The Fallacy of Security

A dream of early retirement, financial security and independence turned into a plan. We are committed and making incredible progress, crushing milestones. This, while traveling and hitting bucket list items left and right. Life is great. It is a long road ahead (8-12 years) but we are unstoppable IF we can just keep doing what we are doing!

And then, the phone rings. Unexpected news stating that one of us may lose our job contract soon, instead of receiving a full time job offer that we were anticipating. This job accounts for most of our current savings rate, without it, the plan gets fully derailed.

My heart starts racing. I start thinking of 80 million things we could do to try to avoid this outcome or to find an immediate job replacement. I also think of the impact it will have on our life plan. And I go to the worse case scenario obviously, as if for some reason we would never again get another job, ever.

Crap! I catch myself and stop. I laugh a little at the ridiculousness of my imaginary scenarios and how hard it is to break this habit, have a visceral reaction of fear of loss and need to control even the uncontrollable. I would really excel at a risk management job I am sure!

Breath. I tell myself. Go back and read the recently created life plan where I wrote down what I decided were the important and successful priorities for ME.

Item 1: Inner peace.

I pause.

This is it. Life is throwing me a new opportunity to put into practice what I have been working on during the past few months towards my very first  goal. If I am too busy and worried about what we may lose and may happen in the future,  or trying to control all outcomes, I will never be able to enjoy the only thing I do have: a possibility of a good today. And I will be miserable. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

My husband and I get into a philosophical conversation about security and certainty.  This is all a fallacy after all, we decide (while laughing at our collective control freak nature).  Sure, we can (and should) prepare as much as we can but at any moment, the stock can fall, our jobs may go, the earth may fry and we could die! Among other less drastic things but whatever, you know where I am coming from…

We cannot control most of of that but what we can control is the way in which we react to situations like that (except earth destruction and death, then you are happily gone, so why worry anyways? ;)).

And so, I pledge to use this opportunity as practice to better deal with uncertainty emotionally as I am sure this is something that will come along many times, including as we transition to retirement while no longer earning an income (whenever that happens). And I must admit, every time I had a door close in the past, life has treated me to a better opportunity even though we did have difficult moments of transition, so why doubt now that things work out?

Make a plan and then, let go of control, flow, be flexible and trust life to take care of us.  This is all I can do.

Will we succeed? As the great Dr Seuss pointed out in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! “Yes, you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)!”

How do you deal with uncertainty both emotionally and with actions?

 

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Bucket List

The List

I am fully embracing my mid-life crisis by taking the opportunity to turn dreams into plans and tick off as many things as possible from my list. As such, I am going to use this page to list the things I want to do and cross off those achieved with some notes to have them for my memory bank. I am not going to be devastated if I don’t cross everything off, interests may change and the list may change, but at least it will give me a guide as to what to prioritize to maximize the amount we can do with the time we have left. Here goes!

Travel with kids

Before my little dudes leave the nest here are the places I would love to take them (top priorities):

  • Disneyworld and water parks
  • Legoland
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Acapulco
  • Puerto Morelos / Cancun
  • Boston
  • Phoenix
  • Washington DC
  • Atlanta
  • Asheville
  • Charleston
  • Universal Studios
  • Atlantis
  • California / Red Woods
  • Yosemite
  • Yellowstone
  • Ixtapa
  • Cabo
  • Merida
  • Oaxaca
  • San Miguel de Allende
  • Quebec/ Montreal
  • Grand Canyon
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Revillagigedo Islands
  • Hawaii
  • NYC
  • Spain
  • Ireland
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Iceland
  • Galapagos
  • Japan
  • Patagonia
  • South Africa
  • Alaska

Experiences with kids:

  • All inclusive / beach
  • Disney Cruise
  • Camping
  • Sleep on RV
  • Indoor skydiving
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Day hiking
  • Local lake cabin
  • Pin ball museum / game center!
  • Zip lining kids
  • Sleep on a tree house
  • Sleep on a yacht
  • Sleep on a dome
  • Sleep on a yurt
  • Sleep on a bell tent
  • Sleep on floating home
  • Aereal obstacle course
  • Dude Ranch stay
  • Water skiing
  • Snow skiing
  • Snow tubing
  • Ice skating
  • Cavern visit
  • Dog sledding
  • Get a rescue dog
  • Handgliding lessons
  • White water rafting
  • Helicopter ride
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Real rock climbing
  • Surfing lessons
  • Trough- hiking
  • Sailing lessons as a family
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Experience zero gravity
  • Horseback riding
  • Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis
  • Bioluminescent Bay
  • Skeet shooting
  • Scuba diving
  • Volunteer project

Travel with husband:

  • Great Smokey Mountains
  • Tulum
  • Tahiti (Bora Bora, Moorea and Huahine)
  • North India
  • Peru
  • Canadian Rockies
  • Paris
  • Switzerland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Bali
  • Thailand
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Greece
  • Prague
  • Morocco
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Colombia
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia (non Bali)
  • China
  • Nepal
  • Myanmar
  • Seychelles
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Miami
  • Chicago
  • Portland
  • Washington State
  • New Orleans
  • Zion National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Acadia National Park
  • Olympic National Park

Experiences:

  • Steven Wright comedian
  • Sail boat and yacht trip
  • Ultra light flying
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Jet ski
  • Marathon(s)
  • Sounds of Silence, Uluru
  • Bridging in Peru (jump off bridge like bungee)
  • International First / Business class (miles)
  • Sydney Bridge Walk
  • Tongariro Crossing New Zealand
  • Sky diving
  • Cheap Micheline Star Restaurant
  • Caving
  • Snorkeling
  • Machu Picchu hiking
  • Santa Cruz Cordillera Blanca 4 day trek
  • Cenote swim
  • Obstacle course (high)
  • Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit in Yoho National Park, Canada
  • Hawkers Markets SE Asia (Malaysia and Singapore)
  • Comedy: Jim Gaffigan live
  • RENT play
  • A month as vegetarian
  • Not buying clothes for a year
  • Sleep on a Teepee
  • Hotel Campera, Ensenada
  • Chable Resort, Yucatan
  • New Play on Broadway
  • Cirque Du Soleil
  • Shooting Range
  • Scuba Diving
  • Michelin Rated Restaurant
  • Great Trail Canada
  • Grand Teton rock climbing trip
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • American Discovery Trail
  • Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand
  • El Camino de Santiago, Spain
  • Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon
  • Hawaii Volcano National Park
  • Kalalau Trail
  • Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland
  • Caribou Tracks in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
  • Canyoning
  • Volcano hiking at sunrise
  • Silence retreat
  • Private Chef Dinner Course on own villa
  • Peacecorps project
  • Build multiple houses on a single large lot to sell (one project)
  • Nomadic life with almost no possessions
  • FIRE!

Stuff/ other:

  • Electric car – daily to own
  • Rental of dream car (weekends)
  • Tattoos

What is on your list? What has been hardest/ easiest to achieve?

2017 Life Goals

2017

The beginning of this year proved to be one of the most difficult and crazy times for me at a personal level.  It got so bad that I finally decided to tackle something I had not done before – unclutter fully at an emotional level, figure out who I am and what I want, then rebuild from the inside out.

And so I began a journey of inner exploration and created a holistic life plan. I defined success for me along with my priorities. I then matched that against how I actually spend my time and energy and aligned accordingly. Then I began breaking down the plan in pieces and tackling it head on!

To learn more about this process and a ‘how to guide’ on how to do something similar yourself, go here.

And so, for 2017+, my life plan and focus will be on the following areas, with the caveat that I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment:

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 4.09.30 PM

This hard work and focus has paid off substantially; I have never experienced such personal transformation! I am probably in the most peaceful (light!) and happy place I have ever been in decades. Of course there are always ups and downs, but I feel I now have the tools and habits to keep me going.

Interested in following my progress? Start here.