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Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:05 PM   #1
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Thoughts of Late

I don't know what it is, but I find myself restless and impatient lately. I suspect that some of this is related to the fact that I have climbed the worst part of the learning curve at my new job and have a few minutes to survey the landscape. Even so...

I have been chafing at the restrictions imposed by our lifestyle. Between the suburban home (with associated upkeep), a 14 month old daughter, more kids to come and me accounting for the vast majority of our income, we are pretty committed to me working for a number of years to come. At the same time, I am finding that regardless of the size of the employer, the compensation, and the actual work, it doesn't seem to take long before I get bored, restless, and just generally eager to be free of the many restrictions on my time and ability to pursue things that actually matter. I am especially prone to escapist fantasies (selling the whole lot and moving to a "shack in the woods", RV, etc.), but this would obviously not work with kids.

I don't know what to think or how to reconcile all of this antsiness with the realities of my life at the moment. I am heavily invested in things as they are, and realistically I can't just change everything because of a whim. I am also finally getting to the "payoff" portion of my career, after grad school, professional designations, years of scut-work, etc. and it would be foolish in the extreme to walk away. I also am unlikely to find a job in my profession that will require less than 60 hours a week.

Maybe the answer is to incorporate some of the things I fantasize about into our current life. I suspect that my wife would be willing to try renting an RV for a few days to see what we think of it.

Anyone else dealing with this? I know FIRE is several years away, but putting in the next X years is dismaying...
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:13 PM   #2
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
...At the same time, I am finding that regardless of the size of the employer, the compensation, and the actual work, it doesn't seem to take long before I get bored, restless, and just generally eager to be free of the many restrictions on my time and ability to pursue things that actually matter.* I am especially prone to escapist fantasies (selling the whole lot and moving to a "shack in the woods", RV, etc.), but this would obviously not work with kids...

Anyone else dealing with this?* I know FIRE is several years away, but putting in the next X years is dismaying...
Hey Brewer, don't feel like the Lone Ranger.* I struggle with this constantly.* I have days where I say to myself "I could live way cheaper than this, just to have a chance to make my time my own."* I have to balance that with what my DW wants.* She goes to great lengths to help our FI/RE cause, but she doesn't necessarily share my willingness to go ever farther.* I often struggle with the balance, and I'm not sure how to tackle it.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Thoughts of Late

...and I have yet to find a job/occupation/whatever that keeps me from getting very bored after I climb the learning curve and reach a point where I am comfortable in my position, which usually only takes a year or two.

I believe few, if any, organizations are structured to allow us to move on and maximize the value that we could potentially give.* Seems to me that the majority of the people I work with are more concerned with logging hours to give the perception of their 'hard work' and 'importance' to the business.* *:
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Climb out of my brain, Brewer! Seriously, I think the same things. Two years at a job, max, before I'm yawning my way through the "have to dos" and feeling like there isn't enough "want to do" time. I even found myself seriously looking at the 5 cylinder diesel RV posted on another thread around here thinking, "that could be fun!".

Same situation with DW, she already bends alot to help with my/our FIRE goals (she likes working, no press for her to retire, but she values financial prudence and is going along).

My silver lining is the thought that without that restles feeling, I wouldn't be so on track or as far as I am towards freedom.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: Thoughts of Late

If I were single, I'd be RE'd already, and would adjust my lifestyle to fit my income. I, too, share the "shack in the woods" and travel fantasies. Maybe it's a "mid life crisis" thing
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:58 PM   #6
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Its nice to know I'm not just off in lala land. I suppose misery loves company, eh? Either that, or it is the herd thing again.

Cut-throat, We used to do some of theat sort of vacation, but with a toddler it is out. I'm lucky we got away for a week in the catskills in a rented house in the woods this summer. Getting into a tent with that young a kiddo, well, just have to wait a couple of years.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 02:59 PM   #7
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Even though I'm no longer working, I get quite antsy too. Since DH is still working, and must continue for over a year we are tied to his schedule as far as travel. (I do go on my own to see family, etc. but not the big travel) Plus, I'm sure Brewer can relate, we have 2 old dogs that I will not leave for longer than a couple of weeks (with my parents). Everytime I get anxious about when we are going to go travel it all comes down to that ~ the dogs!

Also, the cabin in the woods then turns in to the log house in the woods or the Lindal cedar home in the wood on 9.4 acres on an island with a water view and then the whole thing gets costly. I have the uncanny ability to turn an escapist fantasy into an unwieldy, detail-specific nightmare.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Yeah, well, we realized something on our recent week-long vacation: we have turned into urbanites/suburbanites. I really like spending time in the wild places. However, I think that I'd go nuts long term living in a rural area simply because of the lack of restaurants, cultural opportunities, diversity of the people, etc. So we acquired some valuable knowledge on our trip. In light of this, I think more mobility will be the eventual goal in FIRE. Depending on how much loot we accumulate, we miht have to eventually vacate our place in the expensive suburban zone we live in now. But I think we will probably shoot for some sort of ability to travel frequently, whether it is an RV, car and motels, etc. The home base will still be somplace urbane enough to suit us, but none too expensive.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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Re: Thoughts of Late

I'm with Brewer on this one. *I get the same feelings, but I temper them with the reality that my boss isn't paying me for what I want to do. *Rather, he's paying me for what he wants me to do, and only just enough to keep me from leaving. *if you're getting bored or feeling trapped, start thinking about how you could make comparable money doing what you want to do.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:17 PM   #10
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
However, I think that I'd go nuts long term living in a rural area simply because of the lack of restaurants, cultural opportunities, diversity of the people, etc.
Us too, I don't know if I can live somewhere without a place for Thai takeout!
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:34 PM   #11
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
...I think that I'd go nuts long term living in a rural area simply because of the lack of restaurants, cultural opportunities, diversity of the people, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
Us too, I don't know if I can live somewhere without a place for Thai takeout!
You may find that your likes/dislikes change over time. (Remember not liking veggies when you were a kid?) What once was a "must have" can morph into a "take it or leave it" or even a "don't want it" as time and circumstances change.

Never say never...

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:35 PM   #12
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
...my boss isn't paying me for what I want to do. *Rather, he's paying me for what he wants me to do...
Another reason to start your own business. *I couldn't imagine doing what somebody else wants me to do for 20, 30, or 40 years. *Gives me the heebee-jeebies.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:50 PM   #13
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Brewer, I'm in the exact same place except for the kid. Our circumstances sound very similar, (Same industry, wife, expensive suburbs etc.)


I do all that I can to try and improve my day to day life. I've had to accept the fact that even under the best circumstances I'm 15 years away from retirement. I also have my fantasies about selling everything and leaving (our paradise is Hawaii) While I keep reminding myself that I can't really do that, I do always plan my vacations long in advance. That way no matter how bad things get, I always have something to look forward to. ( for now I'll have to settle for 10 days in Hawaii instead of the rest of our lives)

I also daydream a little about other jobs I could be doing. I have several friends who are cops. They always have interesting stories about work and the cool stuff they do. Funny, they never want to hear about risk modeling, MC simulations, or the really abnormal bond spreads I found at work the same day :P Of course, I'm not sure I could take a 75% paycut for more interesting work. That January paycheck makes it hard to leave for greener pastures.

Oh well, guess I'll keep on keeping on.





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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by retire@40
Another reason to start your own business. *I couldn't imagine doing what somebody else wants me to do for 20, 30, or 40 years. *Gives me the heebee-jeebies.
I feel the same. Think I posted before that I once dated a teacher
(I was retired) who didn't really like her job much. I said "When do you plan to retire?" Said she had 7 years to go (she was in her 50s).
I thought, "Man, I'd rather be boiled in my own juices."

JG
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 03:58 PM   #15
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by shiny


Us too, I don't know if I can live somewhere without a place for Thai takeout!
DW and I could live way outside of what passes for civilization.
We don't, but we could. No cities or suburbs though. That is out.

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 04:13 PM   #16
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Another reason to start your own business. *I couldn't imagine doing what somebody else wants me to do for 20, 30, or 40 years. *Gives me the heebee-jeebies.
No question. But as my post pointed out, Brewer (and anyone else reading this thread) needs to figure out how to make money doing what he wants to do. What often helps with the thought process is getting away from familiar surroundings. You can't do much critical thinking after a 10 hour day at work, the commute, an infant at home, daily chores and the honey-do list, bad news on the tube, etc...

Perhaps Brewer could take a weekend for himself. He's probably earned it. His wife and child could go visit the in-laws, while Brewer takes off for a remote location with a laptop (and no cell phone, or at least one that's off).
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 04:26 PM   #17
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345

We used to do some of theat sort of vacation, but with a toddler it is out. I'm lucky we got away for a week in the catskills in a rented house in the woods this summer. Getting into a tent with that young a kiddo, well, just have to wait a couple of years.
Don't dismiss remote vacations with a toddler.
We just returned from two weeks in Alaska, where we rented a truck camper.
Our 10 months old was very happy eating Alaskan rocks and blueberries beyond the Arctic Circle :-)
He was not really fond of long drives, but managed just fine.
Convincing DW was crucial, but fortunately she likes travelling.

Good luck,
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 04:48 PM   #18
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Hmmm

Get out of Dodge - must be a work thing. Back pack with the guys for week in mountains of Colorado, da cruise to the Carribean, Europe, Mexico, week in the Bahamas, RV'd a lot, etc.

In ER - the desire to travel went away after a couple years.

Now - de stressed in da burbs - 40 minutes to a seat at a Saint's game - 30 minutes from Bourbon Street.

A fish camp over water in the swamp - may not be everyone's idea of the suburbs - but it's ok.

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 06:09 PM   #19
 
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by retire@40
Another reason to start your own business. *I couldn't imagine doing what somebody else wants me to do for 20, 30, or 40 years. *Gives me the heebee-jeebies.
R40,

You have been beating the 'start your own business' drum for a while now. But, I'm sure you end up doing 'what somebody else wants you to do' even in your own business.

Not everyone is cut out for their own business. I've done both and see pluses and minuses of both.

I have no desire to start my own business or work for someone else at this point. Both give me the heebie-jeebies 8)
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 06:12 PM   #20
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't know what it is, but I find myself restless and impatient lately.* * I suspect that some of this is related to the fact that I have climbed the worst part of the learning curve at my new job and have a few minutes to survey the landscape.* Even so...

I have been chafing at the restrictions imposed by our lifestyle.* Between the suburban home (with associated upkeep), a 14 month old daughter, more kids to come and me accounting for the vast majority of our income, we are pretty committed to me working for a number of years to come.* At the same time, I am finding that regardless of the size of the employer, the compensation, and the actual work, it doesn't seem to take long before I get bored, restless, and just generally eager to be free of the many restrictions on my time and ability to pursue things that actually matter.* I am especially prone to escapist fantasies (selling the whole lot and moving to a "shack in the woods", RV, etc.), but this would obviously not work with kids.

I don't know what to think or how to reconcile all of this antsiness with the realities of my life at the moment.* I am heavily invested in things as they are, and realistically I can't just change everything because of a whim.* I am also finally getting to the "payoff" portion of my career, after grad school, professional designations, years of scut-work, etc. and it would be foolish in the extreme to walk away.* I also am unlikely to find a job in my profession that will require less than 60 hours a week.

Maybe the answer is to incorporate some of the things I fantasize about into our current life.* I suspect that my wife would be willing to try renting an RV for a few days to see what we think of it.*

Anyone else dealing with this?* I know FIRE is several years away, but putting in the next X years is dismaying...
I can hardly wait to get past the child-rearing phase of my life. *From what I've seen, if you think life is restrictive now then wait until more kids come. *It's not a factor of two, it's more like two cubed or to the fourth. *But maybe they'll play with each other and entertain themselves? *Yeah, sure, maybe. *

Some kids will travel all over the world in a backpack with a spare diaper, others can barely make it to the end of the block before you're ready to turn around and slink home. *You'll know pretty quickly which type you have (we have the latter). *An RV might work out since it's a rolling kitchen with familiar beds?

Your observations remind me of Po Bronson & Scott Berkun. *Maybe reading their books will ease the sting...
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