A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:14 am

suomalainen wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:10 pm
"Maintaining" meaning/purpose presupposes that the "fray" offers/offered you some meaning/purpose. As Bill Waterson said in his graduation speech,
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.
Yeah, being in the fray was accompanied by purpose, but it wasn't really the purpose in-and-of itself. In terms of the simple story model it was the action I took to achieve a number of other goals (feed myself, raise a family, prepare for retirement, etc.). And since all those goals will be achieved to my satisfaction soon, I won't need to pursue that course of action any more, and frankly don't want to. What I'm contemplating is whether I'm setting myself up for a 2-3 decade denouement, and if that's really what I want given I'm in some ways back where I was as a new college graduate with a very wide open opportunity to (re)invent meaning for myself (borrowing a little from Waterson there--IMO, best cartoonist ever).
Seppia wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:30 pm
What a great post thanks Dave.
My two cents: ... It may take some time to adjust to a different "life" but you will figure it out once you're there.

... You'll be ok
I definitely appreciate the encouragement. I probably sound more hand-wringy than I really am. Mostly I'm just sort of thinking out loud. Writing down thoughts helps me distill them. I hope that continually questioning my plan is ultimately a means to improving it, though it can be a fine line from which it is possible to veer off into paralyzing anxiety. On one level my plan for ER has always been to get into a situation where I can more freely be myself (how's that for New-Agey pseudo-claptrap?) I've come to realize I am largely unsure who that is. It's a journey of discovery for sure, one I suppose is ongoing and projects into the future.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:00 pm

2018 Q2

Didn't have a great fiscal month in June. Spending was about $3,590. Some contributors were unexpected dental work, annual vet/dog meds, season maintenance around the house, and an unexpected repair on the cabin. All fairly normal stuff given my lifestyle decisions.

Net worth grew by $68,700 for the quarter and $191,000 for the prior 12 months. In June invested assets were up $8,100. For the quarter they were up $42,300.

I don't have my multiples calculated but recently I was around 46X.

Other Stuff

In the realm of news I now have a Concept2 rower. My fitness has fallen off quite a bit in the last three years and although it's not a very ERE-ish move (the things are pricey even used) it's been on my list of acquisitions for a while because it is a good way to maintain mobility that has some overlap with my primary mode of recreational travel (canoe or maybe kayak) in Phase III. I've got a small collection of dumb bells that I can work in to rebuild some overhead strength (useful for carrying a canoe while portaging) along with the usual body weight calesthenics. I think I can get back to 60-70% of where I was at the end of my Crossfit days, maybe slightly more, in 6 months, at which point I'll either accept that as good enough or consider restarting Crossfit.

Part of what's modivating me is that I have my annual oil and fluid check with my MD in about 7 weeks, and I don't want to wind up with too many negative marks on my chart given that in 1.5-2.5 years I'll be out in the market for medical insurance and what I think high risk pools are going to turn into is something I want to avoid if possible. I'll have 9-10 years until Medicare eligibiltiy once I retire, and where I see the biggest potential for financial flameout is medical expense catastrophe in those bridge/gap years combined with exclusion from the insurance market. If I can maintain ACA-style insurance I should be fine, but that's not something I can be certain about.

I check my BP occasionally at my local Walmart and its started to creep up on me. My BP has always been sensitive to my body weight, so as a promise to myself for having spent $ on fitness equipment I have to abuse myself with the rower and get myself down to 175 lb before my appointment. I was about 190 at last weigh in which isn't awful for being a tad over 6', but it's not good either. I'll need to lose 2 lb/week to do that--a sustainable rate for me historically but it is difficult. I realized that my lifestyle has been largely sedentary since 2015 when my mom's illness got serious, which at my age is a bad thing. And more so than looking like an A student for the doctor, I've got to get the lifestyle thing turned around. But in the short run if my BP is still poor at that weight I'll have to consider whether to take meds for it. I know my doc and she'll push for it.

With all the family stuff surrounding my mom's illness over the last 3-4 years which has segued into my dad learning life anew as a widower I've sort of taken my eye off the ball regarding my own journey.

Brief aside: I was happy to learn today that my dad opted to take a traditional/annual trip up to Green Lake WI with some of his high school buddies for a few days of golf and fishing. He'd been avoiding social interaction enough I was beginning to get concerned, and said he wasn't planning on going this year. He's also let his vineyard go wild this year. But he decided to take the trip and enjoyed it. And has moved from a "no thanks" to a "yeah maybe" on the topic of coming up to the cabin w/me this fall.

Anyway, back to me and my ER. So, I'm trying to get my eye back on the ball. The lifestyle/health stuff mentioned above is part of that. And in a few prior entries I've hinted about other things. Nothing concrete has emerged yet, so I'm going to focus on preparation, assuming opportunity will arrive in due time. Still, it feels like I am missing something obvious.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by jacob » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:07 pm

Which version of the concept2? Do/can you compete online? e-version?

Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVl0Zt-kZys

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:23 pm

That dude's a beast. Those power lifters, just like Oly lifters, are better athletes than people give them credit for.

Mine is a D. If I had a phone that runs apps there is maybe more I could do online, dunno if I could compete real time. As it is I can upload data from the monitor via laptop to an online log and see my rankings, but I haven't done that yet. Right now it would be too discouraging :lol:

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:15 am

So it's Independence Day here in the US, meaning I get the day off work. But having it fall on a Wednesday and bookended by work days takes some of the flexibility out of it. With a heat index forecast that says we might hit 110 here (with air temp in the mid 90s) I've abandoned the idea I had to get some yard chores done. I do have a rack of ribs absorbing spicy dry rub in the refrigerator so I'll eat pretty well.

I'm quite surprised with what's happened regarding my blood pressure. For a while now it's been running mid-130s over low-mid-90s, which is the beginning of stage 2 hypertension. After 2 weeks of on the rower where I haven't ramped up to much in terms of intensity and being more careful with my diet I've been reading mostly 110-115/65-70. I went from poor/poor/poor (diastolic/systolic/heart rate) to great/great/great the last three measurements on the Walmart machine. My home meter tracks the fancy-dancy Walmart machine pretty well though with many more samples the range is greater, basically varing from 100/65 to 125/88 with the more recent readings increasingly falling on the lower half of the range.

Maybe I'll make it to age 60 after all! :)

It's popular nowadays to have a very dark and negative view of the US, but at least on July 4th you can call me a homer. For all our faults both presently and through history, there aren't a whole lot of places I'd consider emmigrating to. Hopefully our national dialogue (in that I exclude politicians) will return to being a little more adult soon. It's interesting that the online home of long-form, more diverse, and more substantial dialogue has been given the label "intellectual dark web".

I've got it in my head that I want to visit McKenzie Lake in Quetico Provincial Park, ON. It is reputed to be one of the most iconic lakes in the park. The challenge is that it's a pretty fair haul from the BWCA entry points (my cabin is a short paddle from one of them). I'm thinking it might be a bit too much to take on as a solo for a guy my age. It'll be fun to try to plan it out though.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by J_ » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:49 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:43 am
Right Now isn't Good Enough
Retirement is in some sense the removal of insufficient money as an obstacle, so that subplot will be resolved. My new way of viewing the upcoming Phase III of my life is, "What story will it be?" I've already got some elements in place to get me started. I want a mindful, contemplative, and tranquil life. The obstacle is an innate compulsion to exist in a story of at least some minimum value. It in turn probably means finding yet another "obstacle" to direct my actions towards overcoming, though not necessarily. It certainly doesn't have the makings of a compelling story, but it keeps me living with some purpose, albeit potentially one that's more artifice than genuine
Is this perhaps (one of) your new "obstacle": getting and staying in good health? It helps a lot to me to be in top shape. Because it allows me to do a lot of things, perhaps it is for you in your fase III the same. I train on a Concept 2, but last week I got my "permission" to row and stear in the real rowing-boats of our local rowing club. I use my sailing skills to teach sailing to other adults in another nearby sailing club. These activities gives two important things for me: social contacts (most with younger people than me), the stories they tell me on which I can reflect, and physical training.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:13 am

J_, yes maintaining some degree of physical capability is certainly in the mix. I see it more as a means to other ends right now, although somewhere down the line it could easily turn into an end in itself. I don't know if it will turn into an entry point for meaningful social structure in the out years, but stranger things have happened.

I am beginning to think more deeply about my social position as I age. During all my planning/self-authoring I've just sort of assumed that I'll carry on largely how I have the last ten years--mostly as a loner following whatever path gets me where I think I want to be most efficiently. That's fine for now but it makes for a potentially dismal ending as a lonely old bachelor increasingly unable to look after myself.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:26 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:42 am
jennypenny,

No, nothing is definite. That's just my going in position. The most likely thing that would cause me to claim earlier would be some indication that I'm unlikely to meet the lifespan of the mortality tables. The other possibility is if things go extremely badly and it's looking like I'm going to run out of money before then (age 70). I don't remember the numbers exactly, but nearly half of the population takes SS at 62, and less than 5% wait until 70. There's been a slow shift in that (fewer people claiming early and more later).

Today my understanding is that 20ish years from now when the trust fund is projected to run dry, ongoing revenues will still fund 77% of the liability. I'm in between the old and the young. I'm not counting on it getting completely fixed (which isn't that hard, and I think is extremely likely), but I'm not going to assume it vanishes either. The problem is that there are a lot of votes to buy over the next 20 years, so it won't be addressed until the 11th hour by the political dirtbags. Notionally I use full SS, but I've looked at things with 75% and there was no real qualitative difference.

I've run the numbers with various claiming ages. When I look at my projected assets over time assuming I quit working on the day I'm playing with the numbers, the median outcome today is roughly "V"-shaped, with the vertex at the age I claim SS. Earlier claiming means less depth to the V and a shallower slope coming out of the minimum. Assuming I croak at 80 or above, waiting until 70 maximizes terminal wealth, so that's what I picked for now. If I assume 1 or more years additional accumulation, the median path becomes monatomically increasing, so it begins to approach a don't-care condition from the perspective of my survival, and I don't spend a lot of mental effort wrestling with SS eventualities. At that point I'm simply holding on to the money to reimburse my descendants for some of the money that was taken from them to pay into the system to support the boomers and us early Xers.
IlliniDave, almost thru your journal, wonderful read.

I am intoxicated and cannot be assured of remembering to post. I would like to suggest taking the money as soon as it is available? Risk-return. So what if you might make a bit more later in nominal terms, you risk losing everything and your grandchildren don’t inherit the SS and it’s hypothetically not-ravaged-by inflation reward. I hope you live to 150, but what if you croak at 79?

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:38 am

Mr I, if I croak at 79 it's a wash, it's if I croaked unexpectedly at 69.9 that would be sort of the worst-case in the delay-to-70 scenario. Despite my sometimes cynical way of regarding things, in the end I tend to be an optimist, and therefore tend to bet on life. You are right it could be a big mistake in the context of providing for my descendants (although at that point the problem of providing for myself financially without a job is permanently solved). Once I ER I have 6-7 years to think about it until I reach the minimum age of 62, at which point it becomes a year-by-year evaluation until I file for benefits. I have to put something in my nominal spreadsheet, and since waiting until 70 is the most stressful on my financial assets it's the one I default to. I'll certainly keep what you said in mind as I weigh options down the road.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:19 am

Are you at all afraid that you might experience a bit of "You Can't Go Home Again" once you finally relocate back to your place of origin?

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:16 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:19 am
Are you at all afraid that you might experience a bit of "You Can't Go Home Again" once you finally relocate back to your place of origin?
I don't know, but I don't think so. I say that based on an assumption you are referring to the Thomas Wolfe novel which I've not read, and so I don't know precisely what you're asking. Just taking the phrase literally, I don't expect things to be much like they were in 1982 when I started the process of moving away. My reasons for moving back are practical: primarily now they are having an aging dad who is on his own for the first time really in his adult life, and it is approximately equidistant in terms of travel time from my daughters and my hideout in blueberry country. It's true there's some nostalgia involved which makes the idea arguably more palatable, but even if that disappoints 100% I'll stick with my plan to soldier on as long as my familial responsibilities there last, then reassess. Ultimately it's up to me, not a place, nor any other external factor, to maximize my remaining time.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:38 am

My mom's birthday occurred the week before last and it sent me off on a retrospective mental journey that combined with recent discussions of recent events and a stream of contemplation I'd been riding throughout the summer. I'm using this journal to pin words to things which I find to be a good distillation proxy sometimes. If I can get one good sentence out of 2-300ish words it's a pretty big score.

By now this should not be a surprise to anyone, but I was an oddball kid. My loves, accompanied by some competence, were sports, outdoors/nature (while going through Mom's stuff I was confronted with evidence that when asked by my kindergarten teacher what I wanted to be when I grew up I said I wanted to be a scientist so I could learn everything about insects), music and art (which emerged during adolescence); while my greatest competence came in the drier classroom pursuits. I suppose with an extra shot of native ability and a little more obsession I could have wound up as a poor man's polymath. I've taken a handful of those tests that attempt to identify left- versus right-brain dominance. I can't speak to their veracity but I always scored dead in the middle which was a disappointment--for whatever reason I always wanted to be right-brained. Maybe getting beat up a few times in grade school for being singled out by teachers for being "smart" contributed to that. :) Maybe it's inherent to my brand of introversion. Maybe it's just a case of wanting to be something I wasn't.

So I never had any distinguishing trait to my being, except the trait of introversion if it even rises to that level. The social conventions of the 70s being what they were, the adults around me seized on the academic facility and pushed me to exploit it, which I did, but I always felt I wasn't on an optimal path. I attended parochial schools which meant academics, arts, and sports, were presented in a context that life inherently held a higher meaning--a narrative I guess you could say. Whether it was nature or nurture I do not know, but a part of me has always sought meaning. At times I've shoved it far into the background, at other times I've carried it to the forefront. Thinking back on it now, one of the primary struggles of my soul (the part of me connected to the idea of higher meaning) has been one of seeking balance.

One of the first milestones in that journey came via music in my early teens when I absorbed the lengthy intra-album Rush song Cygnus X-1. In it they explored the ageless heart/mind struggle with a characteristically eclectic blend of soft scifi, mythology, and muscular progressive rock. Forty years later it is obviously a bit dated, but considering the guys hadn't even reached their 25th birthdays when it was written and recorded, it still stands as a pretty impressive feat. Below is a link to the coda which in some sense served as a compass for me into my mid 20s. Fundamentally, the conclusion is a statement of balance and tolerance with acceptance of the reality that following ones path sometimes means a lonely journey. It resonated well with an introvert moving into and through the process of transitioning into self reliance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2XvMGJYWLU

Then came the family years, where my own journey was demoted in priority until, fast-forwarding 20 years, I was again transitioning from a nuclear family into another type of self-reliance. I've been cultivating a plan that has been loosely documented in this journal, along with expressions of a growing sense that some facet of it is underdeveloped. In juggling multiple streams of thought I've noticed that aside from the outward similarities between my two personal journeys, there is deeper one, and that it is not redux but rather a continuation of a journey never completed. In a sense it is like I have a second chance to grow up!

Back to the idea of balance, it seems to be something I'm inherently disposed towards. But it's not always an easy thing. From the outside looking in it comes with the appearance of indecision, lack of conviction, lack of passion, and short rations of all the other characteristics of boldness prized by western culture. As an ironic aside, it is very possible to be decisive about withholding judgement, bold about forging compromise, or passionate about maintaining an open mind and balanced perspective. But for myself I often suspect that too much balance promotes inertia and immobility.

Now enter Jordan Peterson. Setting aside his public embroilment, one of the ideas he expressed in a way that sparked a few of my synapses is describing conservative versus liberal not as political doctrine but as personality traits. His view is multifaceted but one facet is, in short: conservative people tend to value what they have and seek to improve and optimize it while liberal people are more inclined to value new ideas and things (again, he's not primarily concerned with political ideologies in these statements). He goes on to say that at the societal level you need both, in balance, for long term success. Too conservative and a society stagnates and corrupts, too liberal and things become untethered and chaotic. When I thought about that it brought to mind the old Rush song I mentioned above (Peterson is Canadian and about my age, and I wonder if maybe he wasn't listening to Rush at the same juncture of life as I did, haha). I'll also note as an that I've described myself as middle-of-the-road on the conservative-liberal spectrum, same old same old for boring nondescript iDave.

I've just started reading Masks of Meaning, which I guess for now stands as Peterson's academic magnum opus. In just the first pages he threw out an idea (iirc, he wasn't asserting it was his idea originally) that the world can be understood as a "forum for action" as well as a aggregate of things ("place of things"). I paraphrased the former in a recent post somewhere and forgot to credit him. I still have a long way to go in his book so from here I'm mostly following what those words of his suggest to me and beginning to depart from his ideas rather than presenting his thesis.

The world as a place of things is the newer/emerging perspective, led by science and rationalism. The world as an arena for action is the ancient primordial perspective. I don't know if Peterson will ultimately try to map those in any way to liberal/conservative, and it's not immediately apparent to me that there is a 1:1 mapping, but intuitively I suspect that, like conservative-liberal) there is at least a local optimum to be found in holding both perspectives in balance. But keep in mind I've admitted that I'm sort of predisposed to balance.

Despite that predisposition, as an adult I've probably operated in the place of things realm a little more than in the forum for action realm. And it's been something I've sought to change even before I had this new vocabulary to express it. The forum for action is where things have meaning and value(s) prompt action, and I guess you can say is the domain of narrative. I suspect my moral shortcomings (perhaps residual guilt instilled by a parochial upbringing) are what has caused me to favor the world of things. An electron is neither good nor bad, it just is. It's easy to then extend that to oneself, where you can harbor a vast number of shortcomings so long as they fall short provably injuring someone else as codified in whatever laws apply to you, and argue that like strengths, they are neither good nor bad, they just are. To venture into the forum of action realm means facing the possibility that you have a responsibility to use your freedom in harmony with the whole, for the good of the narrative. It's the realm of meaning, which includes actions. That's almost enough to scare me away! But at the same time it is attractive. Intuitively it is comforting although intellectually it still feels a little like reversion to primitive ignorance.

I do not know where this all will lead yet, or how it ties together. My thoughts about my future are quite unsettled (even though my ER arc is still firm). "On paper" I don't want to revert to a perspective of mythological delusion or New Age-y superstition. But at the same time in order to try to optimize my future and the sum of my existence, I need some sort of value hierarchy, and the thought of a world steeped in transcendent meaning feels so very good. I wonder if there is room for a wholesome balance of heart and mind, as it were; or better yet, a union of them, in a construct that has meaning and reason both, and even a place for me.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:00 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:38 am
Back to the idea of balance, it seems to be something I'm inherently disposed towards. But it's not always an easy thing. From the outside looking in it comes with the appearance of indecision, lack of conviction, lack of passion, and short rations of all the other characteristics of boldness prized by western culture. As an ironic aside, it is very possible to be decisive about withholding judgement, bold about forging compromise, or passionate about maintaining an open mind and balanced perspective. But for myself I often suspect that too much balance promotes inertia and immobility.

.......

To venture into the forum of action realm means facing the possibility that you have a responsibility to use your freedom in harmony with the whole, for the good of the narrative. It's the realm of meaning, which includes actions. That's almost enough to scare me away! But at the same time it is attractive.
Reminds me of a quote of a philosopher I am fond of.

“Thinking is easier than living, I now realize. And, it takes less courage.”

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4986&start=80#p75214

There are few people I know of who are more qualified to bring a balanced and mature perspective to the forum of action, than IlliniDave.

The camel becomes a lion becomes a child.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Smashter » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:31 am

I prefer your musings on Peterson to reading Peterson himself, so please keep them coming.

Also, you referring to "Maps of Meaning" as "Masks of Meaning" seems like it could make great fodder for Freudian slip self-analysis :)

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:42 pm

Smashter wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:31 am
Also, you referring to "Maps of Meaning" as "Masks of Meaning" seems like it could make great fodder for Freudian slip self-analysis :)
Yeah, sorry. Dunno if it was something subconscious or an oldschool brain fart. :)

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:39 am

July 2018 Summary

I did a lot of thinking during July about a lot of things, many of which were more abstract and more external than is normal for me. Of course in the end I wind up to attempting to project them back onto my present state. Coming from such a distance the relevance isn't always immediately apparent. Maybe at some point my subconscious will distill them into something useful. Many of them are tangential to some of the discussions about current events I've participated in from other threads.

Things at work are going relatively well. I'm busy enough that I don't have time to sit around and think of reasons to be discontent. I've put in enough overtime in during the last four months that by the end of July I'd pretty much recouped the cost of what I'd spent earlier this year getting deferred home maintenance taken care of in preparation to sell, along with my contribution to my mom's funeral.

Mom's birthday was this month, and I was caught off guard with the intensity of the day's melancholy. I realized I've been dragging my feet regarding making any firm plans to head back home in the late summer/early autumn time frame for my traditional warm season visit. I was enveloped in a defensive numbness when I was up that way in the Spring, and I expect that when I return there won't be anything to pad a collision with the fact that life has continued on in her absence. I'm not sure how any of that is relevant to ER, but I find it increasingly difficult to separate where I am internally with my intentions for the future.

Before August is over I should have a new grandson.

A few weeks back I received an invitation to commence a "friends with benefits"-style interaction with a long-standing acquaintance. I won't say it wasn't tempting, but ultimately I nixed the idea two weeks ago. I guess I'm too much of a prude on some level. Plus she is significantly younger than I meaning a risk of procreation exists. I also had suspicions (perhaps unjustified) that simple FWB recreation wasn't her end game. She's got a couple young kids and is in a moderately unstable position regarding lifestyle and financial means. My cynical side seemed to want to bend everything into a honey trap narrative. I suppose that says something about the quality of person I am.

All that had me thinking about how dedicated (or not) I am to perpetual bachelorhood. I still think about navigating the long game and how partnering could yield both strategic and tactical advantages in certain scenarios. But I have to admit that my thoughts along those lines are decidedly selfish, so much so that I'm a bit ashamed of them. I just can't get around the fact that, to borrow from an obscure song, there are things that lie in my path that I just have to do. And for the most part those things don't line up with a typical partnered lifestyle unless staggering odds were overcome and someone magically showed up on my radar already on a path nearly identical to my own. I guess it is good I am honest with myself about it, although that doesn't make me feel much better about the implications concerning my morality.

Health/Diet-related Stuff

I'm down 7-8 lbs since starting keto. Considering the initial water weight loss that puts me somewhere around 2.5 lbs/week. I've backed off the rowing for the last 2 weeks to adjust to the new nutrition scheme and my systolic blood pressure has crept back to the 80-85 range. As I ramp back into regular rowing this week I expect that drop quickly back into the 70s. I've been surprised how sensitive my BP has been to exercise. I feel pretty good on keto but I'm uncertain if it is something I'll want to do long term. Seeing what my labs look like will factor into that. If they are not significantly better than where I've been historically with LCHP I might gravitate back towards that.

Dull Numbers

Spending for July was $2,900, which is a little on the high side of my new expected normal that includes a significant vehicle payment. I'm violating one of my basic day-to-day financial rules by playing the differential interest game. I have the money to pay it off sitting in a MM account earning a little over 2% while paying 0.9% on the loan. One of the interesting side effects of the run of really low interest rates for cash accounts we finally seem to be creeping out of is that it makes the ~1.1% differential seem significant. For the month invested assets increased by $26,800, and for Q3 2018 to date net worth is up $27,400. I'm not quite sure what to claim for my asset multiple these days. I have so many retirement spending scenarios under evaluation that I'm not sure which I consider my baseline. On the more conservative side future spending-wise, I'm somewhere around 40X-42X when looking at average estimated withdrawals through age 70, and something on the order of 60X if I extend the calculation through age 80. Those are dull pencil numbers.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:50 am

Well, my new grandson arrived in the world Sunday, and I got to meet him for the first time yesterday evening. He is the fifth grandchild overall but the first unfortunate enough to have a 25% asset allocation of my DNA. Holding the little guy in the aftermath of the recent prepper thread (prepping-type stuff being something I've been giving more thought to of late than is arguably healthy despite my relative silence on the topic) has me wondering if my most utilitarian role isn't to continue amassing wealth while the system I am adapted to continues to function, for the sake of throwing up as much of a shield around my family as I can. Maybe that is too aristocratic by some standards, and certainly the scenarios where it would ultimately be ineffective are numerous; but my plan to thank society for all the fish and spend a decade or three on a self-indulgent journey will benefit no one except maybe myself. Likely there will be more on this topic to come.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:21 am

Congratulations!

I think it is natural and admirable to want to expand your financial boundaries to somewhat encompass your expanding family, but you are beating yourself up too much when you describe your other goals and desires as "selfish" or "self-indulgent." Maybe try reflecting your stance on neutral other. For instance, what if I told you that I was forestalling my plans to solo backpack across South America (or whatever) even though I fear being crippled by arthritis in my 70s, because I felt like I should make myself available to provide free daycare to my (theoretical, but clearly in the works, since my DD and her fiance are shopping for house "big enough") grandchildren?

suomalainen
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by suomalainen » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:23 am

Another way to think about it is to adapt something I think @fish once said (paraphrasing, it was stated much more eloquently) - don't continue working now because you think your future self is incapable of taking care of itself. Your kids and grandkids will have their own challenges given different circumstances and environment, but they are capable of adapting and surviving the best they can. If you derive meaning and joy from serving them and making their lives more comfortable, by all means continue to do so, but the little princes and princesses will need to run their own race regardless of how much of a head start you give them.

And FWIW, my shrink said that there's no such thing as friends with benefits in the long run. You will either gain a SO or lose a friend.

And finally, get a vasectomy!

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:53 am

suomalainen wrote:And FWIW, my shrink said that there's no such thing as friends with benefits in the long run. You will either gain a SO or lose a friend.
I don't think this is necessarily true for mature (lacking better word) people. I am still friends or friendly with most of the men with whom I have been "in love" or sexually involved. It's simply a matter of not confusing expectations with standards. Jordan Peterson says something about how it is more noble to abide in long-term monogamous relationship, and otherwise your "casual" relationships will eventually make your own self-esteem "casual" (paraphrasing a bit here), but he is married to the woman he fell in love with at first sight when he was 7 years old.

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