I’m typing this early in the morning at the coworking space that I co-own. I like coming down here before anyone else has arrived. I begin my day by finding a quiet spot and meditating.
Five years ago when I left work, I never would have anticipated what life would bring:
- Mindy and I moved from the home we thought our kids would live in until they started their own lives
- I have a podcast
- I’ve been able to see awesome parts of the world
- I gave a talk to a room of over 500 people
- I’ve made some really great friends
I used to fear uncertainty. I took comfort in knowing what my life would be like far into the future. Endless planning and mental bandwidth.
But planning is toxic. It’s best not to outline future chapters of your life. When you don’t plan, it leaves the future open to embrace people and opportunities that have a funny way of floating into your life when you least expect it.
Not planning also helps you stay anchored in the present. I like to take walks and look at the flowers and ball bugs. If you’re always looking forward to some future thing to make you happy, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what is so wrong with your present.
I’m a better, happier person because of the experiences I’ve had. Having a podcast has made me a better speaker. Seeing places like Maine, Vermont, Greece, and Edinburgh has been awesome. Being able to experience all of these places in the company of friends made it way better. Public speaking has given me confidence. Regarding that last point, a friend told me this recently:
When we first met, you were shy and reserved. Now, you’re the opposite. You’ve reinvented yourself.
This wouldn’t have happened without FIRE. None of these things would have happened without FIRE. I just wouldn’t have had the time.
Sometimes life is so good that it feels surreal. I feel like an impostor and that I don’t deserve it.
What is going to happen to take it all away?
Probably nothing, but I’m a worrier which is another poor personality trait, but I’m working on it.
And if something does strike me down soon, at least I’ve lived a good part of my life true to myself.
What Is The Point Of This Post?
These words are not meant to be a brag-piece where I regale you with tales of my life. I’m a pretty ordinary person with a great life circumstance; lots of time. Time is power.
If you’re still working, have you considered what you would do if you had your freedom?
It’s important to consider just how good it might be because many will try to talk you out of it:
- You’ll run out of money!
- You need work to give you purpose!
- What about health care?!??
- You’ll be bored.
- Have you lost your mind?
If it doesn’t work out, you can probably go back to work.
One thing you can never do is get back your time.
No Going Back
A couple of months after leaving my job, I thought that maybe I’d go back for a short stint if they gave me a raise.
One year out, I was far more disconnected. Perhaps I’d go back, but the raise would have to be a ridiculous amount of money that no one would ever pay me.
Now that I’m 5 years out, I’d never sign on for a gig where I lost autonomy over my time.
Too many words left to write. Too many walks left to take. Too many places left to see. Too many friends left to make.
What about you?
If not now, when?
If something is stopping you, what is it?
If someone is stopping you, are their goals and values consistent with yours?
Instead of making excuses for why you can’t, figure out how you can.
It might be scary. Change is hard. Comfort zones are warm and fuzzy. The unknown isn’t the easy path. But sometimes, you have to leap. I’m so happy I did.
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
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*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.