spend less, work less


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I worked a lot in my 20’s making a good chunk of money. As a result, I spent frivolously. Money was going out faster than it was coming: a 7th pair of shoes here, an iPad 2 there. Society taught me that buying things would make me happy. It didn’t. All it did was force me to work myself into the ground, setting off a vicious chain reaction:

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I lived in LA for 6 years and all I remember is working. Work was my life.

As I entered my 30’s I didn’t want work to consume the rest of my life. I wanted to become less dependent on work and the only way to do that was to cut down on the hand that feeds that dependency: overspending.

 

You don’t buy things with money, you buy things with hours of your life.


Debt is insidious. It’s debilitating, yet socially acceptable, which makes cutting down on overspending a challenge. The strategy that helps me the most is asking myself two questions before I buy something:

Am I willing to sacrifice hours of my life to buy this?

Time is our most valuable asset. Sacrificing life to work should only be reserved for necessities.

What is the real reason why I want this?

This requires courage as what you may find can be ugly. For me, I realized that I spent frivolously because I felt insecure and unhappy. I thought buying things could fix that, but I now know material possessions can’t fix this and never will. Being brave enough to accept this reality is the trump card I use to nix overspending.

Asking myself these questions helps me avoid destructive spending. Of course, I’m not perfect and I do splurge sometimes, but it’s far more under control now.

Thanks to less spending, I’m able to work half as much, while still making enough to live comfortably. This has opened up so much time for me to focus on the most important things in life: health and relationships.

The less you spend, the more you live.





a simple proposal


Paulina and I knew we wanted to marry each other for a couple years now. Leaving the proposal as the only element of surprise I could work with.

I wanted the proposal to be so simple and normal that she wouldn’t expect it. That’s all that mattered.

So the day before Labor Day we went to our favorite walking spot along Lake Washington, set up my camera, and took some funny photos like we normally do.

The rest is history.

Fatherhood?


Growing up I knew I wanted to have 2 kids; a boy and a girl. A symmetrical family that would fit perfectly in the suburbs. For most of my life, this was my dream.

Now at age 34, I don’t know if I want kids.

It’s odd because my actions are sort of preparing me for fatherhood: I tackle life’s obstacles head on, I try to lead by example, I love my godson Carter, I’ve got dad jokes, and I find stories of parenting very interesting.

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Stories of how a father maintains and grows their family through the chaos of life are enlightening. I soak up all I can from their experiences because we share the same belief that the most important thing in life are relationships.

Even with an affinity for fatherhood, I don’t have a desire to be a father. As a human male, shouldn't I have an innate desire to procreate?

It’s an empty feeling; a sense of indifference coupled with not wanting to feel indifferent. For the longest time, I needed an answer.

Why do I feel this way?

Our instant gratification culture has conditioned me to feel entitled. Every question has to be answered, and it has to be answered immediately. Google trained us well.

What’s more insidious is that the need for an answer implies that there is a problem: I felt like there was something wrong with me for even questioning fatherhood. This quest for an answer only made me feel inadequate and lost.

essential readings

essential readings

Whenever I’m in a rough spot I turn to contentment: the idea that things are good as they stand right now. Contentment isn't sexy, doesn't boost the economy, and won't get you any likes on Instagram. Yet, it has always led me in the right direction, which is that my life is good as-is, blemishes and uncertainty included. 

Trying to find answers when there are none is a waste of time, a distraction, and unhealthy.

Trying to force an answer will lead to regret.

Not all questions have answers and that’s okay.

Maybe in a couple years I'll finally feel that desire to become a father. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I'll be just fine. Life is more interesting when you don't know what's going to happen next.