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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:19 pm
by SustainableHappiness
February Update


I’ve had a number of thinking sessions about the friends discussion and I’ve decided that it is a selection process that will happen overtime automatically as long as DW and I stay true to our values when making decisions. That is, the friends who require us to go out to restaurants or for drinks at a bar as a condition of friendship (i.e. are unwilling to congregate in more frugal fashions) will slowly become acquaintances. This has already happened to many friends and groups of friends over our lifetimes and will continue to happen.

Like many life paths the consequences occur over a series of daily decisions not any one big, “leave these people behind” decision. Or fall-out occurs over a decision perceived as small by one part and big by another which is difficult to predict anyways.

How this effects my behaviour: not going to worry about it.

First month with a full pay cheque from the new jorb. Also found some hidden monies via a pension update which was higher than anticipated by multiple thousand $s. Still one more batch of hidden monies via another pension cash-out to be found, I know what it’ll be and it was higher than what I was tracking by a few thousand $s but it hasn’t actualized into cash yet. It is nice to find out you have $10 000 more than you thought. Still have to actualized capital gains taxes on the 2 property sales this year, that is going to be a many 10s of thousands $ bill… I have been tracking my estimate in my spreadsheet, but it’ll still be sad to see the monies disappear into the government’s mouth.

On another positive note, we’re going to be significantly networth positive again each month after 8 months of ups or downs based on market volatility and my new pension accumulates rapidly! This is a great mental relief and has brought about the mental landscape indicative of the beginnings of lifestyle creep... mildly worried, mostly don’t care right meow.

Good. Consulting work has been drying up, still owed a couple thousand monies for past work which is a PITA to get. I think my training may have been too effective in the last round as they no longer have questions… lol.

School stuff is good, just working away. Only going into campus a couple days a week, only meet with my boss once every couple weeks, no one watching me. Allows for maximum creativity when my office door is shut and getting more than the requisite amount of work done in 4 hours per day.

Gaining muscle via weights and an extra high-cal smoothie added in the mornings, first friend commented on this last weekend which was kinda neat in an ego-driven confidence boosting kinda way. Cool to have a workout method that shows in that kind of way, unlike playing soccer 3 days a week for my entire life which has kept me very lean. Upped workouts to 4 per week instead of 3 with more of a focus on speed/high rep actions for a couple and full on weights for a couple. I watched this video that said if you train slow all the time you will become slow and I’d like to maintain my agility so I figured I’d switch it up. Feeling good about this.

Diet-wise DW is going to try few different eliminations to crack the code on a couple persistent digestive/skin problems she has. Since I am the cook, this means learning new recipes besides our standard stir-fry/wraps/chili/stew/bean/chickpea burger/salad rotations…or actually it’s more like modifying some of the existing with new sauces and tweaks. So far so good, it’s been less than a week so nothing conclusive has shown for the first elimination.

Good good good.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:13 pm
by SustainableHappiness
March Update
7.7% SWR
40000 Estimated average yearly spend as Famjam in future
13.04 Numbers of Years in Hopper
Infinite Years to broke on this month's cashflow

Well, my numbers are all broken because now our networth and cash will continue climbing, so years to broke doesn’t make sense anymore. I’m also tired of tracking expenses since it will fluctuate (upwards again) when we have another babe in the summer. So, I think I’ll go back to just years in the hopper and SWR, because those are fun and positive in the sense they are not going to go negative even if we lose a bunch of NW due to investment declines. I am also tracking cash flow changes closely, as that indicates our most usable monies in case of trouble. It’s also difficult to track my new work pension actual value as they only do yearly reports unless more are requested. So, I’ll be underestimating it and be happy whenever I get a report.

One more pension-based conundrum to solve with DW’s old job that’ll be about $5K positive to the ol’ tracker, then it’ll be standard and boring for a while (hopefully).

Physical Month in Review
Not a great month overall. DS got sick and is teething on molars which makes him cry and not sleep well. Due to not sleeping well my gym schedule went in the toilet. On a bonus note, it’s nice enough (and the road salt is cleared up) to ride my bike to work, so at minimum I’ll get in a couple hours of biking a week and of course rigorous playtime with DS, this will keep baseline fitness up until the weight training regime can continue regularly (I’ve only been getting over once maybe twice a week).

This is a double whammy to my goal of weight gain though because biking makes me weak like twig if I don't get some good upper body work in and consumes calories. I took a week and a half off of double high-cal smoothie days and lost weight (#skinnyboyproblems).

Mental Month in Review
Also, not great on a work, or emotional front this month. Lack of sleep tends to suck the fun out of stuff and that happened. DW has also be extra tired growing another human and for some reason our stress levels seemed higher (just in reflecting on our faster self-directed pace). Likely due to all the planning at the moment with the next 2 months being very busy with weddings/vacations and toss some work in there too. Good example of how even good stress (or stress about fun things) still brings ya down when extended for too long. This blah phase has shifted in the past week with nice weather (“that glowing orb in the sky” as my friend says) and some better sleep.

Work has also been dense with my first major deadline for a project I’m working on coming up. It not bad except I’ll be on vacation for a couple weeks and want to get it all done before the babe comes in August. It’ll all get done, but hammering out course content in the morning has gotten grindy! I am ready to teach again, it's less predictable.

I’ve been reading The Black Swan by Taleb this month. It is brilliant, humbling and crazy all at once. I think I’m going to change up my book reading from 1 fiction -> 1 non-fiction to 2 fiction -> 1 non-fiction going forward. This is more fun and in Feb I had the realization I was getting pretty mindless consumer-ish in relation to the content I was ingesting simply because it was all cool/interesting content. But when trying to recall details of what I’d ingested I couldn’t. So either I have partial amnesia or the pace was too rapid.

I’ve stopped listening to podcasts every day when I do dishes for this reason and am going to read less non-fiction as well. I’ve switched to more music, silence and the sounds of my family hanging out as preferred listening. So far so good. It was the “mindless” aspect that scared me. I was just popping on episodes of Radiolab without thinking twice about it and listening to “Planet Money” on the bus without taking a deep breath.
Consumerism extends beyond the physical and is just as much a mental state. Still working on it.

Oh, I've also been playing a boardgame RPG Gloomhaven with a few buddies every other week-ish since January. It is soooo sweet and it also satisfies my gaming itch, which I get every few months. I see this as a healthy habit because it is socializing and having a beer with friends (goooood) and geeking out over swooooords (gooood).

Onward and Upward.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:00 am
by classical_Liberal
Lack of sleep sucks up everything. It's one of the reasons I never wanted to become a parent, ick! At least it's getting better... until the next baby comes :lol: . Seriously though, congrats on number 2!
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:13 pm
Consumerism extends beyond the physical and is just as much a mental state. Still working on it.
Sometimes I'm up late at night, just trying to stay up because I have a night shift the next day. I start to wonder how brainwashed we all may be. I mean, we are constantly bombarded with all of this advertising, psychologically targeted to infect us, now it's even individualized content! Is it even possible to keep our heads straight?

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:35 am
by SustainableHappiness
April Update
@C_L, thank you. We are excited for the next babe.

Had to pay taxes this month. It sucked significantly harder than usual. Muchos dollas to the tax man due to capital gains on two house sales. Toss in 2 new small businesses between DW and I and it was a sad day. We also used the services of an accountant this year for the first time for all the reasons above. He revealed a number of things to us that ended saving us thousands (assuming I’d remain ignorant of the tips), however his fee was not cheap. Will switch back to self reporting next year and figure out the side-business reporting, but this year was worth it for the capital gains issues since they also included a severance and a principle residence issues blah blah blah.

Even though it cost us a lot, I’d planned for taxes to be higher so our net worth tracker came out significantly positive this month.

I don’t really feel like writing anything else. I’m going to go have a nap.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:39 pm
by SustainableHappiness
October Update
It’s been a while since I’ve updated on here, mainly due to enjoying the summer and adding a family member.

Baby SH #2 arrived in August, and she is healthy and happy. She’s been smiling for a couple weeks now and it’s back in the heart melting infant stage. We are also back to a ludicrous amount of diapers for a few months until we switch to cloth. The good news is Baby SH#1 is no longer a baby and he’s almost potty trained. You win some, you lose some.

Family life was as chill as it had ever been and that low-stress mentality has maintained even with a newborn. This is a welcome change from our first when the household stress was high, even though I took 9 months off with DW. It was just such a radical change in behaviour and identity. Now our identities are established as parents and *knock on wood* Baby SH#2 is pretty easy in most ways (albeit getting 2 kids bundled up and out the door to the library can be a hassle for DW when I have to go into work). All in all, we’re still content, just busier.

One interesting emotion DW and I continue to face in our 1 on 1 time is the idea that to some degree, “our life”, feels like its on the back burner for 5+ years while we parent babies and toddlers until we have hours in the day besides just 1 hour when they happen to both be napping. Even though I am home the vast majority of the time, it’s not like I can just take off for an hour to go to the gym. The decision to stay at home and help makes life so much easier for DW and our family that taking time away from that is very difficult to do.

As someone on this forum said, working less while you have little kids at home, is just taking away the second full-time job.

It is frustrating when serendipity strikes in my network and I’m unable to commit due to time restraints. But these choices are deliberate and the frustration is short lived because I remember it’s just one more lifewave to ride.

No change. Had some weird tax issues due to starting new businesses and selling a couple houses and yadayadayada, but nothing has sewered us and nothing has made us much more rich than we were in January, except for slow satisfying accumulation.

Still not tracking NW or expenses. Just a loose cash flow gauge. I plan on flipping extra cash into investments when it hits X amount.

One thing I have become good at with the new babe is working my exercise into playing with my son. He’s ~35 lbs now and is sturdy, so I do thrusters with him in the form of squatting and throwing him into the air a bunch. I also strap him on my back and we run up the toboggan hill near our house, or around the block. I know I am unlikely to schedule exercise time and lifting weights is rare now, so I just throw him around and bike a lot with him on the back, or to and from work 1 or 2 days a week.

I am still fit, but I admit the lack of organization or goals feels a little less satisfying. Again, I feel I can start that back up again when life settles a little. My gauge is if I can easily ride the 20k round trip ride from work twice a week without any fatigue or soreness then I’m doing ok.

Went through some weird stuff when I up coffee to two cups a day as baby arrived and realized my sore stomach and not sleeping as well was tied to it. This compounded with the hormones that change in a dad’s body (interestingly enough, with men the hormonal and brain changes are similar to moms, except they aren’t mandatory, they scale based on how long a dad spends with baby) made me have odd fearful thoughts (and imagery) of things happening to my family and me being unable to protect them.

I dropped coffee entirely and everything went back to normal after a couple days, I think my stomach was getting too acidic or something with 2 intakes of coffee. Anyways, problem solved, I drink more teas now and coffee is a nice-to-have if it’s free, or for morning social gatherings.

Still reading more fiction than non-fiction, really enjoying it.

Life goes on.