Crazy busy with work these days. I think I am over the hump, but feeling pretty "blah." I decided it's probably understandable since we put our cat down and I haven't had a lot of time or energy to process that. My mom has also been having health problems. So, I don't think life will magically be all happy after April 15th, but maybe I can start putting myself first again (better eating, sleeping and exercise habits). I have been letting those things slide, quite unusual for me even during tax season. So, I learned that it doesn't work and to put myself FIRST. Because everything else seems to follow from there.
It will be busy for a while, but am looking forward to a 3-day weekend in mid-May.
So, I have a million things I could blog about, but will leave it to a couple of good links.
My Money Blog paid off his mortgage. (Which as I recall, was a crazy gigantic mortgage** - $500k+ range - somewhere in California). I will share the link because the reasoning was interesting. He had been planning to be a stay-home dad, but since baby was born, they have abandoned that plan. His wife wants to be home more, he is not as interested, and so they are doing the both-part-time thing for now. I think this is so important because most parents won't really know what they want to do until child is born. I have often said if I had to do it all over we would have done the both-part-time thing. Some parents are cut out for being home full-time with 10 kids, and some are CEO work-out-of-home types, but I think the vast majority of us fall somewhere in the middle. & I think it's hard to even know what *type* you are until you actually have a baby. You won't know until you have *your* baby. & even once you have your first child, your next child may be an entirely different experience. I would say working was never *any* big deal with my eldest (I went back after 8 weeks), but was more difficult when my younger was aged 0-3. So I was thinking seriously of cutting back for a time, but now all that is so moot any more. Both kids are in school now (age 8/10) and are becoming infinitely more independent by the day. It's amazing how much circumstances change so rapidly with kids. The more you plan for various scenarios the happier you are going to be as a parent, so I think this was very much worth sharing: Surprise surprise, another new parent falls to Plan B. (I think this happens more often than not, but I don't think most people are nearly as prepared for these scenarios).
**As to the "crazy gigantic mortgage" comment - I don't think it's that big of a deal since he is quite young and mortgage-free. But, just to point out that this was no small feat, to pay off a very large sum on the extremely young side.
So, congrats to MyMoneyBlog for being debt-free!!
Mr. Money Mustache also had an awesome potentially life-changing post. I really think this is the *key* to happiness:
A Peak Life is Lived Off-Peak
Basically, if you want to be happy, don't waste a lot of time in line and sitting in traffic. It's easier to find happiness when you aren't following the herd.
I can think of many examples big to small, and is a common theme in my own blog.
What is leaves me pondering is how much of this is just in my very nature? No doubt that we understand this on a very HUGE scale having made our low-cost-of-living move. We wanted to make life 10 times more simpler? We picked up and moved to a "far less desirable" region. Which has always been funny to us, because it feels virtually identical to where we have moved from. Except without all the downsides of extreme over-crowding. !! So you could argue that maybe it's just easier for us to see the benefit of living more off-peak. It's hard to ignore when you change your life so dramatically with such a small move. BUT, I think there is more to it than that. What came first, the chicken or the egg. Why are we the only ones in a large group of very intelligent friends and family who said, "Screw this, I am out of here!" You really have to delude yourself to believe that you live in the only place in the universe worth living, the only place you can be happy, and that it's worth paying $700,000 for that 2-bedroom starter home. Dh and I just never quite *got it* and that was with an emotional attachment to the only city we had ever called home. But we had enough common sense to realize life could be better elsewhere. Or at least just as good. But it turned out way better, which was maybe the surprising part to us.
So, I think we probably have off-peak tendencies anyway. It might just be our natural inclination to seek out the "different."
Side note: I also think this is why I don't see "traditional 9-5 work" and "happiness" as mutually exclusive. My job allows plenty of "off-peak" living opportunities. & so I will disagree a bit with the Money Mustache about how limiting the 9-5 job is. It is limiting, no doubt, but jobs come in all shapes and sizes. I have always had a very short/easy commute and a flexible job with plenty of off-peak time to enjoy. These are important to me in a job, and I seek out these jobs very specifically due to my personal preferences. But this maybe explains why I come across so much, "It's impossible to work 9-5 and be happy!" & why I have absolutely never understood that on any level. It's because we are living a largely off-peak life, regardless of my employment. It is interesting food for thought, and I think it's important because some of us enjoy working and more of us *have to* work. So the more we figure out how to balance work and life, the more of us will truly be happy.