Thank You Everyone!!!

by FI Fighter on January 8, 2015

in Blog Update, Health

Duckies

I haven’t been feeling especially well lately, and needed to take a week off from work to relax and decompress. The journey to early financial independence isn’t without struggle, and good health is something that I’ve been battling with as of late.

I guess the path to early FI couldn’t just be all sunshine and roses, after all… But that’s just LIFE for you. It will kick you in the face sometimes… There will always be good and bad, highs and lows…

So, there’s really nothing for me to dwell over. This is just another challenge that I will have to figure out how to solve. My next obstacle in life.

Which brings me to the following quote, which is one of my favorites:

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world, simply a comparison of the two states. Only a person who has felt ultimate despair is capable of experiencing the heights of felicity. It is necessary to have wished for death to know how good it is to live.” –Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Just like with wealth building, my daily struggles are a constant reminder of how precious life really is… Being able to walk, see clearly, breathe in fresh air, etc. are things that we should never take for granted.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone, so appreciate what you have. I’m doing my best to do that now.

With that said, I really want to take the time out and thank everyone for all their support and encouragement! It’s been a pretty rough week, but everything has been made infinitely better by all the outpouring of love and kindness. From comments, to e-mails, to even a phone call… these were all very thoughtful gestures that I appreciate more than words can describe. Truly incredible stuff… and I am most humbled by it all.

Yes, I did lose a few readers because of these most recent drab (depressing) posts… and I was seriously debating whether or not to even share all this on the blog… But just like with my finances, if this even helps out a SINGLE person, it will have been worth it… I gotta tell it like it is.

Sometimes we push ourselves too hard and the body breaks down. It happened to me. And now I need to figure out a way to get well again. If you’re going through something similar, perhaps it’s also time for you to slow things down and take care of your health. Don’t be so stubborn that you reach a point of no return!

Anyway, the journey to early FI involves more than just wealth. Yes, building wealth is a huge component to it all, but it isn’t the whole story. I’ve spent the last three years primarily focused on $$$, but my priorities are shifting… as well they should.

Interestingly enough, I came across this article this morning which is further motivating me to leave behind a job (lifestyle) that no longer brings me any real joy or fulfillment:

Her experiment in yes was the second great life change for Cooper, a striking blonde with a year-round tan, who used to work in corporate America for a shoe giant based in Connecticut. At age 27 she even won an Executive of the Year award.

I woke up the next day and I was miserable and I realized my whole life was work. Everything,” Cooper said. “Right then and there, I decided to quit. I decided I would live the life I only thought I would have once I was retired.

So what does it mean to be a millionaire in flip flops?

Instead of chasing the millions I wanted to live a life that most millionaires would love to be living,” Cooper said. “For me, it was always about following the passion instead of the money. If you do that then the money will come.

Yes, I’ve mentioned that the new job is exciting… relatively speaking. But by no means is it something that I would be volunteering to do if I was already financially independent. Now that I’ve gotten close enough (within striking distance) of early FI, I will most likely walk away from corporate for good sometime in 2015.

It’s long overdue for a paradigm shift. Through the course of this year and into the future, my goals will be to work on health and relationships. Early FI with bad health and no one to share it with doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

As always, this blog and myself are a work in progress… Such is life. 🙂

Fight On!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The StoicNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 8:59 am

I’ve been reading your recent posts with quite a bit of interest. I hope you are taking the time to allow yourself to recuperate. FI without health isn’t much to look forward to.

I know you have been on the fast track to FI for a few years, but I didn’t realize that it was taking such a physical and mental toll on you though. You may have to adjust your sails a bit and the winds may not carry you quite as quickly to FI as what your current course has allowed, but there is something to be said for enjoying the journey to FI even if it means you take a detour and the time getting there is a little longer. Now, for those stuck in jobs that deliver a boat load of cash each month, but make them hate life in the process, this sounds like a bad deal. However, if you create your lifestyle in a way that closely aligns with how you see it during FI, then the extra time it takes to get there will be enjoyable years and not dreaded ones.

All the best,
The Stoic

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2 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Stoic,

Great points and thanks for the reminder! I completely agree and don’t feel like I should keep pushing myself so hard, especially if it jeopardizes my health in the process.

I’ve made a lot of progress to get to early FI… slowing things down or taking a detour would not be so bad at all.

A comment made by Kathy yesterday really hit home… I’m in a position most people would kill to be in… I’m very blessed and lucky. No need to keep pushing the envelope and trying to squeeze out more when I’m already in a very enviable spot.

Let’s take the scenic route and enjoy life more.

All the best!

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3 Dividend Growth InvestorNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 10:12 am

I liked the posts. There are reasons you want to get to be FI, and those reasons are the daily struggles to get to the promised land. If it was easy, everyone would be FI. But it is a good deal to put things in perspective – if you are healthy, you can enjoy life.

And if someone unsubscribed, that’s their problem, not yours. You should do what is right for you, not what people expect you to write about. Just a reminder that people read you for you. So keep being yourself. I don’t agree with everything you do, but so what? I still come every time you post something.

Good luck in your FI journey!

Dividend Growth Investor

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4 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

DGI,

Thanks for the reply and support! The journey to the promise land isn’t always easy, and I’m navigating through a rough patch right now.

I agree, I just need to keep things real and not worry too much about appeasing everyone, since that will never happen. This is an authentic journey, so I need to highlight both the good and bad.

Take care!

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5 markNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

FiFighter,

I don’t see why you don’t do what most people do and get a gym membership or a health club pass (shoot, if your company is so good they might even offer this as a benefit). You can “work” on your relationships and your health simultaneously. Don’t have time to goto the gym you say? Go during your lunch break. Don’t have the energy you say? You will once you start working out, your body will develop endurance.

I have been meaning to write you for a while. You have been given such a blessing that the majority of the population would love to have. An excellent education, a great job, a bright future. Your throwing in the towel because its too demanding. Your young, climb the ladder and become a manager. Your workload can be pawned off to your underlings while you check out at 5 for your golf game. That’s how it works. You only have $3,000 a month in passive income and after food,utilities,taxes,housing I don’t know how much left you have. Good luck getting loans to expand your real estate empire while your unemployed.

You say dont take the simple things in life for granted, like breathing, seeing, walking ect. I feel like your taking your job for granted. Once you put in your two weeks, you will be replaced like a cog they don’t care that you left. It will feel good for about a month at most and then you will be asking yourself now what? That high fades and reality strikes back in. See your problems are not external (job) they are internal and you need to search within for those answers as you already have started doing. The job is not the source of your problems, and as everyone knows it will only get easier with time. Don’t give up.

mark

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6 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Mark,

Thanks for the comment, although I think you’ve made a lot of assumptions about me there… For starters, who’s to say I haven’t tried exercising and joining a gym?

In an ideal world, yes, anyone who felt bad would be able to go to the gym, pick up a dumbbell and leave feeling 100% better… Unfortunately, real life can be a bit more complicated than that. 🙁

In reality, it’s hard to know what someone is going through unless you can walk in their shoes… I don’t expect anyone to fully understand my struggles, but I assure you that it isn’t so trivial that I can simply shrug it off. In fact, all the doctors I’ve seen are stumped and have no clue how to treat my condition… But I digress…

Yes, I’m young… but being young doesn’t imply perfect health… just like being old doesn’t mean you’re crippled, need assistance, and only play bingo all day long…

The job is great and I appreciate everything that is has given me… But it is impacting my health, and at the end of the day that matters way more to me than spending more time at the office. Early FI for me isn’t about building empires and accumulating as much $$$ as I possibly can… Yes, real estate is fun, but I already have a lot… Most people work their lives saving up trying to buy 1 house…

When I put things in perspective, I have it plenty good. I’m very thankful and happy to be in the position I’m in… But my health is lacking and I need to be smart and fix that.

Take care!

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7 markNo Gravatar January 9, 2015 at 8:29 am

Actually I was making assumptions based on science. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. So yes in fact when you do goto the gym and lift your dumbell your body naturally will feel better.

You said your doctor’s are not sure how to treat your condition. What condition are you speaking of? Are we talking physical pain or psychological pain. If multiple specialist’s can not diagnose your problem it leads me to believe it may be self induced or self diagnosed.

Look, pain is not necessarily a bad thing and you can’t just quit because life is too hard. That’s a loser’s mentality. You will never get stronger. Maybe you have cancer or something then ok you win, I would quit my job too and say no to the stress. But if your simply too tired or burned out simply quiting is not the way to go. Think about all of your life’s greatest achievements and what would have happened if you just quit half way through because you developed apathy. Stick with the hard work my friend.

mark

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8 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 9, 2015 at 9:19 am

Mark,

In general, I would agree that exercise is a great thing… However, it isn’t always the best solution or even appropriate for certain types of medical conditions… In certain situations, it can be a terrible idea and make a person even more sick!

Look, modern medicine is wonderful, but it can’t diagnose or solve everything… yet. Imagine if you grew up 100 years ago, felt ill, went to the doctor and they said, “sorry, we can’t help you… What you have, we don’t know what the heck it even is.”

Now, 100 years later, that disease is well understood and can be treated… But man would it have sucked to live in a time period when doctors couldn’t help you and all your friends, family, strangers, etc. would all tell you, “it’s all in your head… suck it up and deal with it.” Or, “what you feel isn’t even real”…

Quitting because life is hard? I didn’t get this far by being lazy and unmotivated… Hardly. In regards to building wealth and saving money, I’ve already put in a ton of work to get to this point… You could argue that things SHOULD be getting easier, moving forward.

And it’s very sad that “cancer” seems to be the only medical condition that can get people to emphasize with them… Yes, cancer is a terrible thing, but it’s also been so sensationalized by the media…

Health is the most important thing. If there is anything that inhibits or prevents you from operating at peak health, it’s a terrible thing.

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9 markNo Gravatar January 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

As punishment for tricking the gods, Sisyphus was placed on a hillside in the underworld with a heavy boulder above him. To escape being crushed, he had to push the boulder uphill. The gods told him that if he rolled the stone to the other side they would release him. Each time he reached the top, though, the boulder rolled back down to the bottom, forcing Sisyphus to start over. The phrase “labor of Sisyphus” refers to any hopeless task that must be repeated endlessly.

I get that you feel like Sisyphus and clearly your mind has been made.
I am just helping you to reaffirm what you already know

best of luck.

mark

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10 markNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm
11 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

I am a fan of meditation and practice qi gong everyday 🙂

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12 Big Guy MoneyNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

This, for me, is the difficulty in putting yourself out there. Some people don’t want to read about bad things happening, whether they be health issues, stock market crashes, families falling apart, etc., but to me, that’s what is interesting about a blogger. I think I’m more interested in the people behind the FI stories than I am the actual process to FI.

I’m not going to opine on what I think you should do. You know yourself and your situation better than anyone. What’s important right now is your health. Once you get that to a position where it’s acceptable, then you can make better overarching decisions.

Hang in there – I started reading several months ago and enjoy your site.

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13 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Big guy Money,

Yes, it can be tough posting so much information about oneself on the internet for all to see… You’ll always have critics and be subjected to ridicule, but that comes with the territory.

I was debating whether or not to share so much… because it changes things. It’s just human nature… I realize for some people, I lose credibility with the things I’ve said and the articles I’ve written because I’m admitting to something like a health problem… When you throw in any kind of negative, for some people, it alters their perception of you and now you look weak, or incapable.

I think most people can look above and beyond that, because after all, we’re all human and no one is perfect… But again, human nature…

Anyway, you’re right, and only I really know what I’m going through… So, I’ll take the steps I feel like I need to get better.

Thanks for the support!

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14 EricNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm

A couple months ago I came home very depressed and I told my wife, “Today at work I was standing at a window (I work in a skyscraper), for a fleeting second, how much easier life would be if I just jumped out.”

She was pretty upset, but it drove home the reassurance that living every day at a job is really, truly a fruitless existence and generally a waste of the only life God gave us. We need reminders, every so often, of why its so important to achieve this goal.

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15 JasonNo Gravatar January 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Hi Eric

You aren’t alone – I have had thoughts like that as well during my journey and I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who are aggressively pursuing FI can relate.

There’s a steep cost to FI, both mental and physical, but between the graphs, charts and quarterly updates, it’s not often talked about.

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16 No Nonsense LandlordNo Gravatar January 9, 2015 at 4:09 am

Always remember, things are not so bad they cannot get worse. You will never have it as bad as someone else, and that someone else deserves the bad times less than you.

Think positive!

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17 ElroyNo Gravatar January 9, 2015 at 7:06 am

Balance is the key. Stay with it man. I’ve been through similar ups and downs. But, now I have my family and a j*b that I enjoy enough not to make life miserable [but still look forward to ER] – which has seemed to level me out a bit. I wish you luck.

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18 PaulNo Gravatar January 11, 2015 at 5:05 am

You are in a similar position to me, we both have 5 properties, however your positive cash flow is much better than mine. Are you suffering from stress? Stress does strange things to us, it can transform into other illnesses such as depression, and anxiety etc.
I’m just thankful, I like you am preparing for ER, how some people can comprehend working until 65+ I’ll never know.
Keep up the good work, and exercise really helps, get down the gym and get those endorphins pumping!

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19 Mrs. FrugalwoodsNo Gravatar January 11, 2015 at 5:55 am

We are all imperfect works in progress :). And I’m glad to hear you’ll be taking time to invest in your health and your relationships–nothing could be more important, in my opinion.

You’re making awesome strides towards FI and it’s inspiring to see how dedicated you are! Take care of yourself and keep us all posted :).

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