Hello, friend! What have you been up to this week? How are you doing? I’m currently house-sitting for a needy dog to whom I’m highly allergic, so good times. The home we’re in has a smart TV, so we’re making a game of shouting random things in the living room: vegan cheese, Joe Biden’s britches, getting away with murder, etc. Our attempts to influence the ads have, thus far, been unsuccessful.
On the work front, I’m scrambling to help my understaffed department prepare for my departure next week, while also coordinating on-boarding details with my new employer. I’m looking forward unwinding just a bit this weekend. On the home front, our bathroom mold remediation and rebuilt have been completed, but the kitchen drywall and cabinetry are still MIA and our pantry items are stacked on the sofa. The contractor will “try to squeeze us in” in late-November, so seven months with half a kitchen. No big deal.
What are your plans for the week ahead? I have a five-day weekend, so it’s documentaries and game night with a friend (Isle of Cats!) and then sewing when we return home. I have so many emails, texts, and newsletters to catch up on, so I’m hoping to get back in touch with people and reconnect with old friends.
I hope that your the week ahead is good to you. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.
- Food for thought: “Whatever a human being desires for themselves will not come about exactly as they first imagined it or first laid it out in their minds…what always happens is the meeting between what you desire from your world and what the world desires of you. It’s this frontier where you overhear yourself and you overhear the world. And that frontier is the only place where things are real…in which you just try to keep an integrity and groundedness while keeping your eyes and your voice dedicated toward the horizon that you’re going to, or the horizon in another person you’re meeting.” — Daivd Whyte
- From the archives: You Don’t Need To Be Rich To Make Your Money Work For You. “One of my biggest pet peeves is when my peers say that they’ll start saving for retirement when they make more money. I explain the power of compound interests, cost-dollar averaging, and diverting any raises into savings before you have the chance to miss them. Eyes glaze over and the topic is quickly changed… I have worked hard to give myself options. I could quit working for a year, pay cash for a new car, replace the energy-sucking refrigerator, or go on an exotic vacation. I forgo most of these things because, in most equations, maintaining that potential for freedom is far more valuable than new stuff.”
- Current obsession: I have been obsessed with history documentaries lately, most recently one covering: life on the Tudor Monastery Farm, Blackpool in the Victorian era, daily life in Pompeii, daily life in ancient Egypt, and pharaoh Akhenaten. I’m continually amazed at the brilliant ingenuity and legal ignorance existing side-by-side through the course of history, and I can’t help by wonder what our future archeological ruins will reveal about our era.
- Gen Z voters: “A lot of us are very financially motivated, and maybe that’s because we grew up in the Great Recession… I was raised to be financially responsible because my parents started with pretty much nothing and now they’re both pretty successful. They’ve taught me and my family to be fiscally responsible, and that’s the biggest thing that motivates me.” I found this article on why some socially liberal Gen-Z voters aren’t leaving the GOP to be fascinating, and I like to hear that (at least some) members of the glued-to-technology generation are thinking critically and deciding what they want their future to look like–economically, and socially.
- Collapse/Renewal: “Ultimately, we have no way of judging whether we’re living through Collapse or Renewal. Future generations will decide that out for us. The only thing that matters is the part we play. We can choose which strand of that rope we belong to. We can add to its grand weave, in the way we treat other people, in the leaders we vote for, in the daily work we do, in the decisions we make about where to put our energy, and in the words that come out of our mouths.” I really appreciate this perspective. Frankly, I’m a bit frustrated with crises, but I have full respect for those taking action to change the course of history.
- Traditional vs. Roth IRA: In deciding how to allocate my 401k contributions for early retirement, I found the following article very helpful! “To save on taxes during your working career (i.e. when your income is high), you contribute to a Traditional IRA. When your income drops during early retirement, you start rolling over that money to a Roth IRA. Five years after you begin the conversions, you begin withdrawing money from your Roth, penalty free.”
- Bitcoin DCA: I’ve been dollar-cost averaging a small percentage of my income into bitcoin for nearly a year using Swan Bitcoin, as a hedge against inflation and a vote for a non-corrupt financial system. With an increasing number of mammoth financial institutions buying it, the highly speculative asset is feeling less and less risky. Do you own research. If you’re interested, get $10 of bitcoin if you sign up using my referral code.
- Long COVID: My partner has had long COVID since December 2020. Prior to that, we had both been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, following other infections had burdened our immune system. This article resonates so deeply with my experiences. “The risk is that long COVID becomes yet another neglected disease whereby some uncounted number of people become debilitatingly sick every year and fruitlessly bang for help on the door of an unconcerned medical establishment. But a better future is also possible, in which long-haulers—vocal, united, and numerous—finally galvanize research into the long-term consequences of viral infections.”
- Tiny idea: Discipline creates opportunity.
- The Arizona Desert: I really appreciate Richard Sala’s six-page strip called Desert Night Drive. The comic may be a bit of an exaggeration, but barely.