“There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation- ‘Til school comes along just to end it”
Summer is over, at least for our kids… There’s still a few days left before the official 1st day of Autumn. This evening was a chance for my wife and I to relax by floating on the pool. We enjoyed our last evening and our smiles couldn’t be bigger.
As our youngest heads into his second to last year of high school, we are slowly relieved of the extra duties we once had. Our middle is about to attend their first year of university as well. The journey into adulthood is well underway for our kids. Our eldest is already two years out of public school and summer vacation.
As I lounged around watching the sunset- it dawned on me that life is really what you make it. We have worked hard to get to this stage in life and hope that our children appreciate the effort we have put in for them. They each have a future ahead of them that I look forward to seeing. And each day is better than the last.
“This could possibly be the best day ever… And the forecast says that tomorrow will likely be- A million and six times better. So make every minute count- Jump up, jump in and seize the day! And let’s make sure that in every single possible way- Today is gonna be a great day.”
Our tenants have given their notice to move out at the end of this month. As much as the income was nice and beneficial from having them there, it will be amazing to have the space back for our usage.
The tenants of our basement suite happen to be the original owners of this house. When we first bought the home they were only supposed to live here for six weeks. That would have put them out at the end of August last year. As we were about to move in, they had asked if we could extend it to February as they waited for their new home to be built. We agreed. Of course, as February approached they asked to extend it to May… then July… as the house they were getting built was getting delays.
Even though they are moving out at the end of this month, their new home isn’t quite done yet. In fact it sounds like mid October may be the completion date. But during these final stages, they wanted to be closer to the new house (which is on Vancouver Island). That’s completely understandable. Maybe now they can apply some pressure to their contractor to get their place done. I am glad that we have become friends with the former owners. As leery as we were at first, those fears subsided over the year.
For us this means nearly 1900 sqf of living space will become available to us. A full kitchen, living room, den, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and plenty of extra storage. It also means we can begin to furnish our current space as we move some of our older furniture downstairs. This has become an exciting journey for my wife and I. We have been window shopping (and a bit of real shopping) as we plan new styles for our home.
This has made us feel youthful and fun. When we first started dating we went on many dates doing this sort of thing. Planning bedrooms, living rooms, etc as our family grew. The plan when we purchased this house was to allow for our children to have their own space as adults to live. We are helping them by furnishing the area and hope that one or two of them take the opportunity to use such a magnificent space to grow into adulthood before the possibility of moving out on their own.
Until that time, we will use the extra kitchen to prepare meals while we sit out at the pool instead of always running up and down the stairs. We will also have the space for friends and family to stay and visit for longer periods than just a few hours. Especially those from out of town. There will now be a few beds available for guests.
Everything feels exciting and new again about this home. Only one month to go!
This past year I have been doing my best to work on all aspects of my health. Drinking alcohol less, enjoying the fresh air more, and swimming almost daily. I’m looking better (Dad Bod is diminishing) and feeling better. This has helped in my mental health as well. This past weekend was time to work on one more piece of the puzzle.
The Dreaded Finances!
It sort of started at the beginning of August. My wife and I sat down and wrote out an updated budget for the household. We decided to use Google Docs so we can edit spending in real time so that we can keep on top of spending. This past Friday, we met up with our financial advisor and talked about our future, and the future of our family. I highly recommend an outside source for financial planning. Free advice with a knowledge of the industry. We have been using the same advisor for nearly twenty years, and feeling successful as we grow.
Yesterday we went through our old bills and paperwork. It was time to shred as much as we could. With everything going digital and paper free, there really isn’t much need to keep a physical copy any more. We have kept copies of vehicle maintenance and income taxes, but almost everything else turned into paper streamers.
That was a good feeling- shredding old credit card bills. It makes me feel bad for old me and how much my wife and I struggled at times to keep the debt load down. Using credit cards is a luxury and a curse. Getting back on track is a challenge.
So my health in all aspects is improving. Including my future financial health with my wife. I’m happy with how things are working out and where our future is going.
Looking for a new house has me realizing that technology has come a long way. Especially when walking through brand new builds.
Many of us just accept the fact that TV’s have moved from a large cabinet piece on the floor to a picture frame on the wall. And that the image has grown exponentially in size and the sound is immersive. This is in every house.
But now we can buy a fridge with a touchscreen and camera built in. That way one can connect to see what groceries they may need while out shopping. Or there’s a stove you can turn on remotely as well. Plus a number of other small appliances with similar features.
We are one step closer to living like The Jetson’s. Essentially we are on the cusp- minus the flying cars and buildings in the sky. Everything else is becoming commonplace in a similar fashion.
Is it making life easier or making us lazier? I think it’s a bit of both. But it allows for us to find the free time to explore more about the world. We can enjoy the arts more, create more, and just live in the moment more often.
Technology has come a long way for how we live. At least we aren’t on the Oregon Trail dying from dysentery.
2020 may be a lot of things to a lot of people. It has certainly been a unique journey. For my family and I- it has meant skyrocketing into the future.
My wife was already working for Shopify for a while before Covid restrictions came into play. She was working remotely and had a good handle on things like Zoom meetings and Google Docs. She was able to help out teenagers get used to the “new normal.”
This summer I got my first 3D printer. I have enjoyed printing a bunch of plastic stuff. All it takes is a file and a spool of filament to create something from almost nothing. It’s not just doing the printing, I’ve also enjoyed painting the items and adding mechanisms to create movement. Robotics and electronics have been brought back into my world after a near three decade hiatus.
This past weekend we entered a new level of futuristic lifestyles. For my wife’s birthday, I picked up an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset for her. Immersing oneself into the virtual worlds is mind boggling to say the least. From active games like Beat Saber to simply painting in a 3D world- this is possibly one of the greatest escapisms I have ever seen.
As the winter arrives and 2020 draws nearer to the end, I for one have enjoyed more of this year in captivity than I expected. We even adopted another dog- Maki who entered our lives right when we needed her to.
How do you feel about technology these days? Are we moving too fast, or too slow? Let me know in the comments.
If things continue the way they are going, I should be able to retire by age 58. To me, that’s a big deal. Because my father passed away at age 58. He never got the luxury of retirement.
For most of my youth (until age 17 maybe) my father worked long hours for a computer company. We hardly saw him. On his days off he spent it golfing with his friends. He wasn’t much of a family man nor did we do many vacations with him. But when he was let go from his job after fifteen years, he took his severance pay and enjoyed almost a year of golfing. Then he needed to work again. He put in long hours and wasn’t around once more. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. A couple years later- he was gone.
Not the life I want.
If I am still with CN Rail, it means I only have to work for a little over 15 more years to receive a decent pension. I’ve already been working here steadily since 2007 (minus layoffs at the start). Considering I have been in the work force for 30 years so far give or take, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m already getting excited about it.
Since My father passed away, I have focused on time with my family. Only on a rare occasion have I worked long hours and put in extra time. At one point it was to pay for my wedding. Another was to afford a down payment for our first home. Now my time off is as valuable as the time I put in to work.
Knowing that I have put in 2/3 of the work towards retirement is exciting. It’s time to start planning what to do with the time off. I look forward to sharing that next chapter with my wife. Her and I are getting started on those long term goals. But first, it’s time to create a countdown. 5544 days to go.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? How about five years? Next year? What about next week? Not everyone plans that far.
Those questions are often asked by our employer or future employer. It’s usually the only time we think about a prospective future. Even if it is a lie just to get or keep a job.
But why only think about work when pondering your future? Why not create a ten year plan, five year plan, or even a one year plan? Such as plans for a vacation, paying down debt, education, or having kids. How about buying a new home? Or moving away to another city? Most people are spontaneous with everything in life. Usually only planning as far as six months ahead. That kind of planning is often short sighted. What are you doing for your life?
Starting to plan for the future is paramount. You don’t want to have the past to be a dull story of “what ifs”. The opening to a favorite film of mine describes it eloquently:
They all tryin’ to catch hold of one moment of time. To be able to say “Right now! This is it! I got it!” ‘Course by then it’ll be past. But they all happy, everybody havin’ a good time. Well, almost everybody. They’s a few lost souls floatin’ ’round out there. Now if ya’ll ain’t from the city, we have something here called a “the rat race.” Got a way with chewing folks up so that they don’t want no celebrating, don’t want no cheerin’ up, and don’t care nothing…
…Well the future, that’s something you can’t never tell about. But the past, that’s another story.
As much as I love technology it also pisses my off. My hatred comes from the fact that bugs and failures happen far too often as technology gets older. This means that you need to upgrade more often.
Even in the future, nothing works.
If/when humanity gets integrated with technology, I would hope that this would be sorted out. I’d love to get an ocular implant to allow me to view the Internet without a screen. Or have nanobots injected into my blood stream to combat cancer or strengthen my muscles. These are all very strong possibilities in our lifetime. I fear that if nanobots glitch out, they could make a mess of people, taking over their bodies uncontrollably like the end scene from Akira.
Look at me! I’m huge!
In this day and age all we do is turn a computer or videogame system off and on to reboot the software. This usually resolves the issues. I’m not ready to get rebooted on a regular basis if something screws up. Already my body is deteriorating as I get older. Damage has been incurred to my body/mind (both accidentally and purposefully, mind you) and the idea of getting a reboot scares me.
Chances are, the next time I get shut down, there won’t be a chance of getting fired up again. So for now, I need to make sure everything is running at peak performance in order to prevent malfunction.