Time to Lighten the F*** Up

A couple weeks ago, I got a call that my grandpa was, yet again, hospitalized this year.  He’ll be 80 later this year and has, surprisingly enough, had lung cancer for the past 16 years.  Sixteen years ago, he was given six months to live as he refused treatment and, instead, chose to go home and enjoy his easy chair, cigarettes, and coffee with grandma.  Now, all these years later, the cancer has grown (although, amazingly enough, not spread) and, along with other health problems he’s been facing, he’s spilling sodium for some unknown reason and, in all likelihood, it’s only a matter of time before things begin to further decline.  For now though, he’s back home, spunky as usual, where he wanted to be all along.  So, for now at least, it’s just a waiting game.  Obviously, he’s still choosing to not do anything about the cancer at this point in his life and who really knows how much time he’s got left?  Anyway, all is well for now but, when we got the news, we decided to make an unplanned trip back to Illinois to visit with him and the rest of the family that we haven’t seen in nearly a year.

During our two days on the road to Illinois, my wife and I had the opportunity to discuss my “worries” over our finances.  The fact of the matter is that we’re actually doing great and our progress for the year is, in my humble opinion, rather remarkable considering how we could be doing the “normal” thing and blowing through our money in comparison.  She, in her omnipotent wisdom ;), very rightfully pointed out to me that I am entirely too obsessed with the whole process and that I really need to work on refocusing my energy.  I haven’t made a post in nearly a month and haven’t even looked at my spreadsheets for the past week (other than to pay bills) and, you know what….she’s right!  It feels indescribably incredible to back off on the obsessive thoughts of making sure every little thing is going perfectly and, instead, sit back and realize that things are actually going awesome and that some things just take a little time.  Damn, she’s smart.


If by some chance you missed it, head over and see my buddy Ernie at Purple Sweatpants; he recently had a similar epiphany, writing a post titled Refocusing My Financial Goals.  I e-mailed him from one of our hotel rooms on the road home and told him that I was having the same types of feelings on our finances and that it’s really good to know I’m not alone in those types of thoughts.


Do you find yourself having similar obsessive issues that may be bordering on unhealthy?  I sure as shit was!  If this doesn’t resonate with you at all…awesome!  However, if it does, please know that it’s okay and that, if you can find the strength to do so, back off, take a breather, and re-prioritize.  I’d bet my debt that you’ll feel (at the very least) a little better and maybe even come out with a stronger resolve to tackle your goals head-on, while simultaneously improving your overall mental well-being.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m not gonna FIRE tomorrow.  It’s time to lighten the f*** up.  🙂

– Nurse on Fire

P.S. – my next post, coming your way on Tuesday, is inspired by the oft-quoted Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.  It’s been sitting in my draft box for a few weeks and got a new twist and some added inspiration thanks to Our Next Life’s latest challenge surrounding the poem.  Also, if you haven’t already subscribed to follow along with my family’s journey, I certainly hope you decide to do so.  Lastly, if this is your first (or second, third, or 80th :)) time checking out my blog, I definitely hope you decide to comment below or Say Hello!  Have an amazing weekend!

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14 thoughts on “Time to Lighten the F*** Up

  1. Hey man. Glad you’ve been able to back off those obsessive thoughts. Sure is freeing, isn’t it?! The latest idea I’ve been toying with is going one month without logging into my bank to check my accounts. I always find myself in there just staring at the numbers for no reason at all. It’s only wasting my time and perpetuating those obsessive thoughts. Keep us posted on your progress because I’m sure I’ll have go through an obsessive financial thoughts relapse and need some encouragement! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • It really is incredibly freeing and I’m feeling awesome! While I haven’t stared at the numbers in my bank account, I have spent way too much time just staring and fiddling with the numbers in my spreadsheets. While I’ve done that at times when it doesn’t affect my family time, it’s still a ridiculous waste of time and energy.

      Surely we’re not alone in these thoughts, so maybe we can start a support group with good coffee and homemade cookies! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately I’m stuck in the Obessed mode still. I cannot go for 2 days without checking for certain balances and running numbers (they might be different numbers, but still). All the best with your grandpa, he sounds very strong and badass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for the well wishes; he is pretty badass and hilariously witty. It makes for a good combo…lol

      I completely understand the obsession; it feels really good to be taking a step back though. And you are certainly welcome to attend all support group meeting I mentioned starting with Ernie. He hasn’t responded and agreed to it yet but I’m sure he’ll be on board! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In reality, we all have these moments were we are so obsessed by the FIRE numbers that it is all we can think bout. That is natural I guess. we focus on it as we want it so badly.
    On the other hand, it prevents us from having what we really want: a joyful life. For me, it needs to be joyful now and when we hit the milestone!
    Good to read you have found a new balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right; I want to reach FIRE in the worst of ways and as quickly as possible. Working to find a new balance takes the pressure off and it is very freeing to not let those thoughts and desires negatively affect the present, which is the only guaranteed time we ever have in this life. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos for finding the right balance so the process of achieving FIRE doesn’t make you bonkers. It’s healthy to take a break from it and take a breather. Time for all of us is short, not worth letting it get to you!

    We used to obsess over our numbers constantly, but have found that we can only do what we can do in life. We find it’s easier for us to put our finances on autopilot and try not to look at it as much. Now we take a quick peak about once a month and move on. -Mrs. FE

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting; you’re definitely right in the fact that life is short. It truly amazes me every single day to watch how quickly our son is growing and developing, providing a constant reminder of it.

      While I still enjoy watching our numbers and seeing the progress we’re making, backing off on the obsessive tendencies is vastly improving my general well-being.

      P.S. – I LOVE automated stuff; it’s probably one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread and the wheel! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey POF – I have a deep-seeded fear of my kids being homeless. My rational brain tells me I shouldn’t be concerned with this, given our financial state and the “insurance” of being a duel-income family. Unfortunately, I imagine it is a bit like being afraid of the dark. Or clowns. Either you are or you aren’t. I’ve unknowingly (because it wasn’t a thing before I had a home and kids of my own) carried this fear from childhood and I don’t think it’s going away until the mortgage does. I’ve accepted that about myself.
    So, we “invest” more than most would say we should in paying down the mortgage until one day my personal evil-clown is banished.
    That said – I think very little about all the other numbers. They are all long-game numbers to me. The move slower than the grass grows (okay, I grant you they would move faster if we weren’t being so aggressive about the mortgage…).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very interesting to hear of your fear, and it would be quite interesting to know where (since you said you’ve unknowingly carried it) it originated from. While it’s great that you’ve accepted that about yourself, perhaps identifying the source of that fear would allow you to work on moving beyond it.

      As far as your investing by paying down the mortgage, you’ll get no grief from me…I think it’s awesome that your destroying your debt. The fear you shared is clearly a strong motivator for you so it sounds as though you’ve utilized that fear in a positive manner. You’re right about the “long-game” and that’s what I’m keeping in mind as I continue forward.

      The beautiful part is that your net worth, as is ours, continues to move in a positive direction, whether it be due to increasing investments or decreasing your debt. Keep up the awesome work and, if you’re up for it, do a little soul searching to root out the source of your fear so that you may begin to “heal,” so to speak. Just my thoughts…take it with a grain of salt. 🙂

      Like

  6. There are times that I know that I need to lighten the F up about this money stuff sometimes. While it’s important, it’s not EVERYTHING. I find my wind wandering sometimes thinking about how I’m going to spend this or how I’m going to save that. It’s good to think about these things, but I do concede that sometimes it’s a bit much.

    That’s tough to hear about your grandpa. My father in law is in a similar situation. He’s always sick and has heart and lung issues due to smoking, but he refuses to actually do anything to better his situation. It’s pretty frustrating. He doesn’t take care of himself but when $#it hits the fan we have to go out of our way to help him out. I remember visiting him one time in the hospital over chest pain and he was eating McDonalds in his hospital bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude, I’ll tell ya, I’ve slacked off BIG time and I couldn’t be happier. We’re still kicking our debt’s ass and remain on pace to meet our goals. Accepting that is incredibly freeing and things are smooth sailing from here on out 🙂

      Thanks a bunch for your kinds words about my grandpa. He and my grandma are on the patch and haven’t smoked since he got home. It’s a plus but, unfortunately, the damage is really already done. He’ll be 80 this year and had been smoking since he was 5. I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s dad, as well. You’d think chest pain and an impending heart attack would be a catalyst for change but what are you gonna do? You can only love them and accept their choices, however dangerous or ill advised those choices may be. I have a family member who is that way with their finances and it’s just a waiting game until the next catastrophe.

      Thanks again, Vic. Always great hearing from you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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