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:
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