It’s been a week since Mr. Miser and I went to Camp FI. We’ve now had some time to digest our new vision of what our future might look like. We’ve run the numbers multiple times. We know if we really focus and save a little more we could shave a year or two off of our number. Since going to camp, we’ve taken a step back to really look at what we are trying to achieve. Is it the title of retirement or the ability to focus on what’s really important? In my career, I’ve had some incredible ups and downs in the last 16 year. I spent 8 of those years furthering my education, essentially busting my ass to get my degree while giving 110% while at work. I’m now in my sweet spot. I have my terminal degree, doctorate of nursing practice. I love my patients, I love my physicians, and the nurses have me laughing every single day. (My only area of contention is my commute.) All this being said, do I really need to scrimp and save to retire early by 1-2 years? We’ve cut our budget in every area that makes sense for us. (I cut everyone’s hair, we drive older cars, we don’t have cable, we don’t shop for clothes, we buy used toys, etc.) When we go on a date night, I buy the cheapest bottle of wine but I surely still want to have wine with my dinner. We go on
So why am I trying to shorten a career I love by 1-2 years by cutting those luxuries out?
We’ve been having different versions of this conversation over and over since going to Camp FI. It really isn’t about the money, it’s about choosing how to live the few days we have on this planet to do the things we enjoy and be with the people we love. At the end of it all, I want to reflect on a life of doing what makes me happy, even if it costs extra. I want to have had a high savings rate because I cut out unimportant and wasteful things, not because I deprived myself experiences with friends and family.
Anthony from Break the Twitch said that if you walk every day for 5 minutes, you will look back on a life full of walking. Gasp. That was one of the most profound things I heard at Camp. It keeps cycling through my mind. There are so many small things I want to add to my life that I never get around to doing because I think it has to be a big ordeal. I love biking and never go because in my mind it’s a big process. In all actuality, I could take my lightweight carbon fiber bike (pre-FI purchase) off the wall and go around the neighborhood for 15 minutes. I could do this Every. Single. Day. It wouldn’t affect my husband or my kids in the slightest, however, it would have a huge impact on me. These are the tiny steps I need to take to enjoy the journey to FI. I keep thinking once I retire I’ll do all of these things, but I should be doing them now, just in smaller ways.