m741's ERE Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed May 08, 2019 6:45 pm

Yeah, Vanguard lowered admiral to 3K for a whole slew of their funds recently. I converted a couple of smaller, niche funds myself. Can't complain about lower expenses.

Don't be too hard on yourself wrt to goals. Starting work again is a big life-change that takes some getting used to. I really envy the way you've set up your life since through this journal. You take long periods off when you need them, travel when it suits you, and pick up challenging work when you want it. You are very much one of the ERE success stories I hope to emulate in the coming years.

anesde
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by anesde » Thu May 09, 2019 8:28 am

One positive I’ve found with Fidelity is their Cash Management account. I believe you need to be a customer already to open it.

They reimburse you for all ATM fees all over the world - no questions asked. I live abroad and travel quite a bit internationally and find this really useful.

I also find them to be much more friendly towards expats vs Vanguard. Much easier to access accounts, etc.

Something to keep in mind if you ever decide to live abroad.

m741
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sun May 12, 2019 12:31 pm

@classical_Liberal: Yes, I'm not being too serious, but I do not want to start slacking off on the goals that matter to me. I realized with regret ~2 years ago that I could have developed some useful skills with just 1 hour a day of practice, because the benefits compound; when I skip days I miss out on that opportunity. The last thing I want is to look back in 3 months and realize that I missed out on 3 months of learning stuff.

I'm glad you like my journal, but I suspect that my life looks better written out than it feels in person. Not that I'm unhappy, it just feels "normal" to me... and very conventional when compared to C40 or Jacob or others. The wildest thing I've done so far is travel for 3 and 7 months.

@anesde: I don't mind Fidelity, but the returns are better on Vanguard. Free ATM withdrawals is great, but I *also* have a Schwab account whose debit card gives me that benefit - also no foreign exchange fees (too many accounts is why I wanted to drop Fidelity). I don't intend to live outside the US anytime soon but will keep Fidelity in mind if I do.

m741
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:24 pm

May 2019

Work/Life

A generally quiet month - I was gone for the first week on work and attending a wedding, and then did some local travel for a weekend. It was mostly routine, but overall I wasn't so productive. In this case it was more in a "good" way, taking a step back and relaxing a bit more. The beautiful Seattle weather helped a lot - it's been comfortable and sunny during the day and cool at night. In my experience, it would already be a little too warm in NYC for me at this point. So I'm outside a lot in the backyard or on the porch, even if it's just to read.

I've had some mixed feelings about work. It's clear to me that my team is in a bit of a weird spot. I think I'm more productive than average, but it' not directed to the most effective things. I have a chance to work on some very cool stuff, but logistically it's a bit complicated (geographically dispersed teams with different goals). As a result, I feel like I'm not super-useful, and also that there's not enough work on my plate. Having enough work to stay busy and active but not too much to handle is an important balancing act and I don't think I've gotten good at it in the new role. I was feeling quite depressed this past friday until I figured out a good project I can work on next week.

Overall my work-life balance is pretty good, generally working from 8 or 8:30-5pm. I always leave at 5 unless I actually want to work or have something to attend after work. I'm hoping - depending on how I feel and how important I think I am to my team - to see in 1-2 years about going to 4 days/week. It's a possibility, my salary would be pro-rated. It's a big request and I'd like to have a good track record before doing so, but if I can then I'd be in a very nice position with a good balance between work and personal life.

Finally, it's now been 6 months since we moved to Seattle, and they've flown by. So far (it's a bit of an unusual year), I love the climate and opportunities here and I'm very happy we moved. I do still miss NYC at times; it was a big part of my life. But just about everything here is better suited to my personality/tastes.

Finances

It was not a good month in the markets and this caused my to see a net worth drop of 2.9%. It's tough knowing that you're working and making good money and still seeing backwards progress. Definitely a weird feeling. I didn't really do much financially besides finish transferring some money around.

Goals

It's all been very mixed here. My three core goals are to study Spanish and learn guitar, and to get healthier. I'm spending a lot of energy on those and certainly making progress, but sometimes not at the rate I'd hoped.

My target for guitar was to have practiced for 87 hours so far this year, and right now I've practiced for 73. In guitar, just like running, a major problem has been health issues. For guitar I can feel some tendon strain, so I take some time off but eventually it comes back as I start practicing again. I'm not practicing crazy amounts, my busiest day has been about 2 hours, but a typical day of practice would be 45 minutes or so. There are times when I'd love to play for 3 hours, because I really enjoy guitar. I bought a classical guitar, though it hasn't arrived. I've found these to be a bit easier to work with than my electric.

I guess the good thing - once I work through whatever health issues I've got - is that I really love playing guitar. It's exactly how I thought it would be - a good thing to do with my fingers/hands in the read world, and a good hobby. I played a little bit a few years back, but I'm left-handed and was playing right handed. Now I'm playing left-handed and it's way easier and more satisfying. I'm also learning music theory; even just seeing how scale patterns fit together demystifies a lot about how music works.

For Spanish, I'm not as dedicated. I have a 60 minute conversation - mostly me talking - like clockwork once a week. I do flash cards 1-4 times a week, though it should be daily. I generally read or watch videos 30-45 minutes a day, but I miss days when I do something after work. I also don't have a lot of direction. I don't know that it's a bad thing - there's just so many theories of language learning, some of which just suggest lots of contact with the language. I can generally understand any moderate-speed spoken Spanish, about most subjects, and read most books with few problems. Right now I'm in the middle of the third Harry Potter book and rarely need to refer to a dictionary.

Finally, health. I'm eating way healthier than in the past, though still far from cleanly. I track all my calories on weekdays and take weekends off. I've seen some little weight progress. I'm also doing a lot of logging - tracking sleep amount+quality, any alcohol consumption, mood, etc. I haven't run much because my back consistently gets tired or feels pain during the day. This and the wrist/finger pain I feel during guitar are really obnoxious. I'm hopefully talking to a coach soon, as well as a doctor, to see what my options are. I'm sure there's some combination of stretches/diet/etc that will make things better, unless these types of problems are inevitable at 31 years old. At work I do try to stand at my desk for at least 90 minutes/day (I have a desk that can be raised to standing position). I think this helps. Likewise I sometimes stand when playing guitar.

Grouping my consumption goals into one category, I saw no movies of interest this month. I'm reading a lot of graphic novels (Akira, Sandman, one-offs, etc). I haven't played many video games until this past week, when Bioshock finally "clicked" for me. I think I'm about a third of the way through the game now and will probably finish it in June.

Overall, for goals I'm making consistent progress, a bit slower than I'd like, and hampered by physical problems.

m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 pm

June 2019

Work/Life

Frankly, June was stressful to me. We traveled in the beginning of the month to the GF's friend's wedding in LA. This marked our fifth wedding since November. We have either 3 or 4 left until November. Of these 8-9 weddings only one is in a city where where we reside. They are basically all of our personal travel this year, except for a trip to visit family for the holidays.

Then the GF's mother visited for a week. She's older than our peer's mothers are, so has some mobility issues. In general I like her, but she has some annoying habits I won't get into that make it frustrating to spend time with her; we also just don't have a lot in common. I was sleeping on the couch in our common room (we only have space for one bed which the GF and her mother shared). Finally I did a bunch of driving (I'm the only one with a license + insurance on our van), which is something I don't really enjoy, much less with others in the car and in urban areas. In all I found this extremely stressful and still ~3 weeks later feel tired.

We also had two concerts (one in early July in Vancouver, the other the day after the GF's mother left). Both required driving (2 and 5 hours roundtrip). I enjoyed both, but they were mostly for the benefit of the GF. We have busy weekends until the 27th, as well.

In all, this was busy and stressful month and we have a busy July and August coming up, though thankfully without travel or long-term visitors until the end of August (for another wedding...). Possibly as a result, I've felt really blue, maybe depressed, for the past few weeks, though I feel a bit better now.

I think I've been more introspective and honest with myself in the past few weeks and I think I have to admit that I'm not happy. There's really no "problem" (good work hours, relatively interesting work, reasonable amounts of free time, wonderful weather), besides being a bit busy, and I felt similar when I hadn't started the new job (even less stressors). I will be talking to a "stress coach" available through work and am modestly optimistic about that (though I suspect most of the advice would be along the lines of "sleep more," etc). I'm planning on working out at work, which does boost my mood, and to keep trying to clean up my diet. I'm probably also going to do a sleep study, because I'm always tired; I already had bloodwork done which mostly came back clean.

That said, I think some of my mental processes/mindsets/biases are problematic, but there's also the possibility that I'm clinically depressed. It does run in the family. I think I'll learn more in the next month or two.

Work, however, has been interesting and I'm both learning a lot and working on an interesting, rewarding problem. I'm mostly able to work and cut out obnoxious meetings, and I've achieved a sort of zen detachment from career striving or glad-handing bullshit. Mostly I want to get learn, stuff done, and make more money. I think part of it is that I'm not close with anyone on my team (for the first time in my career). There's nobody I'd want to get a drink with after work. It's a bit of a bummer, but I also feel fine checking out at 5:00, which used to make me feel guilty.

The final thing is that (partly due to issues discussed above) I'm thinking more about ethics. "Misaligned behavior" or "cognitive dissonance" are certainly a big driver in my negative emotions. I might as well dive into that. I've noticed that I do a lot of small things which are wrong according to my moral framework, but which society doesn't really consider "bad:" they're bad according to my personal moral precepts. Because they're something society is neutral on, I can let them slide even though I feel bad. For example, I'm a vegetarian, mostly to prevent animal suffering (and climate change). But I eat eggs and dairy, which still cause a whole lot of suffering. Even simpler, I think trash and waste are bad, but I still used to drink ~3 cans of beverages at work each day. Sure, they'd be recycled, but I felt so shitty about it.

On a larger scale, I feel incredibly fortunate, but I haven't really been giving back. Sure, I'd donate ~$5k/year (which my company matches), lend via Kiva, etc, but these are like the bare minimum of what I can do.

My own personal opinion is that the US is a few unlucky coinflips from fascism, and that human life on the world is a few years away from being very seriously harmed by climate change. I'm pretty fatalistic about this; I don't know that there's much any average person can do to disrupt either process. But I admire people who are working (full-time) to prevent both. I think of myself as a "good person," but the reality is that I'm doing very little to address either threat! Worse, I'm actively doing things that may contribute (at least to the latter). Sure, I make small donations to ACLU, EFF, etc, drive less, etc, but not a lot. I had a personal epiphany though, in that, to me, whether I believe my personal actions will actually create an impact should not inform whether I do them. For example, even if I think that me personally driving less will not prevent climate change, what's truly immoral is if my actions do not align with my beliefs. Consequently, I should drive less. I should still try to be as efficient with my energy and resources as I can, but it's ok if the ultimate impact is out of my hands. That is, I highly value consistency of ethical beliefs, and between ethics and actions.

I've started compiling a big list of things that each cause me even just a little mental anguish or guilt: using Drano, eating eggs, running water continuously while I do the dishes, drinking 2 red bulls and wasting 2 cans rather than brewing tea with just a compostable bag or reusable strainer, and so on. And I'm working on resolving them. Mostly they're things where I can make a decision and after a week or two I'll have made a habit, or there's just something I need to scavenge/buy/clean and I'll be set to follow the new pattern.

Finances

The market is up and I saw a 5% increase in net worth. It's the highest it's ever been, but I've also been less-than-aggressive about investing to build up cash reserves. I haven't done much otherwise.

Goals

A mixed bag. I've fallen way behind in Spanish. I make consistent progress on all goals, but not at the rate I'd hoped; the travel/visitors/etc really doesn't help. I've developed a great love of playing guitar. It's very satisfying to understand music better and hear my improvements. I'll soon be back-on-track with my guitar playing.

I have had a more laissez-faire attitude towards the goals recently. I think it's probably healthier; I'd really tied a lot to hitting the goals and felt bad when I didn't, but lately I've felt more that simply not wasting time is fine.

I've also been feeling a bit healthier lately than a month ago, but still not great. Working on addressing that.

Well, that's it. Short update, huh?

Chris
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by Chris » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:09 am

m741 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 pm
I've started compiling a big list of things that each cause me even just a little mental anguish or guilt: using Drano, eating eggs, running water continuously while I do the dishes, drinking 2 red bulls and wasting 2 cans rather than brewing tea with just a compostable bag or reusable strainer, and so on. And I'm working on resolving them.
The flip side of a little bit of anguish would be a little bit of joy when you resolve each one. Do you at least feel a boost when you make a change in the right direction?

Running the water while doing dishes is something that I do that irks me as well. I did come across this video recently which suggests a good fix (if you're up for a bit of a project).

CS
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by CS » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:51 am

The schedule you have is brutal. For me, even if it is all individually fun things I want to do, having every minute planned would throw me into depression.

I've just discovered this blog: https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/09/be-more-successful/
That particular page might be relevant to your current situation.

Disclaimer, I haven't read everything it. What I am loving about this blog is the article itself is the 'cliff notes', but there are links to get all sorts of things in depth (more satisfying to my personal taste).

Didn't you just move? You talk about not being close to your coworkers yet - and yes, that gives you more time, but might be costing you too much happiness.

"Turns out that social connection is the greatest predictor of happiness we have when I run them in my studies. When we run social support metrics, they trump everything else we do, every time." (from the page I linked to above)

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:34 am

I feel for you, I've been having some similar problems with being too busy and being unhappy. Try not to overthink things or be too hard on yourself. If you're going to think about these moral issues and then make changes and feel better (driving less or whatever) that's one thing but to just beat yourself up over it isn't helping anyone and may be doing a lot of damage to you personally.

If nothing else, give yourself time to change. It can take time to implement something like an alternative to using Drano (prevent the clog in the first place, try a plunger [being sure to plug any overflow holes], try a drain snake).

bigato
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by bigato » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:09 pm

I see a vegan is about to be born! <3

DutchGirl
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:44 am

I hope you'll feel better soon, m741.

Recently I had to remind myself that I didn't need to get it perfect - I just had to do it well enough. Maybe that helps with your plans as well. You don't have to get it perfect, just start making some changes and do your best at them.

m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:58 pm

@Chris - Yeah - I feel good when I'm not doing bad things - not just bad when I do them :). For me, that's less of a driver of behavior, or at least not a motivation to start improving behavior.

The sensor thing is actually something that would work well for me when doing dishes (I leave the water running because it maintains the right temperature and so I don't need to repeatedly hit the faucet handles with soapy hands), but it's too complicated - at least for a rental. I'll probably just try a plastic bucket or something.

@CS - We just moved but actually have a bunch of friends in the area who we'll see for drinks or to go to some event. But these are basically acquaintances - it's nice to see them but I have to admit that I just don't have many close friends; it's not different here compared to NY.

@Gilberto - It's funny because I'm really not busy (beyond travel/visitors), but I've found that having *any* event that breaks up a day leaves me unhappy. I've always been like that but I think it may be getting worse. Like if I have to go to a concert on a Saturday night I feel like that "ruins" the day. Which is a super-weird mindset, but having that on the horizon means that I know I'll have to get ready at 5:30 to leave at 6, and I can't start a movie at 4:30, and then if I have to run an errand at 11am, I feel like the whole day is so carved up I can't focus. It's a weird mindset I'd love to get out of.

I actually already have an alternative to Drano that I've been using for two months. It's a kind of shower plug called a "Tub Shroom." Nearly all the blockages were caused by the gf's long hair and this does a great job of catching hair and it's easy to use. It's probably saved two bottles of Drano. Previous I'd tried a little plastic snake, which wasn't that useful. It was also gross.

@bigato - I'd love to go vegan eventually, but I find that while being a vegetarian is limiting, vegan leaves almost no options at restaurants. Lots of cheese on stuff here. Overall I feel like the suffering of chickens is much worse than cows, and they also produce much less per creature. Also although eggs are in a lot of things, it's mostly pastries/baked goods/unhealthy stuff I shouldn't be eating. So I'm starting with eggs, though maybe eventually I'll get a chicken or two and try to get my own eggs because I do like them.

@DutchGirl - Thanks! I think I mostly need to relax...

jacob
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by jacob » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:46 am

Right temperature? Running water? How are you guys doing your dishes anyway. What am I missing?!

Use one of these: https://www.amazon.com/STERILITE-065780 ... B0039V2G5E
And if you feel like needing to rinse, use a second one with cold water. Or reuse the first after emptying it.

m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:44 am

@Jacob - I'll probably switch to that.

I let my dishes sit with water in them to loosen everything up. Then I run warm/hot water for a quick rinse, scrub, and rinse again. While rinsing I move any dishes that wouldn't fit in the sink from the counter and let them fill up with the rinse water. I'm pretty quick and can get through a sinkful of dishes in ~5 minutes.

I've always been a bit grossed out by letting dishes sit in one of those bins with whatever food waste floating around but I'll probably figure out a system.

CS
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by CS » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:30 pm

m741 wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:58 pm

@Gilberto - It's funny because I'm really not busy (beyond travel/visitors), but I've found that having *any* event that breaks up a day leaves me unhappy. I've always been like that but I think it may be getting worse. Like if I have to go to a concert on a Saturday night I feel like that "ruins" the day. Which is a super-weird mindset, but having that on the horizon means that I know I'll have to get ready at 5:30 to leave at 6, and I can't start a movie at 4:30, and then if I have to run an errand at 11am, I feel like the whole day is so carved up I can't focus. It's a weird mindset I'd love to get out of.
I feel the same. Now that I'm writing from home any event or errand is a huge annoyance - especially since I have to drive everywhere. And this is *without* the mental drain of talking to people. I like to keep the trips down to one or two per week, tops. Seriously. (Also, I now much prefer winter in this location because I don't have to listen to the infernal racket of the ever-present landscape equipment and the children running and screaming (why do they only have one volume?))

This is probably not as unusual as you might think. I've give myself permission to accept this in myself after reading about the founder of Burt's bees:
“A good day is when no one shows up and you don’t have to go anywhere,” he tells the camera, looking exactly like the drawing of the bearded old hippie that adorns the packages of lip balm and other natural beauty products.
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/gard ... eeper.html

jacob
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by jacob » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:39 pm


herp
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by herp » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:55 pm

@jacob - A great breakdown of two different types of schedules that I never really thought of. It makes perfect sense as getting interrupted at work is the single biggest source of professional frustration.

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C40
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by C40 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:53 pm

m741 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 pm
I've started compiling a big list of things that each cause me even just a little mental anguish or guilt: using Drano, eating eggs, running water continuously while I do the dishes, drinking 2 red bulls and wasting 2 cans rather than brewing tea with just a compostable bag or reusable strainer, and so on. And I'm working on resolving them. Mostly they're things where I can make a decision and after a week or two I'll have made a habit, or there's just something I need to scavenge/buy/clean and I'll be set to follow the new pattern.
There's a huge one to add to your list - bigger than all the others you listed combined - all that air travel (I assume) to the weddings. I don't have the link handy for you to show numbers, but it's a huge impact. Fortunately, that one is super easy to resolve. "Sorry, I won't make it to that wedding". Doing so will likely make your life better in numerous ways. You don't have to pay for it, don't have to spend time making all the related decisions and preparation, and don't have to spend time doing it. You can just spend that weekend going to the park and having more sex with your girlfriend.

Also, for those who haven't seen it, there is a documentary about the Burt's Bees guy. It is interesting, inspiring (specifically ERE related), and also fairly sad.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:37 am

C40 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:53 pm
There's a huge one to add to your list - bigger than all the others you listed combined - all that air travel (I assume) to the weddings. I don't have the link handy for you to show numbers, but it's a huge impact. Fortunately, that one is super easy to resolve. "Sorry, I won't make it to that wedding". Doing so will likely make your life better in numerous ways. You don't have to pay for it, don't have to spend time making all the related decisions and preparation, and don't have to spend time doing it. You can just spend that weekend going to the park and having more sex with your girlfriend.
Something tells me that m741 saying he isn't going to his girlfriend's friend's wedding isn't going to result in more sex with his girlfriend.

m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:09 am

July 2019

Work/Life

July was relatively quiet, especially since the gf was traveling for work, for a while. August will be pretty busy.

I made some changes since my last update, about 20 days ago. I think the biggest one was to start working out again. I'd stopped mostly due to back pain a few months ago, and then I'd delayed because I thought a coach at work would be able to help me plan workouts, but that seemed to fall through. So I've been going fairly regularly for two weeks. I've noticed mood improvements when working out before, and that's the case now. It seems like I have no choice!

Luckily I can go in the middle of the work day, and this is super-helpful. My natural rhythm is to get sleepy around 2pm-3:30pm. I'm not very effective and it can take a while to snap out of. So I just walk over to the gym during that time period and return showered and a bit energized. It's also a nice way to break up the day. I usually eat at my desk, so the day can feel like a long slog. Knowing I can duck out for 45 minutes in the middle, and then get back and power through the last two hours, is a nice change. I've felt pretty good about it - I had a similar realization as when I started with guitar: I don't need to rush. 30 minutes in the gym 3-5 times per week (with almost no commute), and I do 3-4 exercises while there, so it's pretty casual. Much less of a time commitment or difficult to shrug off. Right now I actually want to go.

I also talked to a "life coach," for lack of a better term. This is one of those weird perks at work that you really have to dig to find, and which seems useless, but it was suggested to me by the doctor I saw, who has lots of patients from my company. 90% relatively obvious stuff that's prompting me to do things I procrastinated on, and 10% super-insightful questions or observations. I've found it a worthwhile way to spend 3 hours.

Finances

I saw a 1.1% gain in net worth the past month, mostly due to a strong stock market. It's a first-world problem, but there's a lot of stocks that I own that I want to sell - positions I got into 5+ years ago, but I don't want to pay the taxes. I can't find anything with losses to offset them (knock on wood)! The solution I've used is to do all my donations through stocks at Vanguard Charitable, and it's been a good way to (A) donate more, which I want to do, and (B) not pay taxes. Besides that, I've regular investments set up, while I try to remain relatively cash-heavy.

I guess the final bit of news is that I'm likely to do my own taxes again next year after 4 or 5 years using an accountant. I moved to Washington (no state taxes vs NY and NJ tax prep), but the rate would have been the same. And I usually met with the advisor for 1 or 2 hours each year to discuss what I should be doing, but he's decided to start charging for that. Finally, my tax situation has simplified over those 4 or 5 years. I felt it was expensive, but worth it, and I no longer do. I'm waiting until the end of the year to notify him, in case any audit requests come in...

Goals

I keep chugging along. I've been reading a ton (maybe too many) graphic novels. I'd been going through some big-name series with 5-10 books and it was a lot of characters to keep track of, lots of visits to the library. I'm starting to see that taper off. Actually if I finish the series I'm reading now, I'll hit my yearly goal by the end of the month (25 graphic novels).

Outside that, I've watched a few movies (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn), and some Ray Harryhausen). I'm far behind schedule but I have The Sting, The Shining and Solaris checked out. I'm unlikely to hit my end-of-year goal and I don't much care. I'd wanted to see 52 culturally important movies this year; I should be at 32 and I'm at 12.

I play guitar regularly, about 30 minutes per day. I've played 112.5 hours this year, and my target at this point was 120. I also finally saw a guitar teacher. I found someone close to work who was willing to do an alternating-weeks schedule. I'd talked to three places before that demanded weekly lessons, sometimes with 1 cancellation allowed per quarter - pretty crazy. I enjoy guitar and I can see myself making progress.

I've slacked on Spanish. I'm unlikely to hit my yearly goal, which was pretty aggressive (300 hours of practice). I still have a weekly hour-long conversation and read/watch half an hour a few nights a week, but I've just felt busy with everything else and this is where I've found extra time.

Finally, I continue to eat relatively healthy. There's a definite trend. Lately I've been cooking a ton of stir fry and I discovered that I really like some things in stir fry, which I hate in the large chunks like you'd find at restaurants: mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach. These tend to arrive in big fork-sized bites at restaurants, and I never like their texture. At home I dice them into rice-sized bits and can really load up a stir-fry with healthy food. I'm also being more moderate, snacking less at work and taking smaller plates of food at home.

anesde
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:32 am

Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by anesde » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:04 pm

m741 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:09 am

Finally, I continue to eat relatively healthy. There's a definite trend. Lately I've been cooking a ton of stir fry and I discovered that I really like some things in stir fry, which I hate in the large chunks like you'd find at restaurants: mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach. These tend to arrive in big fork-sized bites at restaurants, and I never like their texture. At home I dice them into rice-sized bits and can really load up a stir-fry with healthy food. I'm also being more moderate, snacking less at work and taking smaller plates of food at home.

Cutting then up small is definitely key. Increases surface area so they get coated with more olive oil (or whatever oil/fat you cook with) and it’s much more tasty. My SO thinks I’m crazy when I dice everything up and heap on the olive oil but it tastes so much better than large chunks.

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