Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, where I share the things that inspired me in some way this week.
This month, my 30-day experiment is to be more present in life. With that in mind, this will be my last post until the new year. My parents are coming into town today, and we’ve got a bunch of great stuff lined up. Thank you so much for coming to I Dream of FIRE! Until January, have a great holiday and an awesome New Year’s.
Tanja and Mark from Our Next Life are (all but) officially early retired! The thing about these two is that they actually really enjoyed their jobs and the people they worked with, but they looked around at all life has to offer and decided to strive for financial independence and explore that freedom anyway. I met Tanja and Mark at FinCon, and I have to say they are genuinely wonderful people who are going to absolutely crush it in this next stage of life. They already have passions to pursue, some plans on the horizon, and the drive to find interesting things to do all along the way. What great role models for the FIRE aspirational. If you haven’t checked out Our Next Life before, I can’t recommend it enough. Congrats, Mark and Tanja!
Last week, I shared the 12 Days of FI Christmas music video that My Sons Father and Budget Epicurean helped me bring to life. The response was amazing! This week, Maggie and T. over at Northern Expenditure dropped a remake of Baby It’s Cold Outside in a financial independence theme. There are no Lego characters, but there are some fun visuals nonetheless. Check it out!
I’ve never been one to really plan the big-picture stuff. It’s always just sort of worked out pretty well for me. But lately I’ve been thinking more about how I spend my time, and especially whether I actually enjoy or value how that time is spent. The reality is, there’s a lot of stuff I do out of habit, boredom, laziness, or some sort of obligation that isn’t time well spent in my mind. I think that’s why I like Jillian’s annual exercise, where she ponders what it’s time to quit for the next year. Quitting something doesn’t have to be a massive life change (note her example of quitting wiping down the countertops/stove every day), or it can be (like considering whether she should quit writing her blog, etc.). I’m going to make a quit list, because it can’t hurt to see whether “pretty well” can be “pretty amazing” with some effort.
RadioWest is a local public radio show that does a fantastic job of digging deeply into fascinating stories that challenge our perceptions and historical interpretations. Doug Fabrizio is such an astute interviewer who knows how to set up his subjects to tackle the first-level question, but then brings forth an observation that allows them to expand into the second and third levels of the topic. Here’s this episode’s description from the RadioWest website: “Christmas is the time to come together. It’s also the time for drinking. And eating. And a story about an elf in a flying sleigh. Christmas is a lot of things to a lot of people in a lot of different places. But, says historian Judith Flanders, all those things are far more central to the story of the festive season than religious worship. In a new book, Flanders unwraps the fascinating history of Christmas past and present to explore the origins of the traditions that wreathe it in myth.”