Leif (better known as Physician on Fire), is a genuinely down to earth person, the type that gives Minnesotans their well-deserved reputation. Mostly aw shucks wholesome Fargo, with just enough mischief to remind you his state also gave the world the artist formerly known as Prince.
I met PoF for the first time at FinCon, and saw him answer the same enthusiastic questions from fellow bloggers with grace and good cheer. Everyone’s top question was no surprise:
Adoring fan: What will you do in retirement?!
PoF: We’re exploring traveling as a family and road-schooling the kids for our first year. I’ll keep blogging. Honestly, though, I’ll take it one day at a time.
If this were an 80s era John Hughes film, the record scratch happens exactly now.
How do we reconcile the image of an ultra-optimizer who planned carefully enough to reach FIRE as a doc in his early 40s with such an ostensibly squishy response?
It’s wisdom misinterpreted as indecision.
Life is a process of continual change.
Anyone who’s ever had a five- or ten-year plan should recognize that the person you become five or ten year later has a different perspective; has adapted to unexpected but life-changing experiences (major illness, loss of a loved one, failed relationships); has developed new priorities. These forces result in an altered trajectory.
Case in point: One of my closest friends from high school went directly to a prestigious university. After graduation, before dealing with the real world, he decided to take a year off to be a free spirit, working under-the-table jobs in Europe just long enough to pay bills and splurge on travel adventures thoughout the continent.
He returned one year later with an unexpected child born to a European woman with whom he’d shared his first sexual relations.
Sometimes the most honest and realistic answer about planning for the future is to take it one day at a time.