Friday Mindfulness: Distraught Daughter, Donating Doctor and a Lovely Shower

So, I’m trying to be more positive. One reason for this is a passage I read in Seeking Wisdom, a book that I’m enjoying very much. This is on page 10:

And it’s just more fun to go through life with a great attitude. However, it isn’t easy. My genetic programming combined with insecurity makes me a worrier. I’m also not a happy person by default.

One way I’m trying to overcome my melancholy is by focusing on good things. It’s a struggle, but knowing that I’m going to write a post where I highlight some positive stuff forces me to be mindful. I won’t write a post like this every week, but I’m going to try for at least two per month.


Distraught Daughter

Our youngest daughter just learned about tornados in school. She is now absolutely terrified that one will show up and take our house away. Recent questions include:

  • Daughter: Dad, where do we go if a tornado comes?
  • Me: Under the stairs. It is 100% tornado proof.
  • Daughter: Dad, how many tornados are there in Colorado?
  • Me: None. They don’t like the mountains, so they stay in flat places like Nebraska and Kansas.

Sidenote: There was a tornado in our town not more than two years ago. It didn’t touch down, but still…

  • Daughter: Dad, what happens if a tornado sucks you up?
  • Me: It just takes you for a little ride. Before the tornado goes home, it sets you down somewhere else and you have to walk home or get a ride back from a friend. Wouldn’t it be fun if the tornado set you down in front of the frozen yogurt place?

I’m probably not going to win Father of the Year for these blatant lies. However, the truth results in excessive crying and trauma which culminates in 2am visits to our bedroom:


I need my sleep, so I lie.


14,000 Things to Be Happy About

Despite our best efforts, daughter is still completely and insanely terrified. Any time we go for a walk and there is wind, she cries hysterically. This happened on Wednesday:

Mrs. 1500 and I tried to comfort her, but the situation was too funny not to laugh about (when she wasn’t paying attention):

I’ve got 14,000 things to be happy about and a tornado ain’t one of them


Giving it Away

I don’t believe in inherited wealth. From what I’ve read and seen, coming into a large sum of money doesn’t do most people any good. I can’t think of a person in my own life that has inherited money and hasn’t blown it all in a couple of years. The solution is to give it away. I’m not secure enough in my finances to do anything except $50 here and there, but I look forward to the day when I can put large amounts to good use. I really like what Physician on Fire did, giving away $100,000. Nice one PoF!


Lovely Shower

Before I bought my first home, I didn’t know how to do anything with my hands. I’ve since taught myself enough that I could probably build a home by myself. It’s really not that hard.

I really enjoy helping others with their projects. It’s fun to turn an ugly space into something beautiful. I recently helped a friend in Fort Collins build a custom shower:

Installing plumbing and planning the shower

Building the base

Setting the tile


We built something that would have cost thousands in labor for just the cost of materials (And beer. Oh yes, I work for beer.). It’s wonderful to help others like this.

What great stuff has happened to you lately? How do you stay mindful? Are you terrified of tornados?

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42 Responses to Friday Mindfulness: Distraught Daughter, Donating Doctor and a Lovely Shower

  1. I’m guessing that you don’t plan to show her Wizard of Oz anytime soon 🙂

    I am winding down at my current job and really looking forward to starting my new job in a week. It’s been a long time coming and hopefully something that excites me a little more than where I’ve been at. Although I am slightly worried that the grass may not be greener.

    BTW…That shower looks amazing. Definitely a nice skill set to have 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Why CEOs with Daughters Are BetterMy Profile

  2. Wow, fantastic job on that shower. Looks beautiful! I love to build stuff too, but I’ve never tried to build a shower!

    Don’t feel bad about the tornadoes — My kids also get terrified of really strange things too. The only thing that seems to work for us is embracing the positive things they’re passionate about.

    Eventually they forget about those fears as the brain gets stimulated in other ways.
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…Should I Be Investing In Airlines?My Profile

  3. We have tornados here every few years and one of them took out my aunt’s house when I was a kid (no one was home). Still I’m not particularly worried about them given the low odds they will hit us. I don’t exactly live in tornado alley and neither do you. Our big thing was vacation followed by a huge number of doctor checkups. So not much.

  4. So, no Sharknado movie marathon at casa de la 1500 anytime soon? Or Twister (the Bill Paxton movie, not the game)?

    We can’t always tell our kids the truth. I was accused of lying on Saturday when I told the boys we were going grocery shopping, and took them to Lego Batman instead. I’m mean like that.

    Thanks much for sharing my donation story. An early retirement is easier for me to justify when I’ve worked long enough to take care of myself, my family, and give generously. I do all that I can to decrease the likelihood of regret when I take that leap.


    • Ha ha, definitely NOT! Kind of reminds me of that scene in Airplane where the in-flight movie is a bunch of airplane crashes…

      “I was accused of lying on Saturday when I told the boys we were going grocery shopping, and took them to Lego Batman instead.”

      Try it the other way around sometime!

  5. Nice shower, I’m not anywhere near that handy…yet. Will keep practicing. My wife has been incredibly fortunate with her job situation. She wasn’t hired for a full time job she wanted – but that let to some lucrative part time opportunities which have been perfect for her and allowed her to spend more time at home with our son!
    I’ve been close to a tornado, but never worry about them 😉

  6. Want your shower making skills!!!

  7. Wow, what a beautiful project. I am not anywhere as skilled so need to allocate a fund for outsourced projects like these! Or I better move into your neighborhood and invite you over for beer! Sounds like a good deal for me and possibly also, for you! 😀
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…Hacking The Retirement CalculatorsMy Profile

  8. Mr. SSC says:

    Great thing that happened to me was finding out that I not only got a bonus this year, but a damn good one AND a nice RSU offering on top of it. You’d think we actually made money last year – FYI like every other O&G company, we didn’t make money… But we lost less than we did in 2015, lol.

    Our youngest is scared of “the big bad wolf” in her room at night, so she starts off in our bed downstairs. Our oldest went thru a period where he was scared of his wooden bed frame because it was “pointy”. This was only discovered after 3 attempts at moving his bed around and rearranging his room to alleviate the problem. He grew out of that, but now is on to other things to be scared of.

    Nope, no issues with tornadoes, but I did get to see some in action growing up in KY. They’re powerful, but nothing that keeps me up at night. That’s the kids’ and dogs’ responsibilities. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…“Intimate” Interview at FruclassityMy Profile

  9. Brian says:

    Stay away from the movie Twister and those flying cows. Flying animals might set her back a bit. I hope she gets over that fear soon.

    Amazing job on the shower. For a second I thought you were lying to us about your house projects being done, but than you mentioned be lured by beer to work on someone else stuff. I’m not ready to tackle any type of title work, but just painted the living room. Baby steps.
    Brian recently posted…Interview Series: Mustard Seed MoneyMy Profile

  10. Brandon says:

    “Before I bought my first home, I didn’t know how to do anything with my hands. I’ve since taught myself enough that I could probably build a home by myself. It’s really not that hard.” This reminds me of a quote I read recently which I thought was from Bill Gates but now I can’t find the origin…

    Anyway the quote is “You’re never going to be 100% ready. You just have to start.” Recently a friend told me that I think too much about my next steps. Sometimes I just need to do the damn thing and maybe I’ll like it or maybe I’ll learn.

  11. Jen says:

    Haha! That picture of your daughter is adorable. I had a fear of tornadoes when I was young, too. Then when I grew a bit older and learned more, I was kind of fascinated by them.

    Mindfulness… it kind of saved my life. It’s a struggle sometimes to not go down the rabbit hole of this or that worry, but I’m doing pretty well. One thing I had to re-learn is that it’s okay to feel different emotions, like fear, sadness, anger, etc. I think there is so much focus these days on “happiness” that it’s easy to feel like you’re doing it wrong, or have some serious issue, if you’re not happy all the time. So part of my mindfulness is pausing to recognize what’s going on in my life and how that might impact my feelings, and knowing that “this, too, shall pass” if I’m having a cruddy day. It works.

  12. Love the shower! Awe I kind of love the lie that you told her. I was terrified of tornados growing up in Michigan too. And now that I live in LA I’m kind of terrified of a big earthquake. I also tend to be a worrier and that is something I’m really trying to work on.

  13. Love these “happy posts”, even when you lie to your daughter, and then laugh at her terror.

    You’d better delete this post before she gets old enough to read your blog. She’ll never forgive you. Destroyed for life.

    But worth a really good laugh.

  14. Jax says:

    The juxtaposition of your daughter crying and holding a book about 14000 things to be happy about made me laugh out loud-and then feel slightly ashamed. I, too, am terrified of tornadoes but I use denial to cope with that particular fear.

    I think the problem with inheritances is that people either think they’re owed them (they aren’t) or that it’s not “real” money because they didn’t have to work for it. My mom passed away when I was 25 and I inherited everything-which wasn’t a ton for a 61 year old woman, but was way more than any 25 year I knew had. I don’t think of my inheritance as “mine”-my mom worked far too hard for that money for me to blow it on pub food, craft beer and Starbucks.

    I am just a steward of that money and it’s my job to make sure it goes towards something meaningful. If I ever want to start my own business I know I will have (some of) the capital. I also know if I let it sit in the accounts and only take a RMD I will be pretty set for retirement.

    • “I am just a steward of that money and it’s my job to make sure it goes towards something meaningful.”

      That’s an absolutely wonderful outlook. Wow. Love it.

  15. Brian says:

    I live in part of “tornado alley.” They can be pretty scary but I don’t worry about them. I have seen a couple actual funnel clouds in my day, but have been pretty lucky that they were in the distance and not heading towards me.

    The closest I have ever been to being in an actual tornado was when I was a kid. They pulled us off the school bus and back into the school. A tornado went through the neighborhood but then basically jumped over the school. It was a pretty insane looking aftermath.

  16. Aww, your poor daughter. I know a lot of people who have severe weather anxiety, so I know it’s no fun. I’m not sure if it helps, but explain what steps she can take during a tornado and what she can do about it. And AH MAH GAHD, that shower looks SO GOOD, Mr. 1500!!! I’m a little jealous. 🙂
    It’s really hard for me to be mindful, but I’m working on it. I try to meditate at least once a day with free guided meditations on YouTube. I grew up in Tornado Alley, so yeah, I’m not a fan of tornadoes. They destroy and kill a lot of things. In fact, we just had a batch of them this week that ripped up the rich part of town.

    As far as positive things going on right now, there are a lot of them. I’m working on fun stuff for the blog as usual, and I finally have a touch of money to make it a little better. Yay! Also my birthday is this weekend and I plan to romp around and have a bit of frugal fun. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…4 Thoughts On Turning 25My Profile

  17. Mrs. BITA says:

    Kids! Toddler BITA refused to have anything to do with Santa Closet (on pain of death nobody is allowed to tell her his real name) last Christmas. She said she was scared. When I asked why, she said it was because he has teeth.

    Oh. I wonder what she things those white things in my mouth are.

    I have had much to be grateful about this past week. Monday was a holiday, so the work week was short. On Tuesday I saw a double rainbow on my drive home from work. Toddler BITA says and does things almost every day that are new and often funny (e.g. were were both sitting at the table and she was kicking at my leg under the table. I asked her what she was doing and she said, “I think that you are a pool”. In swim class her instructor says ‘kick kick kick’ to them nearly the whole time. I cracked up). Readership of my blog ticked up this week for no discernible reason. A couple new writing opportunities came up.

    My cup overfloweth.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Should I Get Divorced?My Profile

  18. This might sound trite, but lately every day has been a new adventure with new joys. When I pause to consider why that’s the case, the honest answer is increased awareness and mindfulness.

    I listened to a recent Tim Ferriss podcast in which he spoke with Adam Robinson. Adam is a super eccentric guy – hedge fund advisor, chess master, and founder of The Princeton Review. His big thing is finding magic in every moment- as a result he is one of the happiest guys on Earth. It’s definitely worth a listen!

  19. Steve from Arkansas says:

    My dad never made a lot of money but he saved diligently and invested wisely and left an inheritance of almost a million each to my brother and myself. Like our dad we had also saved and invested well so that our inheritances just added a little to our already sizable portfolios. Maybe I retired a year earlier since it raised me from just enough to more than enough but otherwise it didn’t change anything in my spending habits. The the idea that a million dollars necessarily is inherently destructive certainly wasn’t the case for us. And the fact that I’ll pass my dad’s and my money to my three kids some day, who also won’t likely spend it but will give it to their kids. That’s kind of cool. Dad would approve.

    • That’s a wonderful story!

      In the examples I’ve seen where the inheritances are squandered, the folks who did the squandering weren’t financially savvy to begin with. Unfortunately, I believe that this is the norm and not the exception.

      I hope your kids appreciate the incredible gift!

  20. Comtnadventure says:

    Adorable picture of your daughter !

    “One way I’m trying to overcome my melancholy is by focusing on good things.”
    This is by far the best thing you can do for yourself and also the hardest.

    Having suffered through years of depression and refusing to succumb to the “here take a pill and feel better” mentality, I discovered purely by accident that focusing on good things (a) kept my mind away from the ‘bad’ things, (b) made me realize that things weren’t quite as bad when I took everything into consideration.

    Great looking shower. I haven’t had the courage to do a shower..yet. So far I have limited myself to doing the demo and electrical. I want to learn how to do tile and plumbing. Next time you need a pair of hands on a project drop me a note, I don’t even drink much beer 🙂 learning the skill is sufficient for me.

    I embarked on my first ‘consistent’ giving in 2016 by establishing a scholarship for students at the Univ I went to. It’s not some grandiose sum of money but I feel better for ‘doing my part’, having survived on scholarships and bologna all through school. I couldn’t establish a monthly “bologna supply contract” so I settled on a scholarship.

    • Yeah, trying to be happy is a constant struggle. Today, I woke up happy and the day was going well. Then, the neighbor’s dog starts a 30 minute barking tantrum, completely destroying my concentration. It also destroyed my mood.

      I’m sorry for your struggles. Depression runs in my family. While I’m pretty sure that I don’t have it, I’ve seen the effects of it and it’s not pretty.

      “Next time you need a pair of hands on a project drop me a note, I don’t even drink much beer 🙂 learning the skill is sufficient for me.”

      Be careful what you ask for. Did I mention I’m thinking about building a cabin in the mountains?

      Nice work on the scholarship! As someone who had loads of debt, I look forward to doing something similar someday.

  21. Ha! I wish I had your skill set to build almost anything, you need a good demo guy I’m totally the guy for that. Being the kid that couldn’t color in the lines as a child has transitioned to adulthood and I’m very good at just making things ugly enough to know that they should have been done by someone better. Ironically enough I can paint walls and whatnot quite well. Loved the Physician on FIRE link, that’s truly inspiring.

    One thing I think you may want to touch on or consider in the inheritance of wealth. It all comes down to how people were taught to manage money. I’m frugal by nature and have started cataloging my own FI journey. I’m probably an outlier in the FI community because I know I could technically not save a penny and I would be that person who will run into a multi million dollar inheritance, but I choose to be responsible and save for myself and my future with the expectation that it isn’t there. It’s always about the person and what they learn to manage their finances, at least that’s my take on it.

  22. Joe says:

    Awesome picture of your daughter. That’ll be a graduation picture someday. heh heh.
    Amazing job with the shower. Really nice.
    Yeah, our kid came to sleep in our bed at 1 am last night. He must have been taking a kung fu lesson in his sleep because we got plenty of kicks and chops. I need a nap…

  23. I am so sorry, but the picture of your daughter is so funny.
    And, BTW, thanks. Now I know what I should buy for my drama queen daughter.

  24. Tara says:

    Growing up in North Texas (really refers to NE Texas, Dallas to be exact) we had tornado drills frequently as we were in the plains. I know the safest place to be in a tornado is literally you bathtub so teach your daughter about that safety for rain storms. Also let her know that tornadoes hate mountainous regions like Colorado as they need flat surfaces to keep going. While tornadoes can exist in hilly areas, they are not as severe as those category 5’s in Kansas.

    I now live outside Philly and marvel at the fact that people don’t do tornado drills here. 🙂

  25. Amber tree says:

    To quote your blogpost: “And it’s just more fun to go through life with a great attitude. However, it isn’t easy. My genetic programming combined with insecurity makes me a worrier. I’m also not a happy person by default.” Same here… Not that easy to just sit somewhere and enjoy it. I lack that skill.

    I train hard, to be able to do that…

    Out daughter does fear fire (the real stuff, not the FIRE we are after). She is against BBQ, lighting a match to light a candle… Pretty annoying some time. We hope it passes and we try to understand her point. Not thate asy.
    Amber tree recently posted…What the financial planner says…My Profile

  26. Sondra says:

    I grew up in the Midwest and for 24 years never came close to a tornado. Then we moved to Windsor and couple years later was the big 2008 tornado. Fortunately our family was in Fort Collins at the time of the tornado so we just had to deal with the aftermath. We had several neighbors who had preschool children at the daycare that was hit. They are teenagers now and still panic when there is a storm or strong winds.

  27. Our daughter is 7 and still hasn’t been on an airplane. We don’t travel too much and I’m terrified of flying. I do it. But I prefer not to. I also realize the irrationality of my fear. Our vacation last year involved us taking a road trip to Disney World. From Pennsylvania. Yep. I would rather drive across the country than fly. At any rate, my daughter has asked questions about airplane safety and what happens if something goes wrong. So for us, airplanes are our tornadoes.

    The other day our daughter came home from school talking about an intruder drill. It’s disheartening that our children must undergo these drills. Fortunately, our daughter hasn’t been traumatized. Yet.

  28. Amber Finlay says:

    That third lie and those pictures are hilarious! Hopefully she moves on from that fear sometime soon and can make time spent outside more enjoyable 🙂 I remember being particularly afraid of volcanoes as a child after watching Fantasia…
    It’s so cool that you and Mr Money Mustache are so handy at home! What a fun, $$-saving hobby.
    Whenever I’m trying to remain positive, I remind myself how lucky I am to have what I’m currently fuming about. If it’s my job, I just think “At least this pays better than my last one so I can put more money towards paying off my student loans!”. If it’s my roommate being a slob, I think “At least I live in a safe area and have a room to myself!”

  29. Timrim says:

    I have a daughter but in my life there has never been a tornado but my daughter is very afraid of fire

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