He could no longer control his own trembling. It was not, after all, so easy to die. –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. –Steve Jobs
You know things going to be serious when I open with quotes like that.
Summer is over
Last Tuesday morning, I noted two things:
- It was cold: One of the first things I do in the morning is go outside and gaze at the sky. I look East to the sunrise and West to the Rocky Mountains. It’s been hot here in Colorado, but this morning, it was in the 50’s. It felt great.
- School: It was the first day of school for our children. Big C is in 3rd grade now and Little D is in kindergarten.
Both of these events let me know that it was time for the cycle of the seasons to move once again.
The end of 1500 Days (not quite yet)
It jumped into my mind on Saturday. Like most of my better posts, it came at the most unexpected moment. I was building a playhouse with my children and BOOM!, it hit me.
I was going to publish it today, but as the words flowed from my mind onto the screen, I thought it better to save it for last. I’m not leaving any time soon, so you’ll have to listen to my bleating for just a bit longer*.
Just like the demise of summer, the end of the blog will be a new beginning for something else. I don’t know what that something else will be quite yet, but it’s fun to think about.
And the stock market
The stock market decline last week showed us another great example of a cycle**. On the surface, perhaps the decline put some fear into you. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll see that declines aren’t bad or abnormal. They are actually quite the opposite – healthy and part of the cycle. We can even take it a step further and acknowledge that markets must fall.
The cyclical nature of the markets and the economies that drive them doesn’t mean that the long term investor won’t be rewarded. Over time, markets go up. Population growth, lengthening lifespans, increases in productivity, technological breakthroughs and other advancements will propel the world economies ever bigger and the markets will follow. The ride will be bumpy at times, but act rationally, be patient and you’ll get to your destination. Think in decades, not days.
It’s all cyclical
Cycles are a part of the natural state of the world. We see them all around us. The seasons cycle as our planet circles the Sun. There are water and nitrogen cycles. If you have XX chromosomes and are of age, you experience the estrogen cycle monthly. We sleep and wake up. Over and over, round and round.
To go in one direction constantly without correction is unhealthy and unnatural. The ebb and flow of biological systems, markets and life is part of the natural state of the world.
Acknowledging that time is finite is powerful
It’s a strange feeling to have the last post that I’ll ever publish here completely done. However, it’s also empowering. Knowing that I have an end, I must apply a filter and publish only what I really want to say. Since I have over 150 posts in that Drafts folder, much of what I’ve written won’t see the light of day. And it’s better that way.
Now, I can pick and choose. Only the posts that I feel really good about will be published. Everything else will go into the virtual Trash bin. The ones and zeros that comprise that prose will be dismissed, never to see the light of day.
Apply the same lessons to life
I have a big problem; my days are numbered. As a 41 year old, I look forward to decades of good health, but that isn’t enough:
- I must raise my children to be the best people they can be. I must give them my time. Lots of it.
- The world is huge, mysterious and full of beauty. I want to see it all.
- There are hundreds of books that I want to read. I’d even like to write some of my own.
- I have a seemingly endless list of software that I want to write and things I want to build. I’m the neighbor that’s always tinkering in the garage.
- I’d like to volunteer time to those less fortunate and spur others to do the same.
So much to do, so little time.
When we’re young, we act like we’ll live forever. It’s OK to watch hours of TV. It’s OK to do that project later. It’s OK to start saving next year.
Not acknowledging the value of time is a wasteful way to live. Every day is precious and should be treated as such.
Trim the fat. Evaluate what you’re doing constantly. Spend more time participating in activities that make you a better person. Watch less TV and read more. Have more dinners with friends and family. Nothing lasts forever.
Money limits, but money also empowers
Money is the great limiter. As long as you need it, you must trade your time to get more of it. Never forget that time is the most valuable of all resources. I encourage you to save and live frugally so that selling your time becomes an option, not a mandate.
With some hard work and rational investing, the tide will turn and money will set you free. And with a little luck, you’ll still have lots of sleep/wake cycles left in the bank.
He could no longer control his own trembling. It was not, after all, so easy to die. Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious: To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second…
*I will not quit on you before I reach my goal of Financial Independence and leaving my job. That is a promise.
**I’m greatly amused by all of the people losing their minds over the market declines last week. As of this writing (8/23/2015, the S&P 500 isn’t even down 10%. So far, this is a blip.
Most important, the fundamentals of the US economy aren’t in bad shape. Benjamin Graham once said this:
In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.
Ignore the voting, embrace the weighing. Stay long my friends.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.
Thias @It Pays Dividends says
You are exactly right that we need to evaluate and make sure we take the time for the things that truly matter. While I am glad to hear that you are shifting your time to things that are more important, I am sad to know that there is an end point for your blog. I look forward to see what you have left for us and I wish you luck as you begin transitioning towards the items you listed above.
Thias @It Pays Dividends recently posted…The Weekly Dividend Payout #5 – Creating a Life Vision
I’m addicted to writing. I’ve considered quitting before and just can’t pull the trigger. Lately, I’ve realized that writing is one of the core things I enjoy in life. When I’m at my real job, I think about writing throughout the day. The reverse does not happen.
This is a sad day for by blog reading schedule 🙂
Goodbye and good luck guys, you’ve been an inspiration and a joy to read.
No no, read it again! Not yet!
Too late, we can’t hear you anymore 😉
This news is so devastating I couldn’t read the rest of the post and will now post one final comment never to grace your blog pages again as a sign of respect! 😉
Seriously though, a nice thoughtful post with some choice quotes there.
I’ll be sad to see the final post on here but also very intrigued, and glad to hear you’ll be keeping up the writing elsewhere, with all those ideas and more free time to write it would just be plain silly to give up entirely!
Cheers to another 300 or so days (depending on what the market does) 🙂
Hey FIREstarter, thanks for the kind comments! It will take a lot to get rid of me. I think my stuff is yet to come…
You will be missed! You inspired my husband to get our butts in gear and get to the seven figure investment mark. For that, I say thank you. Good luck on your next adventure!
Hey Sue- I’m thrilled I inspired you. And the good (or bad news) is that the blog is not yet over. I have final post written, but I have to finish my journey first.
If the stock market goes down, does that mean we get to read on 1500days a little longer? 🙂
You seem to be very much at peace with all this, if this is how it feels to reach Financial Independence, or being so close as to be able to touch it, that must be an awesome feeling.
Looking forward to reading all those great posts until the last one!
TheMoneyMine recently posted…Sunshine Blogger Award
“If the stock market goes down, does that mean we get to read on 1500days a little longer?”
If today is any indication, 1500 Days may become 3200 Days!
Ali @ Anything You Want says
Wow, that is crazy and impressive that you have 150 draft posts written. I thought I was doing well with a backlog of about 10 posts! Gotta up my game 🙂
Ali @ Anything You Want recently posted…7 Easy Steps to Build a Budget
I have no shortage of ideas and creativity. Time is my limiter. For now.
That’s cool. There’s definitely more important things than blogging. I also like the idea of a blog with a definite planned beginning and an ending, like a storybook.
This is the first I’m hearing about the dip in the stock market. That must demonstrate how little I’m aware of the financial markets. Ignorance is bliss.
Norm recently posted…Building The Patio, Part 1: Garage Demolition
1500days is easily my favorite FI blog. I guess the very name of the blog implies an end game but it is still a bummer to think about. I’ll be reaching for FI for much, much longer than the run of this blog and it has been a good companion thus far. Glad to hear it will continue for a while yet. Best wishes on the playhouse (and share the plans for it if you get a chance.)
Hi Adrian- I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to accompany you on your journey. I’ll probably still be around after this, probably just in a different form. Maybe it would be fun to document life after I cross the threshold? Don’t know yet…
Oh, and playhouse update coming soon…
Kate @ Cashville Skyline says
The end of an era! I’m really sad to see you go, but hope you’ll keep writing about money. Clearly you’ve got a gift and your story has resonated with people. And 150 draft posts? I’m really impressed.
Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…If We’re So Fascinated by Frugality, Why Aren’t We Saving?
Thanks Kate, very kind of you to say. Will you still play dinosaurs with me post 1500 Days?
Fervent Finance says
Anddddddd the Dow is down another 500 points 🙂 I watched CNBC this morning just to giggle. All the talk already about if the correction will be quick or take four years. Also can’t wait to see what you have in store once you hit FI!
Fervent Finance recently posted…Why CPAs Are Terrible With Their Finances
Bring it down! Come on down another 500 or 1000 and we’ll be in business! Come on correction!!
Mrs. Crackin' the Whip says
That final post? Just keep that sh*t to yourself for awhile longer. I don’t care how epic it is. 🙂 I know nothing last forever, but we need more time! I always look forward to your posts 1500 days!
Mrs. Crackin’ the Whip recently posted…My Expensive Makeup Routine
I never said that I wouldn’t write elsewhere! I enjoy this too much to quit completely…
Maggie @ Northern Expenditure says
I hope writing elsewhere is a promise. As someone looking to you as a model for early retirement with two little girls (add a son to mine), I can’t wait to see the things you’re able to do with them and for them once you hit financial independence! I want to hear all about it!
Maggie @ Northern Expenditure recently posted…Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness
Hi Maggie- Thanks for the kind words! I have a hard time resting my keyboard, so you’ll have to hear from me for a bit longer, one way or another.
Heh, I’ve tried to quit blogging many times now and it has never stuck! I just post less frequently and don’t feel bad about it.
Leigh recently posted…Budgeting: always stay a month ahead
I know just how you feel.
Claudia @ Two Cup House says
Glad to see you’ll keep writing until the end! You’ve inspired us to commit to our own 1500 day journey to financial independence. In short, our end goal is the same: gain the time to pursue other interests.
Claudia @ Two Cup House recently posted…Weekly Recap of Inspiration and Knowledge Gained from the Blogosphere, #5
You could’ve also added the quotation from the Shawshank Redemption, “it comes down to a choice get busy living or get busy dying” or Dave Ramsey “live like no one else so you can live like no one else.”
I hope the end of the blog isn’t too soon. Until then well I look forward to more inspiration.
Jason recently posted…Pay No Attention to the Doomsday Stock Market Headlines
Those are both pretty great quotes! I’m addicted to writing, so when this place shuts down, I’ll probably open up somewhere else. Thanks for the kind compliments.
Bryan @ Just One More Year says
@Jason – those are some favorite quotes I mention to people often. I love them!
That is a bummer about the end coming for 1500 days. However, we should not be surprised since you stated that from the beginning with your financial goals and journey.
For me, that means I have just one more year!
I do suspect the writing won’t stop. We just need to know where to find you! 🙂
Bryan @ Just One More Year recently posted…4 Significant Lifestyle Changes in the Past 40 Years
If you ever decide to write a book or something I could hook you up with a publisher or two. My first couple of books were with an academic publisher, but they have connections to other venues. If you ever decide to go there.
Jason recently posted…An Investing Rant
Jason, that is so awesome of you! I already have the book outlined and I’m super excited to write it. I just have to find the time. I think we’ll be in touch.
This is what The Community is all about, isn’t it? Together, we are stronger. We help each other out and build off of our successes. That is what it should all be about. Onward!!
Seems like only yesterday it was just me and you.
Never watch my holdings, just drop by Vanguard periodically to rebalance…….Gotta go ride my bike. Beautiful day here in the Midwest! And yes FI IS all it’s cracked up to be. Retired 3+ years and loving every precious minute.
Laura aka Mrs. Nickels says
“And yes, FI IS all it’s cracked up to be. Retired 3+ years and loving every precious minute.”
I was so happy to read this. I had a reader on my blog recently tell me not to try so hard for retirement, that it wasn’t all that great. I let that bother me more than it should have, so your comment was just what I needed to hear…
Laura aka Mrs. Nickels recently posted…Laundromats Change Lives. Said No One Ever. Until Now.
I find that people that don’t like retirement are those that have there entire life worth directly associated with their “work” lives. A healthy life much like a healthy financial status relies upon diversification. I am retired from paid compensation, not from life.
Excuse my there for their. 😉
I had a big life change recently and I thought I had re-evaluated my life. Recently I realized I really had not and that I need to take some time off and figure out what I want out of life. Seems like a fitting post for me as I haven’t been reading or writing much. As an introspective person I’ve never really figured out what I want, I only know that I want to experience as much as I can I guess. I do know that I want financial freedom and I can now change my life more drastically to attain that goal much more quickly.
Kyle recently posted…Unexpected Change
Oh bummer. And I’m sorry you won’t be making it out here. You’re welcome anytime.
Chin up and move forward at full speed.
Always enjoyed reading your humorous writing and you sharing your knowledge. Definitely keep writing and we’ll keep reading.
Tawcan recently posted…Living life to the fullest
Amber tree says
life is full of surprises and challenges! None of them last forever, they come and go. Just like the stock market. Judt like may e one day this blog, or my blog or any other blog.
Focus on family and life is what matters! You give good insight thzt are time is limited and to zchieve some goals we need time…
Thx for the quote of graham… I needed it
Amber tree recently posted…Sunshine questions
Graham was a pretty smart dude and Buffett’s first mentor. Munger would later steer Buffett away from Graham, but he is still a worthwhile person to study.
Adam @ AdamChudy.com says
Fantastic Post. I feel the same way. There’s so much to do and see, I don’t know how anybody can be bored or want to stay in their cubicle for life.
I hope the blog doesn’t end though!
Adam @ AdamChudy.com recently posted…Paribus – The Cash Saver
Steve Miller says
It’s funny, I connected with lots of people today that were freaking out about the market correction so I ended up blogging about why they shouldn’t freak out. But I hope don’t quit your blogging anytime soon, I really enjoy what you are doing.
Steve Miller recently posted…Market Correction: Don’t Freak Out!
I love the freaking out! I’ll happily purchase the equities from those that wish to sell low!
Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life says
Oh no! I’m going to miss your posts and all of your rants and your dinosaurs and just everything! Honestly though you are probably one of the best blogs about financial independence from a real life stand point and it will be sad to see you go. But I understand that there are greater things besides blogging. It happens to me all the time.
Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life recently posted…Saturday Review 2…A Day Late
Hey, thanks so much for the kind comments Amanda! I’m a bit addicted to writing though. I said 1500 Days would end, but not…
Chris @ Flipping a Dollar says
I can’t wait for you to say the words “I’ve worked enough.” I’m sure you’ll keep creating but not having to… That really would be freedom!
Chris @ Flipping a Dollar recently posted…How I Paid for New Doors using Part-Time eBay Money!
Yeah, no sh*t! Almost there. Home stretch now…
You can’t put a price on the memories you create with your girls in their childhood. They will forever remember the fun times with mom & dad – not how much crap you buy (or didn’t) for them. Memories, dude! Keep making them! 🙂
Yep, that is whole idea, isn’t it? 🙂
I was just glad to read that it was not really your final post. (Although I got a little shaky after the opening quotes.) You are by far my favorite blog.
I always found it inspiring to see that somebody can reach FI/RE with two children. A lot of the early FI bloggers I read seemed to stay away from the idea of having children or having more than one child.
Thanks Thomas for the kind comments! Really appreciate them!
I hate endings, even happy ones!
I wish I could say I’m addicted to writing but not lately.
Be sure to hit me up next time you’re back in WI 🙂 Would love to meet up!
Thegoblinchief recently posted…Serendipity Days
I’ll be in the Midwest in a couple weeks, but won’t have time for Wisconsin. Let’s plan for 2016…
This might be one of my favorite posts by you! Though I’m sad to think that your journey with us will end, I am glad that you will take us along the ride a little while longer.
Michelle recently posted…My Epic Kitchenaid Soda Stream Hack-I Love This Machine!
One journey’s end is the start of another…
Dane Hinson says
There was definitely quite a bit of panic on Monday due to the stock market decline. In the grand scheme of things, I would be more worried if there weren’t periodic dips. I always think it’s best not to look at your portfolio day to day or even year to year. Have a long-term mindset and the market will always work in your favor.
Dane Hinson recently posted…Investing is a Long-Term Game
Wise words Dane! I check mine daily, but very rarely take action. I just enjoy watching the numbers change.
Finally – someone in the FI/RE movement that admits he is checking his holdings every day!
Thank you very much for that!
I was already feeling like a freak for meticulously following my numbers nearly every day, since all other bloggers seemed to state: “I do not care for the daily changes in my financial worth. I check them maybe once a week, month, year.”
Mr. 1500 – I like your blog even more now.
Ha, thanks Thomas! And I admit to peeking at the markets several times per day too. Again, it doesn’t cause me to take action. I guess it’s my version of entertainment. My TV.
I always find it refreshing to read about people who are living in the now. They are not waiting around in a type of purgatory for some ambiguous destination in the future. I agree that it’s upsetting to see so many people hasten the passing of time by doing things like watching too much television, absorbed in manufactured drama. We too are working hard to achieve our goals, but not at the expense of doing our best to appreciate the little things and make the most of every day that we have on this earth. Great, true post.
Harmony recently posted…Monday Medley: Frugal Weekends And School Supplies
Even Steven says
I was a little scared reading this post, but I have had similar thoughts in the past, especially as it relates to reaching FI. Do you continue, write once a week or month, do you try to stay away from a computer that sometimes you are chained to for more than half of your day voluntarily or otherwise.
On a positive note, I’m thinking about putting together a small beer list to bring with, any specific requests that I can try to get my hands on?
Even Steven recently posted…DIY Crazy: How to Fix a Washer
Alexader @ Cash Flow Diaries says
Im so confused right now! Its funny reading all the comments, half the people think youre done and the other half dont.
Alexader @ Cash Flow Diaries recently posted…DraftKings is my kryptonite! (NFL)
Not done! Yet! And after 1500 Days, there will be life. Not just at 1500days.com
I like writing and you all too much to quit.
And concerning the 150 drafts – please at least give us all the prepared “Rants”.
We all like them – Maybe there is another project after FI for you? 1500Rants.com
Mom @ Three is Plenty says
Your writing will definitely be missed once it stops. I hope to continue reading your wise words elsewhere!
Mom @ Three is Plenty recently posted…First DIY Building – Ever – Starting Our Swing Set
Steve @ Think Save Retire says
Really, it’s not the end of a blog. Rather, it’s the mark of a completed mission. You’ll most likely start something else next, continue writing through the lens of a different topic or perspective, and life will continue to move forward. Bigger and better things always mean moving on from others. It’s the spice of life, and something that keeps us all active, energetic and focused on new and different things.
Congrats, my friend!
Steve @ Think Save Retire recently posted…The Friday Feast ~ the 28th of August
Appreciate your site. Another book you might add to that long list is Seneca’s ‘On the Shortness of Life’. I think you would like it:
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.”
“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”
“putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours.”
Those are some wonderful quotes. Lots to chew on there.
I’ve added the book to my list. Thank you for the recommendation!