It’s Time to Stop Running… (January 05, 2015)

rat-race-cage

The new year is just underway and I’m sure most of you are just getting re-situated at work. You know, the ol’ day job (aka rat race)… A game that I’m all too familiar with, since 2015 would mark Year 8 of my engineering career.

Before company shutdown, I started feeling sick… Not the usual cough or cold that goes away within a week, but all sorts of other symptoms… worse than usual. Afflictions that have added up and accumulated over the years due to constant stress and having to regularly burn the midnight oil. I’ll spare you the details, since I could ramble all day long about how toxic the modern workplace is. We all have our reasons for wanting to get to early FI… mine just so happens to heavily involve health. This isn’t something I’ve openly shared with readers, as I’ve preferred to keep certain aspects of my life more private.

For the most part, I can be pretty stubborn… When I start a task, I don’t like to cut it short half-way. So, often times, it’s full throttle or nothing at all. After giving it my all for so long, I guess you can say I’ve reached the point of critical mass — the body simply doesn’t want to (can’t) do this anymore.

If you want to use an analogy, we often compare the journey to early FI to that of running a long-distance marathon. Well, I’ve been running on a sprained ankle for quite some time now… and I’ve just about had enough of it.

During the first few years, I honestly felt like I had no choice but to keep running… My investment portfolio was still a work in progress, and I greatly feared the consequences of losing my high-paying tech job.

Through the years, the wear and tear just kept getting worse and worse. Still, I kept running. It’s accumulative damage, and every year (it seems), I just add more ailments to the already extensive list…. Definitely not how I ever pictured my 20’s to look like!

But I’m not sharing this with you today to gain sympathy… This is not a sob story, but merely the reality I’ve been forced to operate under. Not something I would ever wish upon anyone, but it is what it is.

With that said, I’m tired of running. I’m in constant pain and it really sucks. It takes away so much joy from my life… Yet it also is a blessing because it makes me truly value and appreciate everything that I do have. After all, how can you know what good is without the bad? Even with all the bad, life is still very much worth living!

Anyway, I’ve made more progress on the journey to early FI in the last 3 years than I ever could have imagined possible. For that I’m most grateful…

And now it’s time to face the music. Sure, I could keep running, but what’s the point? There’s no limit to greed… And I can always play the “one more year” game for perpetuity… At this point in time, the cons to keep running far outweigh the pros.

A wise man once told me, there are three ingredients to happiness:

1) Wealth

2) Health

3) Relationships

I’ve spent the last 3 years fixated on ONE thing… It’s about time I dedicated my life to the other two.

There’s more to life than $$$. I realized that today. When the body complains, you had better listen… I checked out of work early today. I may not go back…

Enough is enough.

I’m not certain what’s to come in the future, but I want my life back.

It’s time to stop running…

 

Photo Credit: https://goingplaceslivinglife.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/rat-race-cage.jpg

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Year 4: The Fork In the Road (2015)Financial SamuraiMy Last Day of Work… (January 20, 2015)FI FighterMrs. WW Recent comment authors
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J. Money
Guest

I do believe congratulations may be in order? 🙂

James
Guest

Whoa, I feel like we’re on the verge of a big announcement here.

Hope all goes well!

Leigh
Guest

I’m sorry to hear this. Work stress definitely takes its toll on my body and on my relationships, this year much more so than other years.

Good luck and take care of yourself!

Nick
Guest
Nick

I hope all goes well for you. I have really enjoyed reading about your FI journey. I am an engineer (just had my 5 year anniversary). I can certainly understand the damage it can do to a person. Good luck with your choice. It never hurts to sleep on a major decision.

Mr. Frugalwoods
Guest

As the lead for a team of software engineers who develop and maintain a high availability web service that moves many millions of dollars… I know _exactly_ where you are coming from. While technically someone else gets the first page, from a practical standpoint I am on call 24/7/365. It wears on you after a time. It’s one of my main reasons for working towards FI. I honestly don’t know that I could physically handle the stress for a typical 30 year career. And I’m a naturally low stress person! All that to say… good for you for recognizing that… Read more »

Eric
Guest

I’ve been reading for your blog for over a year now. I’ve thought such an announcement has been overdue… 🙂

Good luck in your decision!

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply
Guest

I’m with James…I feel like there’s a big announcement on the horizon… You kind of left us hanging, but that might be intentional. The three ingredients of happiness are accurate and sometimes we ignore some of those ingredients. Good luck! But I’m sure luck is only a small part since I’m sure extensive planning is what is behind whatever your decision is.

SavvyFinancialLatina
Guest

It’s crazy how work takes a toll on you and people still keep doing. There are so many expectations that sometimes it’s hard imagine an end to it. I’ve very early on my path to FI, but I hope for the best for you!

Zee @ Work To Not Work
Guest

Whatever you decide on doing I wish you good luck. I hope you start feeling better, having your body start to wear down on you is a horrible thing.

Elroy
Guest

So […] are you back at work?

Mrs. Bug
Guest

So sorry to hear about your health issues. It’s truly awful the things we put our bodies through day in and day out at our jobs. I desk job is on of the worst for your body physically and the demands of jobs and the stress that goes with it definitely creates more health issues than ever before. I look forward to reading what your next step will be. Good for you for taking control of your life!

Mike
Guest
Mike

This calls for celebration! Pop dem bottles of Cristal…ino.

Even Steven
Guest

I think at the very least a sabbatical is in order, but I’m guessing there might be more.

Mr. Captain Cash
Guest

I do believe we need to celebrate if you have decided to never return to your job and declared FI!

I am looking to hear what your decision is FI.

Get feeling better,

Mr. Captain Cash

No Nonsense Landlord
Guest

As someone who works full-time, manages 25 rental properties, does my own maintenance, plows snow in the winter, runs a mowing/fertilizer business in the summer, HOA President and Grounds Manager for a 120 unit complex, I know what it is like to burn the midnight oil. 80 hour weeks are routine. Hang in there, things are not so bad they cannot get worse. You made a lot of headway, but are swinging for the fence which gets frustrating at times. Slow the pace, digest what you have, and look for ways to be more efficient. FI will be there, but… Read more »

MU
Guest

All the best to you in 2015. Waiting for your big announcement.

Tyler
Guest
Tyler

Nothing left to say that hasn’t already been said by others, but for whatever it’s worth, I think a simple, happy life will trump a wealthy, busy life any day of the week. So if you decide to fore go the typical silicon valley pursuit of excessive wealth in favor of a peaceful, purposeful life in pursuit of meaningful relationships and activities that you love, I think you’ll find that your current net worth and cashflow situation has set you up nicely for that decision. Though you may have to move to a less expensive part of the country. In… Read more »

Kalie
Guest

Relationships are definitely what the good life is about. FI will not be freedom if your health and relationships are destroyed. I like to think of our financial goal as flexibility instead. We want to be wise with our money so we can take worthy opportunities as they come our way, rather than living to build wealth without experiencing what makes life joyful along the way.

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[…] After all, what good is money or wealth if you don’t have the health to enjoy it? This is Year 4 for me, and I confess that I am tired of running. […]

FerdiS
Guest

There’s a reason the wise man you quoted lists 3 things. One cannot just focus on 1 (or even just 2) of them. You have to strike a balance between all three of them. Take some (extended) time off before you decide what to do.

All the best with your decision!

FFdividend
Guest

“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
~BOB MARLEY

good luck to you on what you decide.

Mrs. WW
Guest

Wow, how exciting/scary! It reminds me of a dream my husband told me this morning. He dreamt that he’d been fired. He thought, “Wow, I was thinking this would be a good thing because it would be clear that I should move on but now I’m scared!” Now, it was just a dream and we aren’t ready for FI yet but any such step is a huge one and scary- even if it is a good step! Of course we all want you to be well. We want you to not have to slave away any longer. We want you… Read more »

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[…] from work to focus on my health. As I mentioned before in previous posts, I’ve decided to stop running the race… My body is breaking down, so it’s about time I addressed this very important […]

Financial Samurai
Guest

Ah, I missed this post. Burnt out yeah? Just take a sabbatical and relax.

In retrospect, was taking this new job for more pay the wrong move? OR, is it a great move b/c it makes you stick to your promise of exiting by 30??

Sam

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[…] But something changed that night, and that experience left a scar that I don’t think I will ever forget. I realized just how fragile life really is, and on the plane ride back, I just knew that there was no way I was going to be able to continue running the race. […]

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