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Old 01-28-2010, 12:29 PM   #41
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Wow, I hope for your sake that it does come off. Sounds like you guys have been on the treadmill for a while. Everyone needs to stop and take a breather every now and then, no matter how much they enjoy what they are doing. I'd offer to come and babysit for you so you could get away, however not sure if your kids would survive the experience.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:35 PM   #42
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Could be. Not likely any time soon, between work, bus travel, taking care of kids, weekend chores, etc.
Brewer - I think we're about the same age, and I've noticed the same thing too. I really think having young kids and the associated lack of sleep (or more accurately, lack of ability to catch up on sleep on the weekends ... remember waking up Saturdays at 11am?) is a big part of the problem, although maybe not the only part. Having a Blackberry on me at all times has also seemed to cut into my concentration on the train, as I will read/respond to email. And I'm maybe just feeling a little burned out in general.

Instead of doing much reading on the train this past year, I've been listening to some NPR podcasts (e.g. On Point with Tom Ashbrook is a great one) which are informative, if not as intellectually beneficial as reading.

I still think it's a phase that will pass, because every once in a while I'll pick up a book that really keeps my attention.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:24 PM   #43
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Brewer - I think we're about the same age, and I've noticed the same thing too. I really think having young kids and the associated lack of sleep (or more accurately, lack of ability to catch up on sleep on the weekends ... remember waking up Saturdays at 11am?) is a big part of the problem, although maybe not the only part. Having a Blackberry on me at all times has also seemed to cut into my concentration on the train, as I will read/respond to email. And I'm maybe just feeling a little burned out in general.

Instead of doing much reading on the train this past year, I've been listening to some NPR podcasts (e.g. On Point with Tom Ashbrook is a great one) which are informative, if not as intellectually beneficial as reading.

I still think it's a phase that will pass, because every once in a while I'll pick up a book that really keeps my attention.
Funny how you mention that you listen to podcasts instead of reading. I have a long commute in the car, so my "reading" has been reduced to books on CD. Not a bad way to pass the time, but I seem to retain more knowledge if I actually sit down with a book, highlight those portions I want to remember, and take some notes.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:47 PM   #44
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At this point, no, I do not remember sleeping in until 11. Before the kids there was grad school and the cfa at night and on weekends for years.

Mountains of aggravation from work assuredly does not help either. I just split a couple hours early because I was so angry I literally could not stay in the building any longer. I am getting really sick of being the rented mule of career do-nothing, oxygen-wasting, lazy bureaucrats.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:56 PM   #45
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Mountains of aggravation from work assuredly does not help either. I just split a couple hours early because I was so angry I literally could not stay in the building any longer. I am getting really sick of being the rented mule of career do-nothing, oxygen-wasting, lazy bureaucrats.
And there is the absolutely best reason I've ever heard to work towards FIRE, and the same one that drove me. I know it's hard to hear, and winter makes it worse, but it won't last forever. It sounds like you really do need to find some personal time to waste, though. Anger and frustration builds up and always made me do something either dumb or stupid. Maybe during your travel time you can blow off some steam. Good luck, and try to hold out until the weather gets better. It should help.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:19 PM   #46
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A

Mountains of aggravation from work assuredly does not help either. I just split a couple hours early because I was so angry I literally could not stay in the building any longer. I am getting really sick of being the rented mule of career do-nothing, oxygen-wasting, lazy bureaucrats.
That O2 they are wasting, belongs to you and it's probably why your brain is so tired you can't even enjoy a book on your favorite topic. Stress is a killer once it gets its claws in us! Review the advice we gave you in your recent "Bad work situation..." thread for some stress management tips...

Illegitimi non carborundum...as my husband says at least once a week as he ushers me out the door on my way to work...

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Old 01-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #47
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I just remembered. My dad had a hard, stressful, sometimes dangerous job in high-voltage construction. There was overtime and it paid well, but the job and the union politics drove him to take early SS at age 62. He once told me that sometimes, to keep going, he pretended he could hear a cash register going "ka-ching" because he'd just earned another day's pay and was able to put some money away. I still listen for that cash register, myself, at times of stress.

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Old 01-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #48
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I am wondering whether this is just me, or if others have run into the same thing. I recently bought a text, "Maritime Economics.". It is a fat, heavy, well written textbook on a subject near and dear to my heart (I have a large stake in shipping companies). In years past I plowed through many a graduate level finance and accounting textbook (for business school and then the CFA) as I rode the train to work. Now I open the book, get a few pages in, and... Meh. My mind wanders and I lose concentration.

Maybe it is just the winter blahs. Or maybe its that there is nobody waiting to test me on the book. Or perhaps I am just getting old and intellectually fat. Anyone else run into this?

LOL, since passing CFA level 3, I have opened the books exactly three times to look up capital versus operating lease for a work situation, one time on EMH to debate some guy (not here) on the Internet, and one other times to look up IRP. However, the books are sitting nicely on my book shelf ready to impress any finance chick I invite to my house to "help her study for the CFA exam."
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:01 AM   #49
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... ready to impress any finance chick I invite to my house to "help her study for the CFA exam."
Speaking as a nuclear engineer, does the word "any" imply that there's more than one? Or is it a hope that there's at least one?
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:52 AM   #50
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Heh, let me tell you about vision problems...

I had bifocals when I was 12 and switched to contacts when I was 16 because glasses were so cumbersome/heavy. Contacts are a minus 8 in one eye, minus 6.5 in the other. A bit of presbyopia would be great because it would offset the extreme nearsightedness.
I'll see your poor vision and up the ante to a -11.75 in one eye and a -13.25 in the other. Started wearing glasses at 5, contacts at 9. Thank god for corrective devices. If I'd been born in another time I would have been dead before puberty, I figure -- I would have either grabbed a snake or fallen into a hole!

My best investment when I started a job with a nasty commute was my ipod. I love it. I listen to my favorite NPR shows and the audio versions of some PBS shows (Frontline, Bill MOyers). Great way to pass the time on public transit. You can learn interesting stuff, hear fascinating people, and you can keep your eyes closed!

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:14 AM   #51
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Speaking as a nuclear engineer, does the word "any" imply that there's more than one? Or is it a hope that there's at least one?
I'm flattering myself. The word any denotes 0 most of the time.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:08 PM   #52
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Maybe it is more along the lines of an old cartoon.

Kid in the class raises his hands, when the teacher calls on him, he says: My brain is full.
Here you go:

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Old 02-01-2010, 01:45 PM   #53
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Working for the fed has a lot of advantages and a lot of disadvantages. I decided I can put up with the bureaucrats because of the pension.

I haven't had much time to read lately either. And my DD gets up at 6AM on weekends. Tough to catch up on sleep!
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #54
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Thanks Milton. Long time no see that cartoon. Gotta be at least 15 years old. Amazing, the stuff rattling around in my brain. Usually good for at least a smirk. Heh.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:39 PM   #55
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I'm flattering myself. The word any denotes 0 most of the time.
Buns, why not just date some flat-out sluts? Every person has pluses and minuses, but the sluts' plusses may be more tailored to your current needs, and their minuses inconsequential.

You can always discuss Wittgenstein or what's in the latest Foreign Affairs with your male friends.

Ha
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #56
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to keep going, he pretended he could hear a cash register going "ka-ching" because he'd just earned another day's pay and was able to put some money away.
This sort of thing has been the only thing that kept me going amid the toxicity of my just-ended job. Remind yourself why you're working: to accumulate resources. Every day of work increases your post-FIRE annual withdrawal amount a little bit.

There is another issue, though: high stress reduces your lifespan, probably significantly. It also leads to poor health and so may reduce the quality, as well as the length, of your retirement.

For those reasons, you gotta get out of your current work situation asap, IMO.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #57
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Gotta be at least 15 years old. Amazing, the stuff rattling around in my brain.
Pretty impressive memory!
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:24 AM   #58
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I love the Farside. I still have some cut out and in my desk drawer.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #59
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... Amazing, the stuff rattling around in my brain...
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:31 AM   #60
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Funny how you mention that you listen to podcasts instead of reading. I have a long commute in the car, so my "reading" has been reduced to books on CD. Not a bad way to pass the time, but I seem to retain more knowledge if I actually sit down with a book, highlight those portions I want to remember, and take some notes.
I agree. I get more out of reading than I ever could out of listening to audio books or podcasts. But the other side of the coin is that when I have almost no energy to dive into a book, I can still sit back and listen to something interesting, and maybe learn a thing or two. At worst, it's like a pleasant one-way conversation with someone intelligent.

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At this point, no, I do not remember sleeping in until 11. Before the kids there was grad school and the cfa at night and on weekends for years.
I hear ya! Before kids was law school (at night) for me, but I still was able to catch up on my sleep over the weekend far more than I can these days.

I just signed up for a library card in my town, since I've given on on the idea of stepping out to the library in the city during lunch (too far from the office these days). Picked up a few good books, some fiction to mix things up. Maybe that will kickstart my desire to read on the train again.
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