I haven’t posted an update here in more than 2 weeks, and I’m sure the 3 of you who follow this blog religiously started to wonder if I had given up on my Financial independence dreams. In particular after my last post.
Nope, I’m still 100% focused on this goal, but life has been throwing me a series of curve balls. As I’ve learned, and as you’ll probably see in this post, not all curve balls are black or white. Some of the events that happened to my family over the past few weeks are very good things that put a strain on our financial goals, others are kind of the other way around. There’s some stuff that’s also plain bad, but all of them provided a life lesson for me.
1 – I got diagnosed with a bunch of issues in the arm
My right arm has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and golfer’s elbow. Yup, those 4. At the same time. Let’s just skip the technical details here, and I’ll just say that it’s become extremely difficult for me to do my day job properly (heavily computer-based), but also to work on my side gig which is a website (i.e. heavy use of computers).
Yes, that’s it, I finally put my body through enough stress that it can’t take it anymore, and as a result I can’t do my job correctly, I can’t work on my side gig, and worse, I can’t indulge in my favorite hobby: video games (including the co-op games with my son, which saddens him as much as it saddens me). It’s been the case for 6 weeks now, with no good sign of recovery (weekends are ok but as soon as I get back to work from Monday to Friday there’s a clear regression).
I can’t easily take a break from work right now (not enough vacation days) and I can’t quit my job as my visa prevents it from being a viable option.
The doctors have been clear that the only way to make the pain go away in a reasonable way would be to not touch a keyboard. ever. again. Computers have been my passion since I was 8, so you can imagine my distress. Furthermore, it’s impossible for me to imagine someone not touching a keyboard ever in this day and age.
But this is the ultimate proof to me that everyone should always prepare for early retirement: until now my main motivation was that my job was getting in the way of a happy life. Now, the job’s actually become a threat to my health plus I’m at risk of not being able to do it properly anymore. I can’t imagine the stress I would be under if I still had 30 years to go.
That kind of health issue could happen to anyone, at any time. This confirms to me the importance of being Financially independent. It is possible I won’t be able to provide for my family with a regular 9 to 5, soon.
2 – My side gig has taken most of my time over the past 3 weeks
The timing with the tendinitis couldn’t have been worse, but a series of events led to my side gig taking off dramatically this month. Sadly my website doesn’t scale as much as I’d like it to, and that means I have to triple my efforts in order to double my income. But it’s been one of those “can’t let it pass” opportunities where I had to be spending a lot of time on it over the past few weeks. The future will tell if I retain some of the additional traffic and revenue “for free”, but for now I have to spend a lot of time on that website to not let that opportunity pass.
Which is the main reason I was not blogging here, by the way.
This is good news for our financial goals. I’ll be bringing in some additional dough to the nest over the next 4 to 5 months, but this is adding serious complications to our family life: I’ve been working from 7am to 10pm every week day for the past few weeks (my current rule is to not work on my side gig on weekends), and my wife is having a hard time dealing with the kids while I do that. She’s supportive of my side gig to some extent, but I’ve not been fully honest with her and I told her this is mostly due to my 9 to 5. It’s not (but for some reason I think she prefers to think my corporate job is hard, rather than me saying I’m intentionally working 4 more hours every day on my hobby instead of being with my family).
Hustling is hard and takes some time away from your loved ones. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn’t realize their family hates them 🙂
3 – We’re having a third child
Well, that one’s been a shock, and obviously a huge source of joy (but also of financial concern): my wife told me this week that she’s pregnant. Although it’s a bit too early to be 100% sure there’s not going to be any issue, it’s pretty clear now that we’re going to have a third child. And that was totally unplanned. Also, if you’re reading this on the week it is published, you probably heard the news before my parents. Yeah, that’s how much I value the audience of this blog 😉
Long story short, given our history we weren’t really expecting to ever be pregnant again so this came as a huge surprise. Given how hard it’s been for us to have the first 2 kids, there’s basically no discussion of an abortion on our side. I don’t believe in miracles, but this one’s clearly a fighter and already has our unconditional love.
Wait, so why do I call this a curve ball? Well, the financial aspect of course. It’s kind of funny how I threw out all my nice financial spreadsheets as soon as my wife announced she was pregnant. She was actually worried I would be angry because it would change our financial goals. I couldn’t care less when she announced it to me. But that shows how
stubborn focused I’ve been with the goal of financial independence lately.
So, I’m overwhelmed with joy, but back to reality I have to now take this into account in my financial target: we’ll need a bigger house, we’ll spend more on food, clothes, and basic stuff. There’s an economy of scale to take into account, but whichever way I look at it, I’m probably one year further from Financial independence now. For a good reason 🙂
For all of these reasons, I didn’t have time to write any articles over the past 2 weeks. Or to even read some of my favorite FI blogs out there. Time to catch up, I still love you guys and gals!