Spring Cleaning – There’s a Lot of Work to Do (March 31, 2016)


Well, with my Hong Kong trip just around the corner (essentially), it’s probably just about time for me to start cleaning up the mess that I’ve made over the last few years… Although I don’t have too much junk (I think), I have a very serious problem of feeling nostalgic everytime I contemplate the decision to throw something away…

The other day, I was going through my old textbooks, and I really couldn’t believe how many I’ve accumulated in the last 7-8 years. Once upon a time, I had a “dream” about transitioning into the engineering role of Integrated Circuits (IC) Designer… So, I bought up a bunch of books and studied this stuff like all the time – after work, on weekends, whenever I had free time.

But since discovering the path to early FI, man, so much has changed… and I really believe for the better. Had I continued going down that IC Designer route, even if I was “fortunate” enough to be able to switch over (my background is in Applications Engineering), I just can no longer see how it would have been the right thing to do…

Sure, I would have landed a larger compensation package… In return, I would have signed up for:

  • More responsibilities.
  • More stress.
  • More work.
  • More pressure.

The folks who are able to swing it, props to you… Some of my best friends are in IC Design and they seem to be pretty happy, in general… But they all complain incessantly about having to work late hours and weekends to meet tape-outs (schedule).

Maybe in another life… But this path is no longer viable for someone like me… I’m on to bigger and better things now.

So, the following will be donated to former colleagues or charity:

Books - 1

I guess when I finally get around to offloading these textbooks over the coming weeks, it will definitively mark the end of my engineering career. Right now, I still have remnants of the past.


Anyway, as we were spring cleaning this past weekend, we unearthed this hidden gem, written by my brother many eons ago (1992).

My Grandmother:

Grandma Letter - 1

“To me my grandmom is like an angel. She can be sweet as candy sometimes or really mean. I have known her since I was born. I remember her holding me when I was young. Her hands are soft as silk. She is the kindest person I know.

Grandmom is about 71 years old and is still like a rock. When she sits down you can hear some bones cracking. If you run your hand through her hair at least 5 strands of hair will come off. Her eyes are so good that she can see from here to China. Her ears are as good as a owl.

If you try to sneak up on her she has a reaction as quick as a fly. Her dresses are as old as Santa Claus. Her wrinkles covers her whole body. You can see her veins from a mile away.

I can go to her any time I have a problem. She always finds the right words to say. One time I thought I lost my best friend. She cheered me up by telling me about her life, her hard and painful life, she would always cheer me up when I’m down”


As I recently shared with readers, growing up, my grandma was indeed my own personal hero. I am not the least bit surprised that someone else in my family feels the exact same way that I do. But I will admit, I am somewhat surprised (that’s putting it nicely) that my brother was able to score an “A” grade on this assignment! He never ceases to amaze me… Even with feats accomplished 20+ years ago…


You never know what you will find when spring cleaning…


It’s a trip down memory lane… Now, we are ready for New Beginnings…


This journey is just getting started…

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4 years ago

Interesting that I have some of these books myself too. 🙂

No Nonsense Landlord
4 years ago

I got rid of all my old IT books a while ago. Probably should have down it even sooner. Probably newer books will be more up-to-date of you ever get back into it.

in the mean time, donate them, and get a tax deduction.

4 years ago

Seems like you had some fun cleaning up the old books. 🙂

Have fun in Hong Kong. I am jealous!



George @ Properly
4 years ago

During my last cleaning, I found my diary from when I was 10. It sure was a trip down memory lane. Ah, the days before sharing personal stories online was a thing and people kept personal journals haha

Elle @ New Graduate Finance

For me, going through my things is incredibly nostalgic. I’m honestly impressed by the fact that you are getting rid of things…I guess I’m kind of a hoarder!

I also think it is super cool that you are preparing yourself for your next adventure both mentally and in terms of physical possessions.

4 years ago

What is application engineering exactly? Is it software engineering which focus on developing apps? It seems some of the most successful people left engineering profession to make their fortune in other fields. Michael Bloomberg was a electrical engineering major. Great career move on his part to switch to finance and entrepreneurship.

4 years ago

Man, I need to clean up my office too… To many books! I guess these technical books are very easy to sell online. But donation seems a wonderful ideia!

Millennial Boss
4 years ago

Such a cute description of your grandmother! I can relate to the textbooks of career pursuits past. I had purchased GMAT and CFA textbooks at one time and never took either test! It’s not necessary for my life plan right now.