SustainableHappiness Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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distracted_at_work
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:40 pm

I too battle the productivity dragon. Few things have the power to cause such anxiety and dread like an unproductive weekend. I'm really glad to read you are winning the fight. What would you say has caused the shift in attitude?

Our of curiosity, what video games?

(....My productivity dragon most often battles with my video game escapism addiction.)

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 147
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Hmmm...I don't know if it isolates to 1 thing, but its a combination of, redefining my definition of productivity, eg. 1 hour of playing with my son is still productive, 1 hour of reading is still productive, in that vein 1 hour of video games sometimes is still productive. This has been spurred by the fact I am no longer working full time or studying at school (which equated productivity to work completed). Studying some Eastern philosophy, Tao te ching, The Tao of Pooh, The Te of Piglet, anything by Thich Nhat Hanh. Having a child...You don't realize how "little" you can do in a day and still feel like your day was completely full. Typically our accomplishments are akin to, "walked to get groceries, no one died today".

Typically I am a strategy guy, RTS (Dawn of War, Starcraft, Age of XXXXX) or turn-based (Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic) on PC anyways. For console I do anything, but really like RPGs (Final Fantasy). However, the days of spending 50 hours playing through one are probably over.

For now, I am sticking to PuzzleQuest 2, it is simple, and I can play it for 1 hour on a Saturday morning, get my fill, be done and go on with life.

Video games are awesome. But there is no denying that they are created to stimulate you just the right amount and therefore tend to move towards addiction. I've been limiting myself to playing board games with friends lately (past 3 months) for my "gaming" fix (except the occasional PuzzleQuest as mentioned!). This means I get to be social and I actually find it a way better experience/feeling afterwards.

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Bankai
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by Bankai » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:06 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
...Civilization... Heroes of Might and Magic... spending 50 hours playing through one...
Did you mean 500 hours?

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:07 am

@Bankai, Truth.

7th Week Off
- Signed Baby SH up for swim lessons…sweet
- Workouts went well
- Helped gather and move around wood supplies for in-laws for Winter
- Worked for my old employer for 1 day this week as they needed some help…no pay, but got a free lunch and happy feelings for helping out. Will be helping out again at least 1 day next week for lunch
- Taught class
- Didn’t move any other side hustles forward
- Still reading Plato’s Thaetetus for challenge and The Map of Stars for fun

Most Interesting Thing
Experienced a weird emotion about this forum in that I wrote something, realized it could be mean and then removed it. This doesn’t sound weird, but it signaled to me the importance I place on the forum as a spot for social interaction since the emotion of not wanting to harm either my own reputation as well as others feelings was so high. My guess this is likely because my level of social interaction has declined by about 8 hours a day since leaving work. I had no idea that becoming more emotionally involved in an online forum might be a consequence of that. It worries me, but I think with some habit tweaking I can reel it in. It also shows I need to join some sort of club, or organization where I can talk to people on a regular weekly basis if I was to fully RE.

suomalainen
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:55 am

House selling update?

Been following this with interest, particularly the emotional side of it / how your risk tolerance changes with the baby / how your risk-adjusted view of things changes / etc and what you end up deciding to do when the paternity leave ends. I have an opportunty to go back to a higher-paying/more demanding job and I have had the thought to take months off in between jobs. Not sure if that would be energizing for the new job or demoralizing (wage slave -> free -> wage slave). As I've been thinking about this opportunity, came across this gem that accurately describes me too!
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:25 am
This feels solid and good decision making, however I have been told that I am "like a fart in a windstorm", so we'll see where the wind blows next.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:28 pm

8th Week Off
@suomalainen, glad this is of interest and useful, it helps in my journal online vs offline internal debate. 2 months off has been a very interesting and fulfilling experience in understanding the lifestyle my family and I are aiming for. It’s also helped me understand I have no fear of getting bored, I have no issues finding more income (in the current business climate), social repercussions are limited with my current, “scaling back hours to take time off with family” narrative.

- Sold our T.V. last night to a friend that was over for $20…been thinking about doing this for a while and we were a bit drunk and the topic came up and BOOM. We haven’t watched a full show/movie since our baby was born and only about once a week prior to that. It felt like it was time to move on from that old addiction.
- Finished The Map of Time book. It was entertaining, however decidedly mediocre overall, with some cool ideas/storytelling
- Worked out to schedule, gained 8lbs since ending work based on new exercise and eating program. Typical training day involves, Bike ride, run or walk to gym with DW and baby, 4 mins of 10s-20s rowing sprints for warm-up, 3 sets of power clean and press 1 dumbbell each side, 3 sets of 1 legged squats, 3 sets of wide grip pull-ups, 3 sets of dips, 3km wind sprints or bike as fast as possible home.
- Got a new phone from work
- Found out I’ll be getting a new car through work soon even though I am off (sweet)
- College strike in Ontario is over, so I am back to work for both classes. Students were piiiiissed this week. I was also slightly upset since I was still getting paid for not doing work as I was not part of the union (sweet)
- Booked flights using aeroplan travel hack miles for Florida hot weather time in 2018 (sweet)

Real Estate Update
- We’re going to make excessive amounts of money on top of my conservative model that I built 3 years ago forecasting ~$50-60K capital gains after expenses…This makes me and DW happy. However, as they say, it ain’t over till it’s over. i.e. the houses are sold.
- Severance finalized last $2k in expenses paid to professional services, surveys deposited
- First duplex goes up for sale Monday at a higher price than I would’ve calculated using a viable capitalization rate for the area (5-7%), however the realtor (a family member) was correct in saying that we had nothing to lose since we are in no rush to sell
- 1 tenant has given 60 days’ notice after being told it was going up for sale since they have children and need security in where they are living…Understandable, but unfortunate since it might go empty for a month or two if it doesn’t sale right away
- Second house will wait a bit since the tenant is sick and I don’t want to put them through that stress right now, plus I feel like it would add more work than desired to have two houses up at the same time right now
- Excited to pull out of this investment at a peak and leave real estate behind for a while

Most Interesting Thing
Discovered a family of 3 older people was living in the woods beside our house while out for a little hike. I asked our 74 year old landlord if he knew anything about that and he proceeded to call the cops on them and their tent got slashed by a bylaw officer. I was torn, because on one hand I don’t care if someone lives in the woods and I feel like their lives just got ruined a little more than they already were, on the other they had strewn garbage everywhere which was really shitty.

Key takeaway: if we ever live in the woods, don’t throw garbage everywhere.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:57 am

December 3rd Update
8.3% SWR
12.02 Numbers of Years in Hopper
25 Ultimate FI Goal
0.35 Years accumulated per month on average
0.04 Years accumulated this month

Very, very spendy month on both mandatory and discretionary expense fronts. However still managed to grow net worth by just over a thousand bucks, despite our significantly reduced incomes…This is very promising again!

Crazy Mandatory Expenses
- $1600 emergent plumbing to replace on galvanized steel piping in the basement of one unit with copper…this same house went up for sale this week…shit timing. Fortunately when we bought the houses we had thought this would need to be done 2 years ago, so we were mentally prepared.
- $1700 to lawyer and surveyor for final severance expenses

Crazy Discretionary Expenses
- $300 in Christmas gifting…Content with about $150-200 of this spending (mainly RESP contributions or gifts for 6 nieces and nephews), however the other half I view as undesirable and silly gift-giving practice for people who neither want or need whatever we are giving them…hopefully this is changed next year (typically a multi-year process to work on changing established traditions without emotional trauma to participants)

Without the first two expenses, we would have upped net worth by most than $4K this month, with a non-passive income of only $2.9K. !!!

Most Interesting Idea
With 3 months of financial performance while only working ~10 hours per week and generally really enjoying this experiment called Life. DW and I are seriously considering trying a more alternative lifestyle instead of going back to me working 9 to 5 after parental leave. This was the thought process and outcome.

SH Ideal
- A good financial decision (i.e. inexpensive with low depreciation and cash outflow)
- Build a stronger community connection with neighbours
- Income generate about 10 hours per week, either as just teaching, or a hunter-gatherer mode of income generation and have at home flexibility where possible
- Continue all positive habits we have (eating well, exercise, outdoors, blablabla)
- Make 2nd baby within a year

Mrs. SH Ideal
- SH be home with babies and Mrs. SH until they go to school if possible
- Live beside a lake
- Stay near family and friends
- Start business as a Doula (labour coach)/RN, for scalable business
- Make 2nd baby within a year

We been perusing different options and have settled on becoming Junior Snowbirds until the kids hit school age (4 years from now)! No one will understand what we’re doing, but it’s going to be awesome. Hopefully it looks something like this.

- SH stops full time work with the aim of remote or contract work making >$10K per year (easy)
- Mrs. SH starts business
- By park model trailer in Canadian park in our current area for ~50-60K cash with full access to swimmable lake with free kayaking, canoeing, etc. + trails, forests, etc.
- Live in park for ~9 months of year
- Figure out what to do during 3 winter months when park shuts down (either move to a Florida park near grandparents or some other alternative)
- Expenses estimated to drop by roughly $400-500 per month

This idea blew our mind when we realized we have the means and mindset to accomplish it…We are keeping it under wraps from friends and family until we are actually going to pull the trigger, as there is a real chance it won’t happen. However, taking a break from work for 5 years to raise our kids seems like a really good decision, then when they are in school for 7 hours a day we can just focus on making some more money then. In the meantime we’ll probably be sitting at a sub-7% SWR which I view as acceptable to pull the plug on with the intent to work a little still.

Who knows, maybe the market will keep kicking ass and we’ll hit 4% without even trying. Either way, in our plan our SWR doesn’t even affect us.

Whew…long entry. Keep on rockin’.

suomalainen
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:15 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:57 am

Most Interesting Idea
With 3 months of financial performance while only working ~10 hours per week and generally really enjoying this experiment called Life. DW and I are seriously considering trying a more alternative lifestyle instead of going back to me working 9 to 5 after parental leave. This was the thought process and outcome... No one will understand what we’re doing, but it’s going to be awesome... This idea blew our mind when we realized we have the means and mindset to accomplish it.
This is awesome! Good luck! This is the primary reason I come to this forum - to see examples of people who have the courage, skill and motivation to break the mold and live an atypical life. Most people in the real world shit on the idea of doing it differently. This place is a respite from that.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:21 pm

Yes! Great idea for you two and the kid(s)!

I don't how how burnt your wive is with nursing, but in the US getting an "as needed" aka "PRN" job with a hospital is pretty easy. It's just like substitute teaching, if they have needs they let you know and you can pick up or decline shifts per your whims. It's a great part-time gig as in the US two 12 hours pickups a month can cover the full cost of rent on an apartment (wages pretty stable based on COL in geographic area). Having that as a back-up to her business would make your plan even more robust.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:47 pm

10th Week Off
@suomalainen and classical_liberal, thanks for the kind words. As you'll see below a positive development this week may have already shifted the breeze for this fart. As for the RN burnout, my wife literally cringes when she thinks about going back to work at a hospital now... However, she is considering seasonal flu shot clinics, casual doctors offices, casual retirement home-esque jobs in a similar vein to what you've described.

This week exemplified the apocryphal Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”. The past 3 months have been wonderful doing very little and essentially having an existence lacking flare. Then along comes Week 10… This was Tuesday:

- Engaged in and evaluated a highly energetic series of roleplays for a Sales course for 3 hours with no breaks pretending to be an aggressive asshole in the Buyer role (this is more energy intensive than it sounds)

- Then received first phone call of day -> turns out the hot water heater was the issue, not the galvanized pipes. Dollar Cost - $1000, Emotional Cost - Anger at Plumber for misdiagnosing and replacing half the pipe anyways

- 5 minutes later received second phone call of the day -> We received not 1, but 2 offers for our house. Due to the competing offers, one of them actually came in over our asking price. To put this into perspective I’ll provide a few numbers. We paid $290K for both houses 3 years ago. We just sold (as long as conditions clear) 1 of the 2 houses for $272K. At a conservative valuation of the second house at $240K this means $222K (ex. realtor 4%, legal fees and capital gains tax) of profit….!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dollar Value – Upwards of 150K net worth increase, Emotional Cost – on verge of shitting pants

- 10 minutes later had to move quickly to a meeting I’ve been trying to get for a month with a Chair of Business at the school I teach at. Meeting goes exceptionally well, presumably because I am firing on all cylinders at this point. Chair tells me they potentially want me to teach more (9 to 12 hours per week), which is like best case scenario because I could pull in like $40K with these hours and basically do what I am doing now (i.e. lots of time at home and a little work I enjoy) indefinitely, with some savings and great pension…!!!!! Dollar value - ??? Emotional Cost – Need new pants

- 15 minutes after that, realize that 10 month trailer park and snowbirding dream is unrealistic if I want to be within walking/biking commuting distance of the school. Emotional Cost – “Fuck, I am a fart in a windstorm”

- Rest of Day – Meet realtor, counter offer with different conditions same price, get offer, realize that we’ve likely just surpassed our FU money goal and selling the next house will solidify that and shoves us towards FI territory, laugh, cry.

That was Tuesday. I realized at the end of Wednesday, that Wednesday (and almost every day for the past 3 months) although much more mundane, was a better day than Tuesday because it revolved around my wife, my son and whether or not I did a workout that day. I also got indigestion Tuesday night and didn’t sleep well.

May you live in UNinteresting times.

Edit - I also realized it exemplified #firstworldproblems.

CS
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by CS » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:09 pm

Congrats on your investment paying off. Now what to do... snowbird, or work?

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

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Congrats on the real estate!!

Back in the day, I worked in montages and fancied myself a bit of a local real estate expert (Minneapolis, MN market). I'm no longer in the area, but have family & friends there. Hence, I still get an earful regarding everyone and their brothers real estate deals; which then forces me to look at listings to get an idea of whats going on. It's a totally new market in that area, certain properties (condo's/townhouses/multi-units), in specific areas ("good" urban neighborhoods and third tier suburbs) are well above the 2007 peak! Whereas single family houses from the 50's-80's in 1st and some second tier suburbs seem to be pretty flat, maybe 10-20% below 2007 peak. There are, of course, outliers, but its interesting where the demand currently sits.

Re the teaching... Congrats again, but this doesn't surprise me at all. Competent, educated, and relatively social individuals (yes, its a compliment!) will see this type of serendipity in early retirement if they stay attuned to their interests. A 4% unemployment rate and a shift towards "gig" jobs simply multiplies the frequency of such opportunities. At least this is my theory, one you are anecdotally proving for me :D ... Thanks!

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