Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:30 am

I too really enjoy your well thought out posts and alternate views to many here.

It sounds like this 30-40 minutes of free time is a coping mechanism for how institutionalized your feel you have become. It's only human nature to want the things we do not have, and today's dream can very well become tomorrows problem. Right now I'm one of those dreamers you describe, whose taken idea, to plan, to near execution......and maybe the grass won't be greener on the other side, then again I don't plan on living in a van indefinitely, or overly romanticize long term perpetual travel, acknowledging it's just a phase of life in our relatively short time on this planet.

I go back to chapter 1 of the ERE book. Once you've been in the cave long enough, it's easy to feel Stockholm syndrome, only to the confines of your own mind.

TheProcess
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by TheProcess » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:09 pm

I've continued my reading into meditation, having recently slogged through a dense book on the intersection of psychology and meditation. I may post some of my reading notes here some day, but I don't have the energy to try to condense my 6 (!) single-spaced pages of reading notes into something consumable by people with short attention spans.
Would you consider posting some reading recommendations? I could use a little of that nirvana.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:48 pm

@fbeyer absolutely. Learning that trick has been a long time coming and is much simpler to say than do, but it ultimately turns on wanting to find those opportunities.

@quantummy exactly. I hope you start a journal here and describe some of those parenting challenges you've experienced. One thing that would be helpful in these forums is to add more "parenting lives" for me (and others) to experience vicariously. Many of the most active folks appear to be those that are on either side of the "smack in the middle of parenting" phase.

@2B1S Yes, coping for sure. But also I hope it's a practice I can continue forever. I thought about it today - meditation is no panacea; nothing is. It's just that a biological being has to take care of its baseline biological needs otherwise there's no chance at all for thriving (happiness). If you're not eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, extraverting well, introverting well...nothing else will make up for it. Meditation is merely the equivalent of mental exercise, or perhaps the "mental recovery" from a stressful day, like you'd take a recovery day after a hard workout. And I LOVE dreamers! I don't at all think people shouldn't dream. It's just that I think *I*, in my current circumstances, shouldn't dream too high. But when you do your dream, please, please suck the marrow out of it. It won't last, but while it does, let it consume you. In the same vein, my 30 minute run does not last, but when I'm able to let it consume me...it's an amazing brain flush. Everyone needs to find those things that nourish them and then needs to do them 100% for whatever available window they have. Live it up, man. This may be your only trip to Poland, your only vanlife experience, your only long-distance hike, etc. May as well have all of your attention on what you're doing than to waste time worrying about other times and places.

@theprocess Sure. I've done book reviews in my journal, which I bet you can find by googling this site with "suomalainen" and "book review". I can try to pull together a list of recent books. Some of the books I've read have really great bibliographies, so you could follow up on any particular ideas that strike your fancy with further reading.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:33 pm

Very insightful last post. I'm thoroughly enjoying your progress here, it seems to parallel some of the realizations @fish had with a similar family dynamic.

It seems to me 1-3 has something to do with acceptance. I went through a similar phase that, ironically, brought me to the idea of FI and these forums. About 5 years ago I was beginning to realize I will never get married/have kids and live the scripted, happy, american dream life. It wasn't a single, large conscious decision, rather it has been a decade of smaller decisions that lead me to the life I had. I began to grieve for the life i didn't have; which was ridiculous because I didn't really want that life. I just knew I probably would never have it given my choices, the option was quickly closing.

I decided to just accept the fact my life was what it was. I began to look for the advantages my situation offered, rather than dwelling on the disadvantages. I found easy mode FI, and the freedom to live in a van or perpetual slow travel if I wanted to! Hence classical_Liberal was born. You may be doing the same thing, but a bit opposite?

I have a very active mind and doubt I'll ever reach the level of peace you and others seem to find in meditation. The level you seem to reach over a lunch time run is better than I even surrounded by nature with days of nothingness.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:00 pm

This blog has turned into the ERE version of A Christmas Carol. A few months back it was a beautiful, dual fountainhead of piss and vinegar and now he's running through the streets hugging crippled kids. It's really a fucking shame.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:46 pm

Jason wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:00 pm
A few months back it was a beautiful, dual fountainhead of piss and vinegar and now he's running through the streets hugging crippled kids. It's really a fucking shame.
Fear not, sweet child. This too shall pass.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:53 pm

I'm joking. A lifetime of striving and then death. Has to be a better way.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:49 pm

Yeah, an endless supply of cocaine. Is that fatFIRE?

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:48 am

Depends on how thick you cut the lines.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:14 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:33 pm
It wasn't a single, large conscious decision, rather it has been a decade of smaller decisions that lead me to the life I had. I began to grieve for the life i didn't have; which was ridiculous because I didn't really want that life. I just knew I probably would never have it given my choices, the option was quickly closing.

I decided to just accept the fact my life was what it was. I began to look for the advantages my situation offered, rather than dwelling on the disadvantages. I found easy mode FI, and the freedom to live in a van or perpetual slow travel if I wanted to! Hence classical_Liberal was born. You may be doing the same thing, but a bit opposite?
Yes, doppelganger, you hit the nail on the head.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:39 pm

This is old, but I came across it, I think on "pocket", which is a thing that firefox has when I open that browser. In any event, a pithy paragraph to capture where I seem to be heading:
Long ago, when I was 30 and he was 66, the late Donald Richie, the greatest writer I have known, told me: “Midlife crisis begins sometime in your 40s, when you look at your life and think, Is this all? And it ends about 10 years later, when you look at your life again and think, Actually, this is pretty good.” In my 50s, thinking back, his words strike me as exactly right. To no one’s surprise as much as my own, I have begun to feel again the sense of adventure that I recall from my 20s and 30s. I wake up thinking about the day ahead rather than the five decades past. Gratitude has returned.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... is/382235/

Or, to quote @jace piss & vinegar --> a Christmas Carol

slowtraveler
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:56 am

I admire the growth you've accomplished. It's inspiring to see someone who's gone from feeling so drained by their life as they progress and aspire for wealth change to still being on the path but feeling empowered and free. I look forward to seeing how your journey develops.

suomalainen
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:56 pm

slowtraveler wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:56 am
I don't quite know how to respond. The discomfort comes from the fact that I still feel so drained by my life, so that feeling hasn't changed. I also don't feel free*. I guess what I would admit to is feeling empowered, not from any "growth", I guess, or maybe it is, but rather from a simple change in focus. I'm still as miserable and blessed as ever, like two sides of the same life-coin; it's just that I decided to stop staring at the miserable side because it turns out you can't torture the miserable to make it become blessed - you just have to flip the fucking coin over. I don't know if that's really any sort of "growth" as much as it is just a dog that finally decided to stop eating its own shit.**

But thank you - the positivity from you and others in response to my journaling is likewise inspiring, no matter how...poorly I feel that I am able to verbalize and convey my raw thoughts and experiences. Your generous readings of sense where this is little is much appreciated.

* In some other thread(s), I think, people have recently discussed "freedom-to vs freedom-from" and "time agency" and things of that sort. I have to admit, I never really understood any of it. Life still has its basic requirements, all of which require work and bullshit, and each of those have derivative requirements and so on - it's work and bullshit all the way down. In that sense, I don't think there is such a thing as freedom-from or freedom-to or time agency, other than in the sense of you get to decide which shit sandwich you eat. I guess I don't know what it is, but "freedom" and "agency" appear to me to be poor descriptors of that most basic decision point and its follow-on effects. It's like a prisoner having the "freedom" to decide whether to join Work Detail A or Work Detail B today. To put it another way: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." ^* Perhaps a better descriptor would be "optionality" - FIRE gives more optionality than a desk job than a nazi death camp, but the act of choosing any option among 2 or 45 forecloses many or all of the non-chosen options and therefore subjects you to such chosen option's mastery (i.e., requirements). Ergo, one may rationally question the marginal utility of increasing the number of options that will ultimately be discarded unexercised.

** Metaphors, metaphors, galore.

^* Oooh, a nested footnote, NOW we're having fun! When people discuss free agency, they always seem to have it circumscribed within some optionality boundary. At what point, however, does the boundary fall away such that "optionality" and "freedom" become one - in the sense that a person would not consider their options limited (perhaps only un- or sub-consciously)? In reality, am I not just as "free" as a nazi death camp prisoner as I am at my desk job as I am if I'm FIREd? If so, FIRE is irrelevant to freedom; if not, I circle back to the footnoted movie quote. ^^

^^ A recursive footnote!

classical_Liberal
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:45 am

Freedom from, eliminating one of the "work details". Freedom to, adding the option of a different work detail. Call this optionality if you will, and I agree it can have significantly diminishing returns. Time agency, getting to choose when each work detail takes place and how long it lasts.

I would argue the last is the most important. The timing and duration of activities can fundamentally alter how we perceive it, the way in which we pursue it, and the outcome(s).

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:38 am

See, I think I know what you think it means; I just don't think it means what you think it means. Examples:

1) Freedom from - Ok, so you can eliminate one of the work details. What about all the others?
2) Freedom to - Ok, this is perhaps the same as I mean by that most basic freedom of selecting which shit sandwich you're gonna eat, with a distinction to be addressed later.
3) Time agency - do you get to choose each work detail?

Taken together, my view is that, at base, you choose to do something - let's say you wake up fully FIREd, so you have nowhere to go one morning and you decide you want to drink a cup of coffee. You walk into the kitchen and open the cupboard and there's no coffee left. So now you get dressed, put on your shoes and walk (because, of course) to the store to buy your coffee and you walk back to make and drink your coffee. No big deal, right? That's why you FIREd in the first place, so you can do that, right?

But the point is that when you decided to get coffee, you obligated yourself to do other things along the way. Fulfilling those particular requirements is a very minor distinction from fulfilling the requirements of the things from which you presently wish to claw back "time agency". Even if you want to argue with me that FIRE lets you choose every single work detail that comes along...what about the work of seeing, sorting and selecting each and every detail of every activity you will ever do? You'd really choose that over accepting some bundling?

In that sense, I think "time agency" is a chimera. Think about it this way - time is like a bucket. Buckets are useful - you can put awkward or heavy or numerous things in that bucket and carry them from place to place. But it's only useful if you use it. If you don't use it, but rather you just like having it on the off-chance you might use it one day is...sort of wasteful? It's like, is your bucket merely a status symbol? That you're rich enough to carry shit around if you wanted to? If so, that's kind of a weird status symbol, no? Time is like that too. Present-you wants this "time agency" bucket so that present-you can fill it up with something that isn't present-requirements. Present-you also makes the mistake of thinking that future-you will enjoy this continuing "freedom-from". But any time you use the time-agency bucket, you're filling it not only with the thing you want, but with additional work details that you may find distasteful.

Point is - work has some distasteful things mixed in it and some people seem to look at that as if "a little bit of poop ruins the brownies", and so they want to use a different brownie mix overlooking the fact that the newly seleted brownie mix (the one chosen as a "freedom-to") ALSO has a little bit of poop in it. Why is having a little bit of poop in your brownies viewed so differently in the first instance compared to the second? I would argue it has to do with what Daniel Gilbert described as present-you is absolutely terrible at knowing what future-you will want, so it discounts the new poop more so than the old poop.

And so, after quitting their jobs and scratching their present-itch, it turns out many people bounce around a few different things and go back to work. I think this is absolutely great and encourage anyone and everyone who has the means and opportunity to do this. My point is for the rest of us who can't. You can still carve out time for Thing-X if you know that's what you really want/need right now. You don't need to buy a huge expensive Time Agency Bucket on the off-chance you might want to do something later. If you know what you want/need, just choose it now - don't buy it bundled with all the costly, never-to-be-used options. What if you die before you can exercise them? or what if it turns out your sabbatical scratched all of your itches and it turns out you didn't need infinite time? No need to wait for excessive optionality to do what you want, carpe diem.

Edit:

TLDR; frugal people like to save money by not overspending on buying something - don't buy a one year sabbatical for the price of a lifetime sabbatical.

Also, one thing that I think might be going on is that people who are looking for "freedom from", "freedom to" or "time agency" is this idea that you're only "free" to do something if the consequences/costs are low. But that misses the cost-bundling point above. If you have "time agency" that you've purchased with 5 extra years of work, then having "time agency" to do X, Y or Z isn't really cost-less (to past-you) even though it appears that way (to present-you). Even if you're working, you can decide one morning "Fuck it, I'm skipping work and drinking coffee instead." It's just that people don't like the frictions/costs of choosing to do so.

@fish Happy to hear it! I also no longer feel the need for FIRE, but I do hope slowing down / reducing my obligations will help me regain some mental and physical health.
Last edited by suomalainen on Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fish
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Fish » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:07 am

Try getting to 2.5 hours of free time/day and see if you still crave FIRE. I’m there and I don’t anymore. One book that was kind of helpful was Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. Learning to recognize that leisure is all around us helps me appreciate it, even if it’s constrained and contaminated and surrounded on all sides by duty. It does help that my kids are also in the sweet spot where they’re out of diapers but not driving me nuts either, and I also have one fewer than you. So good luck getting to 2.5h/day.

I also wanted to express that I really enjoyed this post, there were a lot of similarities to my thought process and how I have found satisfaction in the present.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:03 pm

I was recently introduced to this philosopher:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._E._M._Anscombe

She addresses (I believe) your conundrum with regard to the future under "intention" (it is a paragraph in the wiki article). She uses the example of the shopping list and I see it this way: I do our shopping. I often (as I did today) forget an item. Obviously the list was not wrong. Nor was my desire to purchase every item on it wrong. What was wrong was my action. I forgot to buy something. But both the list and my desire remain true as the list truly expressed what I truly desired to bring home in the future. My failure to do so, although true, does not negate the truth of the list nor my desire to have bought every item on it. If I understand the allegory correctly, there will always be a disunion between intention and the desired future due to bad action, but that does not mean there is not truth to be found in the results when intention and future do not perfectly correlate.

It comes down to how you view the list. Is it a report or a desire. I think if you view it as the former you will be eternally disappointed.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:46 pm

@Jason
Interesting, but I don't think that addressed the point directly. At least not from the perspective the Daniel Gilbert point. In that analogy, it's more like you did complete the list, get everything on it, then got home and realized it wasn't really what you wanted to begin with.

@Sou
I agree with the Daniel Gilbert point, I also agree with Paradox of Choice, and I agree with your point that expending effort towards keeping options open inherently closes other options. Which is why, IMO, Freedom to, is the weakest of the three freedoms expressed above.

Freedom from, on the other hand, can be more powerful. Because freedom from implies that we are attempting to remove something we already understand to have a negative in our life. Now there may be unconsidered second order effects of it's removal (ie your point most FIRE'ees and up back at work), but that doesn't change the fact that if someone absolutely hates a certain "work detail", the action of removal directly provides a net positive. This is something that freedom to can't do, because we are using chronesthesia, along with self knowledge to make educated guesses. Per Gilbert, most people suck at this, although I think this is partly because most people suck at self knowledge and can improve; hence increasing the power of Freedom to.

I absolutely disagree with the bucket analogy for time agency. You are making the assumption that buckets are left empty because someone has free time*. I don't think free time, or agency should be represented as empty, rather the bucket contents are just different. They are filled with whatever serves the best purpose for the self aware person at that time. It's waay easier for me to know what I want right now, than what I want tomorrow, or ten years from now. Of course the decision of usage will have consequences (ie maybe I have to go get coffee).

(*) This assumption is an underlying problem in our goal oriented culture. Just because someone isn't working towards some huge, end goal payoff does not mean that time is wasted!! True contentment comes in enjoying the process, not reaching the end goal.

Overall though I agree with your end assumption. People should use these freedoms, within reason, as they become available. Many of them simply require only a single change in thought process or habits. They are not necessarily the same as accumulating some finite resource. In those cases one can open up degrees of these freedoms forever, so use them once you have them! Others though, may require accumulation over time. Be wary to spend them on the freedom which provides most utility.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:02 pm

And I thought I was the mistress of rationalization...

It pretty much boils down to does your lifestyle allow you to have sex at 10 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon any day of the week or doesn't it?

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:51 pm

@7 10AM Or 2PM? All of a sudden your Emily Bronte?

@CL - I couldn't find the Dan Gilbert post. My point, or well, the smart woman philosopher's point, is there has to be something beyond the list as a checklist. The list cannot satisfy as a report. There has to be something ethical, or spiritual for that matter, regulating it. Isn't it otherwise just moving the goal posts?

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