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Old 03-26-2008, 09:40 AM   #41
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This is the age old question of live for today, or live for tomorrow. I would hope by now that everyone here understands their own mortality. But at the same time it is nothing we should be in fear of. Our mortality is what gives us the impetus to get up in the morning and get things done. Let's face it, if we all knew we were going to live forever, then people would probably have no incentive to achieve things in life. In that case there really would "always be tomorrow".
With all of the above said, I think it is very important to live by the mantra, "Live for today, but plan for tomorrow." At one extreme, you can pour every nickle you possible can into 401k, IRA's, bank accounts etc. But if something did in fact happen to you and you could never enjoy any of it, you might feel it to be a wasted life. At the other extreme is the person that believes there is "no tomorrow" for them, and so they spend every nickle they ever make, and often go into debt to support the fun time they are having. These folks usually have a very tough life when they actually DO get older, as they never planned for that possiblility.
I think finding that balance is very important. You calculate that to buy that "really nice" car, you might have to work 2 extra years before FIRE. Maybe that is worth it for you.... but maybe not. Even though I really do want to retire early, I do not think that desire will ever outweigh my need to have some fun on occasion. Like everything else in life... there is a price to pay.... all we have to do is figure out if it is a good "deal" for us or not. I have seen folks that decided to work 80+ hours a week for a decade in their 20's to achieve a financial goal they had. I think that is a crazy way to live your live... but that is just my opinion... we all have to figure out for ourselves when that price is "too high", or just right...
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:41 AM   #42
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This is the age old question of live for today, or live for tomorrow. I would hope by now that everyone here understands their own mortality. But at the same time it is nothing we should be in fear of. Our mortality is what gives us the impetus to get up in the morning and get things done. Let's face it, if we all knew we were going to live forever, then people would probably have no incentive to achieve things in life. In that case there really would "always be tomorrow".
With all of the above said, I think it is very important to live by the mantra, "Live for today, but plan for tomorrow." At one extreme, you can pour every nickle you possible can into 401k, IRA's, bank accounts etc. But if something did in fact happen to you and you could never enjoy any of it, you might feel it to be a wasted life. At the other extreme is the person that believes there is "no tomorrow" for them, and so they spend every nickle they ever make, and often go into debt to support the fun time they are having. These folks usually have a very tough life when they actually DO get older, as they never planned for that possiblility.
I think finding that balance is very important. You calculate that to buy that "really nice" car, you might have to work 2 extra years before FIRE. Maybe that is worth it for you.... but maybe not. Even though I really do want to retire early, I do not think that desire will ever outweigh my need to have some fun on occasion. Like everything else in life... there is a price to pay.... all we have to do is figure out if it is a good "deal" for us or not. I have seen folks that decided to work 80+ hours a week for a decade in their 20's to achieve a financial goal they had. I think that is a crazy way to live your live... but that is just my opinion... we all have to figure out for ourselves when that price is "too high", or just right...
(emphasis mine)

Hey, even those of us who tend towards pretty extreme LBYM DO have some fun on occasion!!

Think of all the things that you could do to have fun, and that you want to do sometime in your life to have fun. Sometimes it is worth doing those that cost less, first, in order to achieve your financial goals. But never, never entirely stop doing something fun on occasion!

Just be sure to do enough introspection to make sure you are not using "having fun on occasion" as an excuse for succumbing to Madison Avenue inspired consumerism. You don't HAVE to participate in that to have fun.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:05 PM   #43
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(emphasis mine)

Hey, even those of us who tend towards pretty extreme LBYM DO have some fun on occasion!!

Think of all the things that you could do to have fun, and that you want to do sometime in your life to have fun. Sometimes it is worth doing those that cost less, first, in order to achieve your financial goals. But never, never entirely stop doing something fun on occasion!

Just be sure to do enough introspection to make sure you are not using "having fun on occasion" as an excuse for succumbing to Madison Avenue inspired consumerism. You don't HAVE to participate in that to have fun.
Well said. Sometimes I think I border on the obsessive in terms of the Quest for FIRE, and I have to check myself a little bit. Although I'm distancing myself more and more from the consumerist mentality -- saving up and living more simply, both components in helping achieve FI -- I don't ever want to get to the point of being miserly (as if my wife would let me).

As much as I am "buying" back my future freedom in my aggressive saving and investing, I have to always remind myself: I don't KNOW if I'll be here to tomorrow to enjoy it. I KNOW I'm here today. So I don't want to put *all* of my eggs in the tomorrow basket. I can leave a few in the "today" basket as well and help life become more enjoyable and bearable until I'm comfortably FI. I'd rather have 10 more reasonably enjoyable and bearable years until FI than 5 deprived and unbearable ones.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:29 AM   #44
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Let's try this from a slightly different angle.
I gave this advice to my kids.
1) if you have a burning desire to do something ... like Dr., teacher, marine biologist, ... whatever then go ahead and pursue it with all your passion ...
2) if you don't, then figure out what you don't HATE that will pay you a lot of money and then go ahead and pursue that with all of your passion ... not because you have a passion for it... but because the benefits that it will bring will be your reward
Neither of my kids had a burning desire ... so they went for the bucks.
Neither of them regreted it (although my DD gave it up for the love of her life and to take care of my grandson ).

If you have something you are passionate about, ... go for it.
If not then maximize your income and enjoy the fruits of your labor ... after paying yourself 1st (401k, taxable investments, ...etc.)
IMO, You don't have to love what you do... you just can't hate it.
I also find that if it brings you lottsa bucks ... it's hard to hate something.
But if you truly do hate it ... go look for something that fulfills #2.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #45
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Let's try this from a slightly different angle.
I gave this advice to my kids.
1) if you have a burning desire to do something ... like Dr., teacher, marine biologist, ... whatever then go ahead and pursue it with all your passion ...
2) if you don't, then figure out what you don't HATE that will pay you a lot of money and then go ahead and pursue that with all of your passion ... not because you have a passion for it... but because the benefits that it will bring will be your reward...

If you have something you are passionate about, ... go for it.
If not then maximize your income and enjoy the fruits of your labor ... after paying yourself 1st (401k, taxable investments, ...etc.)
IMO, You don't have to love what you do... you just can't hate it.
I also find that if it brings you lottsa bucks ... it's hard to hate something.
But if you truly do hate it ... go look for something that fulfills #2.
Best of luck to you.

Very well said. I have to remember this to help keep my perspective. I don't "hate" my job, but it sure doesn't fire me up every morning, either. Thanks megacorp-firee...
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #46
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I would think that having debt could be causing some depression. Maybe consider reducing the retirement contribution for a while in order to alleviate the debt completely? With the debt gone, you might feel free to look at other job possibilities. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:52 PM   #47
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I would think that having debt could be causing some depression.
It probably depends upon one's personality. I know that having any debt would drive me nuts; but many people seem to be quite comfortable owing very large sums.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:04 AM   #48
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Update

After leaving work for over a year, due to severe anxiety attacks and depression. I have been back for several months. All the old problems are still there but I suffer through each day and try to go back the next. Some days are slightly better than others, but none are good. No medication, counseling, or even not having to go to work for over a year really helped. So I guess I know that the job isn't the cause of all my problems.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:10 AM   #49
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Sorry that you are having this trouble. It must be very difficult.

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Old 07-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #50
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Wish we had a better answer, but everyone has to find their own coping mechanisms for the difficult elements in their lives. I sometimes feel like you do, but with family, not the job.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:26 PM   #51
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Thanks for the status report.

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So I guess I know that the job isn't the cause of all my problems.
Fair enough.

Anxiety and depression can be very tough issues. Medication and therapy can be very helpful, but unfortunately not for everyone; and it sounds like you've tried them without success.

I can't think of a better strategy than your current approach: "suffer through each day and try to go back the next".

P.S. This old chesnut is a bit simplistic but might be of interest: Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. If nothing else, it should show you that your difficulties are not unique.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #52
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I've never really understood how the possibility of dying tomorrow should impact my decisions today.*
I was diagnosed with Hodgekin's lymphoma when I was 16 (I'm 27 now). Trust me, it really does impact the decisions you make in your life. I really do hate my job. been miserable ever since I started working. I'm a very free spirit and hate wasting life doing things other people want me to do.

I love music, teaching music, writing music, etc. I make a decent income ~$65k. Despite the nice amount of money I am leaving my job the end of this month to persue my online businesses as well as working as a guitar and vocal coach out of my home.

I may not be making a lot of money yet, but I make enough to pay my bills and I will get to live my days pretty much how I see fit. I've been told by many music professionals that it will be the best decision I've ever made in my life.

If you hate your job, find something else you like and do it for your own sanity.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #53
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After leaving work for over a year, due to severe anxiety attacks and depression. I have been back for several months. All the old problems are still there but I suffer through each day and try to go back the next. Some days are slightly better than others, but none are good. No medication, counseling, or even not having to go to work for over a year really helped. So I guess I know that the job isn't the cause of all my problems.
Have you tried meditation? At first (the first 5 minutes or however many minutes of your first few attempts) might feel absolutely horrible but then a certain clarity starts to set in and you may feel more at peace with your misery. Not that you would feel better but that you would accept your "condition" of anxiety and depression with equanimity and that in and of itself alleviates your suffering. It is the striving for happiness that is so arduous sometimes. Just a thought and please kindly forgive and/or ignore this suggestion if it is not helpful or is irritating/annoying to you in anyway. May you find peace and ease.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:17 PM   #54
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I was in a previous position that was high paying and involved huge time commitments and cultivated burnout. Staying in this position would have given me the income to FIRE sooner. However, the burnout created a need to take expensive escape vacations and also put me in constant contact with people that made large sums of money and spent most of it on expensive cars, vacations, etc. I am in a position now that doesn't have the same income potential, but I feel much more in control and I suspect I will FIRE sooner because of lower expenses rather than higher income.

My point is that I think you should look for a new position even if it means less money. Maybe you are more disciplined than me, but over time the flashy lifestyles of high spending co-workers can wear me down and worm their way into my lifestyle. You just need to find the right balance between income and enjoyment and it may take some experimentation with different jobs.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:13 AM   #55
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Have you tried meditation? At first (the first 5 minutes or however many minutes of your first few attempts) might feel absolutely horrible but then a certain clarity starts to set in and you may feel more at peace with your misery. Not that you would feel better but that you would accept your "condition" of anxiety and depression with equanimity and that in and of itself alleviates your suffering. It is the striving for happiness that is so arduous sometimes. Just a thought and please kindly forgive and/or ignore this suggestion if it is not helpful or is irritating/annoying to you in anyway. May you find peace and ease.
I have tried meditation. Thanks for the suggestion. It can help sometimes but unfortunately for me most of the times it doesn't. I think accepting my condition does provide some relief... it is when I have to fulfill some sort of obligation and my anxiety and depression get in the way that I have a harder time.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #56
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short update

I did end up finding a little medical help. My vitamin D levels were low. I took some vitamin D from costco and I am at least not as tired as I used to be. I still can't stand work and my family life isn't much better.

I also seemed to get some relief from some other health issues by taking some 'time release' niacin.

It is sad to think that I never really will be happy.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #57
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I did end up finding a little medical help. My vitamin D levels were low. I took some vitamin D from costco and I am at least not as tired as I used to be. I still can't stand work and my family life isn't much better.

I also seemed to get some relief from some other health issues by taking some 'time release' niacin.

It is sad to think that I never really will be happy.
mickj,

Don't give up hope yet.

I just read some excerpts from the book by Dr. Daniel G. Amen, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life".

From the back cover: "In this breakthrough bestseller, you'll see scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness or impulsiveness could be related to how specific structures in your brain work. You're not stuck with the brain you're born with."

Perhaps you'll take some time to read this and see if anything he suggests might be beneficial.

omni
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:16 PM   #58
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It is sad to think that I never really will be happy.
I've read your thread over the years, but this latest post came up after I'd had lunch with a shipmate who had interesting news.

Have you tried Zoloft? The reason I ask is because the U.S. Navy's submarine force hands it out like candy. (I think it's also used in smoking-cessation treatments.) With my shipmate, the difference was huge and immediate. He says it was like the clouds parting and the sun coming out... after literally 40 years.

It's probably the next-best thing to ER.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #59
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I've read your thread over the years, but this latest post came up after I'd had lunch with a shipmate who had interesting news.

Have you tried Zoloft? The reason I ask is because the U.S. Navy's submarine force hands it out like candy. (I think it's also used in smoking-cessation treatments.) With my shipmate, the difference was huge and immediate. He says it was like the clouds parting and the sun coming out... after literally 40 years.

It's probably the next-best thing to ER.
I will heartily second the Zoloft idea. It helped me through some pretty tough times when my own inner strength was not enough to keep me upbeat and dealing with the case of lemons I was thrown into.

Even a low dosage is helpful. I eventually stopped using my "happy pills".
I would not hesitate to resume them if the situation warranted.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:47 PM   #60
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I think accepting my condition does provide some relief... it is when I have to fulfill some sort of obligation and my anxiety and depression get in the way that I have a harder time.
I am surprised I didn't pick up on this thread sooner. I have dealt with anxiety for the past 10 years though I have successfully kept depression at bay for the past 9 years. Medication helps to relieve symptoms temporarily, but I do not believe it is a long-term fix for anxiety sufferers. Anxiety is a product of your brain, and you are the only one who can disrupt the obsessive thought pattern. You are the solution.

IMO, anxiety is a life-long battle (My mother and grandmother have dealt with anxiety all their lives). Just like alcoholism, you can learn how to manage your anxiety but you'll never be immune to a relapse. It's OK. Acceptance of who you are is essential.

I find that anxiety can be a very lonely disorder. Few people can relate to what you are going through. People (including doctors) kept telling me "why don't you just relax a little"... Sheesh, I didn't think of it... Once you know what you are dealing with though, things get better.

And I promise you, things do get better with time. I get it when you say "It is sad to think that I never really will be happy". I remember feeling that way too. But it is simply not true. I am a happy while sometime terribly anxious person. The important thing is to push back. Never let the anxiety restrict your activities. I know it's hard. But each time you kick the sh!t out of your anxiety, you will feel empowered. I get my worst anxiety attacks when I fly. If I listened to my anxiety, I'd never board an airplane again. Ever. Well, I just got back from Europe. I white-knuckled the first 2 hours of the 9-hour flight but the last 7 hours of the flight were very comfortable thanks to some coping mechanisms I have developed over the years. And damn my vacation was a blast. Happy, happy, happy. Me 1, anxiety 0, yeah!.

Everyone has a particular way of coping with anxiety. For me, I try to keep my mind busy or distracted during anxiety attacks in order to break the pattern of negative thoughts (meditation does not help me either). And I like full body relaxation and deep breathing exercises. I am also doing some self-hypnosis. A therapist can help you figure out what works best for you.
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