Had a great visit with Jenn’s great-uncle, and his 2 sons in their 50’s. Got to talk about our plans for the future and, most interestingly, the rationale. It was a wonderful experience to be understood by a WWII vet. It gives me great confidence that this is a good thing we’re doing. We discussed how the country is not heading in a good direction (which every old person says). We talked about how life now is too fast, how there isn’t enough personal responsibility for ones actions. How pocket screens and 60” screens have overpowered parenting. How parents spend so much money on screens and big houses and big cars and toys that they don’t have the time to combat those screens. How there used to be a community that we lived in, now it’s just a group of houses very close to each other, with the residents so exhausted from the rat race that everyone hides inside.
I heard stories of how he had just arrived in the south pacific when the second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. How the World Trade Center attack felt very much like the Pearl Harbor attack. How rare it was that his father had a car in 1929, and that was because he used it for sales from his bedding store. How he started walking to school at age 7, hand in hand with his parents.
It reminded me of my first time in the Caribbean on a sailboat, talking with the older cruisers. Every person, 100%, said they wished they had gotten out of the rat race earlier. There was audible envy that I was living care-free at age 26. It took several years for that to sink in, back in the rat race. Then several more years to wait out the great recession. Then I found Mr. Money Mustache, who was living purposefully, the way I had accidentally fallen into it. His blog clarified a great deal for me, and pointed out details, such as FIREcalc, that convinced me now was the time to live my life. Then I started convincing Jenn. Undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Nearly gave up on several occasions.
The plan is to move to the coast this summer, perhaps! Save up a few more shekels before then, take a few trips (Canada! Alaska!) to spend time with family. I might even be able to tolerate this job that long.
Maybe by then I’ll start writing something that’s fun and happy, not this stuck up crap any more.