I can't believe I've never read your journal before. I grew up in Minneapolis and am still reasonably close in the Midwest. Winters can be BRU-TAL, it's not surprising it's taking you awhile to adapt. Everything is OK through about Christmas, fun to have some cold and snow, but after that it's hell.
Sounds like the hobby/housework helped out last year. Personally, I make it a point to get out of the Midwest winters for at least one month each year. It makes a huge difference breaking it up. This is probably something you can do if you're cutting back with work, it may change your perspective going forward. Also agree with you about Twin Cities area (exception of some suburbs) being incredibly liberal. I don't think many outsiders realize that it could give any East or West coast university campus a run for their money in a deep blue competition.
Interesting to read about your relationship as well. I'm older than you, but am in a similar spot with my GF. We just moved in together last year. Through my tutelage she's seeing the light of financial freedom and making some changes. While at the same time I'm learning a shit-ton about living a better life and compromise from her. Both have caused plenty of disagreements, yet we are muddling through and both happier for it.
You get a gold star for one of the most plain spoken, yet wise comments wrt to life and FI.
Looking forward to reading more!giskard wrote: ↑Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:14 pmThis is what I have noticed. When I focus on being happier, I get happier. When I focus on improving my life, I improve my life. After I pay my bills for the month, the extra money does not really impact that other than the satisfaction I get from knowing that one day soon I can quit working.