read a couple of times is The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman. Both books have provided me...comfort, I guess, that "the way I am" is a perfectly acceptable way to be.

This concept of doing nothing obviously contrasts with a big focus of modern American life, which was highlighted by a recent email I got from my trade organization. A notification was circulated that a prior president of this organization had passed away in her early 60s and it contained a link "Click here to read more about her extraordinary life." Naturally, I clicked, intrigued to read an obituary describing an extraordinary life. In it, it discussed her career and a major initiative or two that she had accomplished. It also mentioned a few board and community roles she undertook. It was totally and completely underwhelming - utterly ordinary. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but why must we label something "extraordinary" when it isn't? Why is it so hard to accept the utter ordinariness of the vast majority of each person's life, and in fact the utter ordinariness of the vast majority of lives?

Also in the past couple of weeks, I was somewhat accidentally invited to two events with "extraordinary" people. In the first, ok, I will admit, I think his life was extraordinary. He was a past director of the CIA and I am sitting with him at a table of five people. I went to the lunch being somewhat unimpressed since I am not a fancy person and meeting fancy people puts me out of my element. But after the lunch, I have to admit, it was really cool. I would have loved to have heard more of the stories that started with "When I was CIA director...." or "So I was sitting with the President and..." The things he has seen and done have impacted nations. That, to me, is extraordinary. On the other hand, here was this person that had seen and done things that could be in the history books pitching his firm's services to my institution. He was now a salesman. A rich fancy salesman with a very cool history, but a salesman nonetheless. Utterly ordinary.

At the other event, a founder of a very large and rich money manager was giving a presentation to our institution and he kept telling these stories of very rich and powerful people he knew. "So this rich institution decided last minute that he wanted to give us $300 million and I said 'we can't take it, you're too late' and he said 'I'll have to call your very rich and famous and powerful boss to make you take it' and I said 'go ahead' and I never heard any blowback from my very rich and famous and powerful boss." Cool story, bro. "So we're in the middle east and a sheikh arrives 45 minutes late to our meeting and sits down and says 'you have 60 seconds to tell me why I should give you any money' so I said 'we deliver top quartile returns in half the time at half the risk and at half the fees, what would you like me to do with the other 50 seconds?' and we had a hearty laugh and he gave me another hour." Cool story, brah. "So when we started this firm, we would wake up at 6am and work until 3 am..." High-five, brah. I promise I am duly impressed. Again, the takeaway for me was, this guy is in sales. Utterly ordinary. He's very rich, blah blah blah, but here he is, still selling his services. What's the point? When does it end?

I sometimes fantasize about being very rich. But having met some people that are very rich...I'm not sure their lives are any different than mine. And the oddest thing about it is that it's by choice. They could do anything they wanted...and what they want is to sell their work to get more money or fame or power or whatever. I don't get it.

Meanwhile, in ordinary-land, I was walking to my car after work around twilight one evening and I was looking at the sky. It had been the first cloudless day in a long time and the gradual shading of blue from west to east was amazing. In particular, the depth of the blue (indigo even?) towards the east was just...extraordinary, so much so that I felt the blueness of the sky that evening rather than simply seeing it. I am having more and more of these delightful 15-second experiences and I cherish them.

An appropriate quote from a commencement speech given by Bill Waterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes):
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it's to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential, as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You'll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are and what you're doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out and I guarantee you'll hear about them. To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:58 pm

I decided somewhat on a whim on Friday to fast until at least Monday. In a few minutes, it'll have been about 48 hours. Not sure I've ever gone this long before. Why do it? One, I wanted to try to go back on low/no carbs and just cold turkey seemed easiest because, two, I get addicted (for lack of a better term) to carbs. I crave that shit, unending cravings, if I skip a meal after I've had refined carbs. And three, I wanted to reassert myself with respect to food rather than letting those cravings control me. Something something free will something something. Massive headache yesterday, went to bed early like I was sick. Feel a little....meditative today, but in body, not in mind. Here's to making it to 72 hours.

suomalainen
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March Update

Post by suomalainen » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:17 pm

Made it 72 hours. I wasn't hungry, I just didn't want to continue any longer. The body was willing, the spirit was weak. Had some leftover taco meat and cheese, a strip steak, some spring greens, a pickle slice, 2 slices of cheese and a half a slice of bread with mayo and cheese. All yummy.

Onto the March update. March was a challenging month. It was busy at work. The kids and wife also got sick - the wife was in bed for almost a full week. I have to admit -- I hated that. I have zero desire to ever become a single parent. I've always admired single parents - not because I want to emulate their lifestyle, but just for the fact that they are able to do it. Props. I would absolutely be a horrible single parent.

The other thing that happened in March was money money money. Bits and pieces of stock awards from five prior years vested every day for five straight days. Getting at least a few thousand bucks a day for a week straight was nice. At the end of that period, I also had my year-end compensation discussion, which ended up being very nice for me. I got a 4.7% raise, which, for my company, is extremely high (the norm is a CPI-like 2%). I guess pissing and moaning for two years about being relatively undervalued compared to your peers does work. Not that that means that I'm more valued now, it just means that my boss doesn't want to hear it anymore. Funny how "business decisions" can be so human. I was also told I got a normal-size stock award, but a cash bonus that was twice what I got last year! I was stunned. Was definitely not expecting that. Then a week later I actually got my cash bonus. And then two weeks later the pay bump kicked in. So it was money money money on the brain all through March.

And I have to say this - I am not happy when I think about money. Combined with some thinking about some of the investing threads that I participated in earlier in the year and thinking about some of the responses, I realized that my investing style is primarily driven by my temperament (I think @illinidave made this observation generally). I just don't have the time or energy or desire or skill (or time/energy/desire to increase my skills!) to invest any differently than I do even if I could in theory be a better investor if I invested (ha!) in it. With two full-time jobs (job and kids), I'm full enough. In my life I am extremely risk-averse - I won't sky dive or fly a small plane or rope-climb a mountain or move cross-country to career hop or that kind of thing because the risk/reward seems very small. In my investing, I am very risk-tolerant. My timeline is on the order of 30, 40 or 50 years*, and I don't want to have to think about it more than once a month, so I tend to think that equities are the best place for me to be. I don't like sitting on cash; bonds are too out of whack now with QE all over the place; commodities and fx and derivatives of all stripes are too exotic or demanding or whatever for me. So, I put most of my bonuses into single name "value" equities (e.g., I do a simple 10 minute search for companies that don't seem too over-valued on basic measures and I pick the ones that I'm comfortable owning for 30+ years). Set it and forget it. In the size of companies I invest in, I tend to believe that markets are quite efficient, so there's not much point in my doing more research (or paying a manager to do it for me)**. Are there minor inefficiencies here and there? Yes, and I do sometimes notice them and make some money in them, but most of the time I just trust that GDP growth reflected in fairly large caps will be sufficient for me. I don't need home runs and am unlikely to be one to hit them. A bunch of singles is good enough for me, knowing there will be some ground-outs and strike-outs mixed in. So, buy and hold and check it in a few years to see what's been happening is what works for me temperamentally.

* to the extent I need a portfolio that includes shorter-term securities, I tend to think I can just shift my purchase allocations as I near the time I project to need them.

** I also don't want to dump a lot of new money into index funds as I tend to think the market overall is fairly overvalued (with the biggest names potentially the most overvalued), so I'm trying to "pick my spots" albeit amateurishly.

Finally, I think I have a calf strain that just won't heal. I've taken 10 days off twice, but keep re-injuring it on test-it runs. I guess I have to take a month off and test again. Sux.

Looking forward to moving past these stressors and re-experiencing more peaceful moments. The third day of my fast (today) was quite peaceful in some bodily way.

suomalainen
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Cross currents

Post by suomalainen » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:17 am

After my physical fast, I decided to go on an internet fast as well. This has also been beneficially peaceful as a counterbalance to my anxious neuroticism. I watched the Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling - strip away his talent, drive, success, riches and fame, we're a lot alike! However, in my sporadic interwebular travels, I did come across this quote which resonated with me:
Wealth is not a number of dollars. It is not a number of material possessions. It’s having options and the ability to take on risk.
The resonance is somewhere in the juxtaposition of peaceful acceptance of what is and the cognitive dissonance that "what is" creates, specifically my family situation that sometimes causes me joy and sometimes causes me angst. Having a wife and having 3 children narrows certain personal options and narrows the ability to take on personal risk, thereby narrowing the feeling of personal wealth along one axis. Counterbalancing that is the fact that having a wife and having 3 children broadens certain other options that are only available within the system and via the adopted role in that system and in some way increases the family system's anti-fragility (ability to take on risk), thereby expanding the feeling of inter-generational(?) wealth along another axis. I dunno. I'm not saying this correctly, but at least this is directionally suggestive.

These cross currents sometimes make for choppy water, but as my shrink says, many of his patients are incredibly unhappy single folks in their 40s and 50s. Grass is always greener, I guess.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by black_son_of_gray » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:10 pm

That quote about wealth reminds me of the Thrasymachus line that "Justice is the advantage of the stronger". Maybe "Freedom is the advantage of the wealthy", in the sense that freedom involves the ability to make the choices you want (from a presumably large set of options). Enjoying your posts!

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:04 pm

@bsog, thanks, glad someone is!

Speaking of cross-currents, I went to Philly with the fam for a little historical vacation. We're definitely a 4-night vacation family. The wheels get loose after 2 nights, they start to come off after 3 and we're fully grinding along axles after the 4th night. Time to go home.

Anyway, it was interesting. Philly's a cool city and it feels very accessible. I felt like I would have loved to have lived there if I were single and in my 20s. After a few days, though, I could easily see how living in Philly would be a phase, such that after a few years I would want to move out of the city, especially if I were no longer single. That brought to my mind this idea that sometimes we have to go through an experience even if we know that we'll ultimately mature out of it. Just because it's a temporary phase doesn't make it any less...meaningful?...real?...or something. It's something that probably should be experienced and not just skipped or dismissed because of its temporary or immature nature. My problem is that often I regret never having gone through these single-type phases because I went so quickly to marriage (married at 22).

Anyway^2, pondering while driving home really helped bring into sharp contrast the idea of accepting what you have vs regretting what you don't. I could spend my whole life regretting what I have and the decisions that brought me there all the while missing the good parts, or I could spend my time amused at the emotions brought on by my regrets all the while appreciating the good that I have. But it's also not a dichotomous choice. I can also split the difference and spend the majority of my time appreciating what I have AND supplementing that by spending some time filling in the blanks with the things that I missed. Travel does that for me. Spending time with friends (alone, away from the wife and kids) does that for me. Spending time alone alone does that for me. It doesn't have to be 40 hours a week, but even just little breaks can bring enough difference to keep hedonic adaptation at bay. I can accept and appreciate what I have and also add to it by doing a little bit of the things that I feel are missing.

Also, I'm fat again.

suomalainen
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Miscellanea

Post by suomalainen » Fri May 04, 2018 3:35 pm

Part of this whole "mindfulness project" that I've been on since last summer (wow, has it been that long? Let's start calling it a "journey") has been this idea that the starting line for life is NOW. No more waiting. I think @black_son_of_gray, @fish, @family father and @augustus have specifically referenced this concept in their own journals and postings, but I think in one way or another, the idea has been fleshed out by many members of this forum, each in their own ways.

A few items from recent weeks:

1) I went on another fast. After 48 hours, I proudly announced the milestone to my wife and she looks at me dead serious and says, "That's UNHEALTHY. You're starting to sound like an anorexic!"

me: "What? That's crazy, I'm not anorexic, not even close."

her: "That's what people with eating disorders say. You can't not eat for days at a time consistently. Your body goes into starvation mode and clings to calories."

me: "I'm not starving. I'm just fasting for a few days."

her: "It's unhealthy."

me: "Show me the studies that say that. You can't just make a bald assertion as fact without any backup."

and on and on. As we were having this conversation, I was bewildered by her reaction. "SORRY I CARE ABOUT YOU" was her response. Ha ha ha. Good times.

Anyway, the thing that stuck out to me about the whole exchange was the idea that we each have had our ways of trying to control the other; of trying to change the other; of being intertwined in the other's business; in a sense, of being codependent. The exchange made clear that I don't need her approval or to change her mind or to agree on anything, really. We can agree to disagree. I don't need her to agree to anything in order for me to live my life the way I want to live it. Specifically, I don't need her to agree to ERE (or any other of my values) in order for me to arrange my life along my value axis. Certainly there could be frictions (or worse) to the extent we disagreed on values that were "deal breakers", but that's what marriage is - an at-times-uncomfortable union of two persons, not unicorns. But within the reasonable bounds of a committed, respectful relationship, I can do whatever I want to do, even if she isn't on board.

2) Sort of arising out of that and our Philly trip was a reminder that I really like yummy food! We went to some tasty restaurants when we were in Philly. I have a bit of an issue with how my wife has been managing our family's food situation (both in terms of high cost and high crappiness). After our conversation, I realized that I was hitching my happiness wagon to her convenience horse and the two just weren't compatible when it comes to food. I realized that I can give up on trying to change her and I can cook "good" food for the family! Mostly I've been cooking for myself for over a decade (the kids ate way earlier than the time I got home from work and I don't typically like the crap they like anyway), and I've made dinners for the family here and there, but I can be more official about it. So, I decided to try to cook some yummy stuff on Sundays when I have the time to prepare it. I RRREALLLYYY enjoyed cooking the two Sundays I've been in town. The whole process from shopping to preparing to cooking to serving was a very zen process. I was inordinately proud of myself after making some Thai inspired meatballs.

3) I went on a trip to see my friend in Idaho. First off, it is AMAZING to get a few days to yourself if you have kids. Highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended. A couple of realizations/reminders while I was there: (a) I LOVE the mountains. Wife won't move to them (and with job considerations in the mix, I'm not motivated to force the issue), so off on personal trips I go! (b) Regardless of where you live, there you are. Happiness won't come "when I...[move, ERE, get married, have kids, have the kids leave, etc]". If you want to be happy, find it now, where you are - financially, geographically, relationally, etc. No matter where I go, I'll have to work until the kids are off on their own, so better just accept that fact, suck it up and do what I can. Force quit those zombie processes (hat tip to @Augustus for the idea/phrase). (c) My buddy and I were talking about old high school girlfriends/flames, and I decided to look one up. It was very heartening to find a video of her. She had been a dancer in high school and college. Then life got in the way and she was consumed with work. Twenty years later, she took a dance class and she said something in the video like "I never feel more alive than when I'm dancing." It was empathetic in a way to see this woman who left from the same place I did and undergo a very similar journey, even though vastly different in its details. I've been consumed by work and family for 15 years and am working to re-find some semblance of myself.

4) 1Q2018 expenses were better than last year - not that that's saying much, but better than nothing!

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Fri May 04, 2018 5:11 pm

So to recap: You got into a fight with your wife at which point you gave up on her ever agreeing with your core values, proceeded to take a solo road trip (which you highly recommend for all those with families) to see an old buddy, reminisced about old girlfriends and looked one up who just so happened be a "dancer" which you identified with as you realized you had the same "journey."

Nope. Nothing to read into there.

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