SustainableHappiness Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
SustainableHappiness
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:39 pm

Week 58 Of the Downshift

Tiiiiimes they are a changin’.

Expenses
We’re burning $1 to 1.5K of cash savings each month under our current arrangement. It’s not ideal, but up until this month our networth was staying positive. Still haven’t received my first actual payment for consulting, got a couple grand that I’m hunting down slowly but surely. The cash burn is unsettling, but I’m determined not to start worrying until we drop below the threshold DW and I have agreed to, and at that burn rate it’ll be 4 to 5 years before that happens. However, in my last post a couple months ago I had money lower and lower on the list, I’d say it’s risen back up as the psychological implications of drawing down have been settling in.

Gigs
Fully set up as a vendor with previously employer, but the hours have been slower than anticipated, on average a couple hours a week (with 1 ten hour week and lots of none). Will probably pick up in December and January. Overall it is still fine work as long as I am not doing it all the time. Also, being a “consultant” has the added benefit of social status in various ways, which has been interesting.
Everything else is on the backburner as two of the courses I am teaching this semester have been much more work than anticipated and Baby SH has been even more fun to hang out with as he’s developing. Still no speaking gigs solidified.

Employment
Here I made a bit of a left turn. I applied for a FT professor position. I did so on the belief that the workload doesn’t increase that much more (i.e. 18 vs 12 teaching hours a week), plus I found out about their deferred leave plan, which lets you take a reduced salary for 2 years (66.66%), or 3 years (75%) and then take the 3rd or 4th year off with the reduced salary still coming in. This idea is very intriguing as it allows me to take regular mini-retirements and still have a guaranteed income coming in… I also found out that paternity leave benefits have a 93% top-up, so if we have a bunch of children popping out all over the place then I can take time off with full salary to help out at home. Combine those things with every summer off and I was sold. I got an interview coming up, we shall see how it goes. DW and I are excited for it, but I guess I can’t be Semi-ER, or ERE or anything if I get it…I’ll just have to keep on doing life in the normal bucket or something. I'll definitely have to stop calling this "The Downshift" This would of course make money no longer an issue as the cash firehose would be back on.

Family
Baby SH is awesome. I’ve also been tracking our kid-related expenses fairly closely, so I look forward to having that as a talking point when people start yammering about how expensive kids are. The biggest expense I see so far, would be the +30% we tacked on to our rental costs because we moved into a place with a backyard (which was very kid motivated). This is very significant, but the actual “keep the kid alive and happy…well, alive” expenses haven’t been dramatic, around a couple thousand for the first year of life. This includes all baby-related purchases (stroller, car seats, etc.). Almost everything second-hand, except the cloth diapers, socks and that car seat (illegal to sell car seats second-hand in Canada).
DW’s business is still growing slowly but surely. She’s still liking it a lot. We’ve also been getting the hang of scheduling each other.

General Health and Wellness
Good good. I am meditating again 30 mins every morning and night after a fairly lengthy few month break over the summer. Still riding my bike ~40k a week to work and back plus we got Baby SH a sweet bike seat and helmet that have been fun and extended our playground range extensively. We are eating well, got into Kefir in our smoothies which has done really nice things for my digestion (I think that’s what helped it). Planning on getting back in to the gym as the winter months set in and outdoor exercising becomes tougher.

Besides the draw-down stuff, emotionally well. Actually excited about the prospect to be a FT professor, I really like teaching and the position would make the whole money thing a non-issue again.

suomalainen
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:39 pm
I’ve also been tracking our kid-related expenses fairly closely, so I look forward to having that as a talking point when people start yammering about how expensive kids are.
My standard thought when new parents yammer about other parents: wait ten years or so until the baby becomes a kid or wait for two more kids or both. THEN you'll have something to talk about.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:11 pm

Congrats on everything going so well @SH!

Don't worry about labels, if you take the FT position, you're still downshifted in my eyes. Few things in life are better than finding flow in a job you enjoy. You get paid for doing what you want, plus get that feeling of contribution to society we all need. If it becomes a PITA and you hang on for golden handcuffs, then you lose the downshift status! :D

What was your wife's gig again? Is she using her RN license for it?

Just curious as I was approached for some potential research work in the medical field, but it's not nursing related. So if I try it out & like it, I may just let my license lapse to avoid continuing education, background checks, fees. etc. Wondering if she has the same conundrum?

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:32 pm

Ah damnit Suomalainen. You caught me in a very short-sighted frame of mind. Thank you for the dose of perspective even though it made me feel like an asshole.

@CL. Thanks! She started a business as a doula (a labour coach). Not currently explicitly using her RN licence, but has potential to turn it into a independent nursing practice in the future. The guidelines for RN licencing are so vague here, she is basically doing what community nurses for at-risk new parents do just without the backing of a Public Health institution, so I think she could back that up if it came down to it. She is still paying all her dues and stuff to stay practicing. Also, I will say, she is a lot more worried about it than I am because no lawyer or the nurses association will give her a straightforward answer (i.e. a yes, that counts).

suomalainen
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:23 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:32 pm
Ah damnit Suomalainen. You caught me in a very short-sighted frame of mind. Thank you for the dose of perspective even though it made me feel like an asshole.
Nah. You're just on a baby high, which comes standard with baby blinders. I totally get it. I was there once. To wit:
suomalainen wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:58 am
I had my first child at the age of 26 during law school. Those two years with him were amazing. One child (and a fairly easy one at that) is easy! Best dad ever! Then, during my first year of law firm work, we had child #2 at 23 weeks gestation, so 5 months in the hospital (NICU). We had child #3 two years later, with a couple of hospital scares/stays and 5 months of bedrest for the wife. So, things were stressful, to say the least, on the home front. No longer best dad ever.
Enjoy it for as long as it lasts. Once you get hit by the kid cement truck a few hundred times in the coming decade (and you will), you'll have a bit broader perspective.

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